Uma goes SILVER!
So I haven't been blogging much... mostly on account of not doing much doggy stuff. Agility is really still on hold, though I do practice once a week, sometimes twice if all goes well.
Anyway, Uma and Eden and I played frisbee on the first weekend of September. I entered Uma in the last disc dogging qualifying event on Saturday in Open Frisbee and Eden in the Young Dogs category. Eden was Eden and did all I could expect from her, she took a 7th out of 11, with a pretty lousy catch ratio and really wide arcs on all her returns with the frisbee. But I'm proud of her anyway, she was clearly having fun and enjoying herself and so was I. She is an aussie with all the border collie problems (low catch ratio and wide arcs) and without the border collie advantages (speed and intensity), but she has this amazing cuteness which actually encourages me to keep on working with her. And I'm not giving up on her.
Uma did well on Saturday, taking a third in the qualifier and therefore qualifying for the finals on Sunday. She had already qualified for the finals in June with Karolina, but because the two have not been training at all since that time, Karolina gave her back to me and let me compete with her. I think Uma is the only dog in the history of the DCDC Nationals to have qualified for the finals in the Open category with two different handlers. She also qualified in Toss & Fetch with Karolina.
The national finals took place on Sunday, where we did even better. On Saturday she had some 5 or 6 missed catches in each routine and on Sunday I think she had just one miss in the second freestyle.
In Toss & Fetch I jammed the first throw straight into the ground, but luckily Uma was quick enough to allow me to do 6 throws. The remaining 5 were good and she caught them beyong the 30-yard line.
This gave us a totally unexpected second place in the finals among a very talented group of dogs. This means Uma is the 2008 Reserve Polish Champion!!! How cool is that?!?!
All right, the girl who won the champonship is 14 years old, which puts our achievement in perspective, but still...
Another Aussie, Lexus, won the Saturday qualifier and came in third in the finals. Wieslaw & Lexus were really the most amazing team out there with probably the most innovative routine I've seen. I'm actually very surprised we were scored higher than they were on Sunday. Karolina and Negra had awesome freestyles and blew their toss & fetch round which put them in fourth place in the finals. But their freestyle rounds were to die for. The complete results are here: www.dogfrisbee.pl
Oh, and the weekend after that we took Eden to a herding instinct certification. This was pretty much a formality, because she works sheep on a regular basis, but she needs the certificate in order to compete in herding trials (it's a prerequisite) and I'd like to try to do a ranch trial with her next year. Of course she passed and received a very nice written description of her working style, which ended with the judge praising her stamina and fitness: "dog in excellent working shape." She was also entered in a conformation show on the same day, where she did not do anything and received a long and detailed description which ended with the conformation judge scolding her for being too lean: "chest too deep, too much tuck up, dog in too much of a working condition." Oh, I love the irony.
Not that she deserved to win anything, she has blown ALL her coat and looks kind of like a tailless rat.