Three for Three

What a great day! Mary Jane, Ruby and I were up early for the hour drive to Belton, TX for another AKC Agility event. The Bell County Expo Center is a huge facility, so there are always a couple of different things going on. Last event it was a conformation dog show (a ’la “Best in Show”). This time it was Dinosaurs! So we could hear the roar from the other side of the blacked out fencing. (Training Note: You NEVER know what sounds you need to prepare your dog for…ever.) The side benefit was that there were tons of parents and kids standing in a line that wrapped around the building, so, many of them came to our event to cheer for the dogs while they waited out the line.

I love having new folks in the audience. They have tons of questions and “Ooooh” and “Ahhhh” at all the right times. The adults watch in amazement at the dogs, the kids laugh and sometimes wonder aloud “That looks easy” and “I could do that!”. Then the wise parent asks “Could you get OUR dog to do that?” or “Can you imagine [insert pet name] climbing the teeter totter?” to which the child usually begins to giggle at the thought.

We got to talk to one such family who came for the dinosaurs and stayed for the dogs. The mother asked about Ruby and we got to talking. Turns out mom’s name is Ruby too! When I began our pre-run routine with Ruby I pulled out her favorite treat, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. Their son commented “Mom loves vegetables too!”. Way too funny!


Our first run of the day was Fifteen and Send (FAST). This is a game of points and time. You can make up any course you like as long as it includes the “Send”, a group of obstacles with a line that the handler cannot cross that must be performed in a certain way. You have to get 50 points (including the send) and run under 32 seconds. Ruby got 61 (and first place) even though she got a little “zoomy” near the send. The thing I like about running FAST at the beginning of the day is there is no penalty when the dog gets a little crazy, so you can get the “ya yas” out before the more challenging runs.

This was Ruby’s third run in Novice to receive a qualifying time, so in the next event we’ll be running in the Open class.

Jumpers with Weaves

With all of Ruby’s great runs, Jumpers with Weaves has alluded us. Once she left the ring to investigate the arena seating, another time she broke her starting line stay and was past me before I knew what happened. This time she was focused and brilliant! This was a clean run and Ruby’s first qualifying time for JWW and first place.

AKC Novice Jumpers with Weaves with Ruby


Going into the last run of the day Ruby was being very social. At this point the kids from the “dinosaur line” were hovering, petting and cheering for the dogs. At one point I looked over at MJ who was busy with about 5 kids, from toddlers to 5, all loving on Ruby. I think the parents were wise to capitalize on the free entertainment. While we were preparing for our run a loose dog ran into Ruby’s face. She was unphased but clearly a bit tired from the day’s activities. For me, this means she’s focused. Like FAST, we needed one more clean run to Q and advance to Open class. Ruby delivered the Q and took first again.

AKC Novice Standard with Ruby

A Great Day

It really was a great day. Mary Jane and I are figuring out how to manage the events and keep Ruby in the zone. (A big shout out to the crew from Trials by Lotus for their smooth handling of the event and the amount of coordination that they perform!) And we got our BBQ on at Miller’s Smokehouse in Belton. The next trial is next weekend in 11/15 and 16 in Austin! Ruby will be competing in the Open class both Friday and Saturday.

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