Bizarro Ruby

Today was a weird day. Ruby has advanced to the Open class for her events. This means I have to handler her through more challenging courses and she has to pay attention to me more than she has in the past. We signed up for 4 events, two she excels at (Jumpers with Weaves and Standard) and two that we have not been successful at (Time to Beat and FAST). As usual, nothing we do goes according to plan…


This course had a couple challenges for us, the first is the turn away from the tunnel into the weaves. I knew I had to throw a big signal to Ruby to get her around (big dogs tend to take big turns). Next time I’ll get a flare-gun.

Turns like a Battleship


This looked like a fun and challenging course for us. Ruby has had solid contacts and her focus on me gave me confidence that we’d do great. Ruby had something else in mind, at the A-Frame she missed her contact and blew the run, then to add insult to injury (and thankfully she did not get hurt) she launched herself off the top of the down ramp to finish our run. Every thing else was beautiful. Back to remedial contact training for us!

No time for scratching


OK, to review, the object in FAST is to get points. You will hear the judge calling numbers out as we complete obstacles. We can run it in any manner we choose, except for the “send”. For that Ruby has to move to the other side of the line and perform two obstacles in order. After Ruby comes down the A-Frame you will not hear the judge…because she failed to get her contact…again. After that she is awesome and then I tried to push her into the weaves from a bit too extreme of an angle. Seeing her hesitate, I decided to move on. Listen carefully at the finish line and you will here the “buzzer of doom” just as Ruby crosses the finish line. Turns out she managed EXACTLY 55 points at EXACTLY the course time. That means, though it was not pretty, it was good enough for a Q and 3rd place.

Beat the clock

Time to Beat (T2B)

Time to Beat is new to us. There are no classes, all dogs run separated only by jump height. I know Ruby is fast, and these courses flow, so you can get up a lot of speed, but Ruby and I need accuracy. Ruby does a good job with the run, but I know we can do better. My missteps cost us time, as such we finished about 10 seconds slower than the fastest dog, still good enough to qualify.

Handler in training

Bizarre Day

So Ruby did great at courses she usually does not, and poorly on the ones she usually crushes. All day I was anxious too, though I don’t know why. I imagine that translated down the leash to Ruby.

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