Monday, August 11, 2008

Agility Ability Trial - Plano, IL

I had heard some bad things about the Plano trial site but I decided to check it out for myself. Saturday morning I packed up Ruby & River and headed out to the trial. It started off chilly with brief periods of rain & drizzle. It had stopped by the time we ran our first class - Jumpers - and Ruby did very well taking 2nd place.

Our Standard run didn't go so well however. Miss Ruby freaked herself out before our run as we were waiting on line. A tarp blew up on someones crate scaring her and I couldn't get her back and focused before our run. I got a stress yawn at the start line and a LOT of sniffing, so I had to cheer lead around the course and tell her to keep her head up. When she kept moving it didn't look like such a bad run but she missed her weave entry and popped at the tenth pole, a clear indicator to me that she was stressing. She was also very slow and lope-y.

River did great at the trial, meeting new people and a few dogs. He is even learning to be quiet in his crate. Yea!

On Sunday I took Ruby near the Standard ring to get her over her "issues" and she was fine. Our Jumpers run went great and she took 1st place. I was surprised because it felt very slow and it was, she was just faster than the other dogs somehow. Standard AGAIN didn't go so well but this time it was all me. I changed my plan of action and I shouldn't have; should have stuck to my original plan instead of being a lemming and doing what everyone else was doing. Anyway, I got lost and sent her over the wrong jump. Once I got her back the rest of her run was nice and she was working and happy, except I pulled off the weaves a little too soon and she popped at the 11th pole. Overall not a bad weekend and Ruby managed to get herself 23 MACH points.

Agility is also mental game and sometimes when your ego gets a little shove to the ground, you need to pick yourself up and just get over it. Something I really need to learn to do, both for myself and my dog. Ruby is such a great, sweet dog and is very sensitive to my moods. Most of the time when I'm running her in agility I can control things or hide how I'm feeling from her and concentrate on the job at hand. Sometimes I can't or it comes out in other ways like I get lost on course. Obviously not her fault at all. Poor Ruby, she needs a new handler. Though I still need her to cuddle with and for hugs and kisses when I'm feeling blue. :)

Playing tug with mom.

Sweet boy!

Even though he's just a silly little puppy right now and is mostly just into biting things and playing (and eating and sleeping and pooping and peeing), I have a feeling that River will be just as sweet as Ruby in that regard.

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