So I do want to start this post off by saying that for the entire four days of trialing I was without my agility bag. I forgot it, just left it in the kitchen all ready to go and I didn't realize it until I started bringing stuff in for the Lake St. Louis trial. I didn't have my soccer shoes, Ruby's special treats, her vitamins/supplements, out First Aid Kit and my camera. Thank God Tammy got a new camera and taped our runs in Lake St. Louis. Anyway, I just felt off the entire time, like I was forgetting something, which I had. We kinda lost our mojo.
After what happened on Friday in the Standard ring I was a little worried about how Ruby would be on the dogwalk. That wasn't really the issue however as it was more like: who is this dog next to me? She was nervous and worried, carrying her tail tightly between her legs. I haven't seen her like that since the last Fourth of July when our red-necks neighbors were blowing off M-80's! A huge difference from the dog I had on Thursday night.
We had Standard first on Saturday - a tricky course from Tom Slattery. I usually try to get her excited by asking her to speak. She tried but a bark just wouldn't come out of her. She did bark when I left her on the start line and was off like a rocket when I released her. The course started jump to dogwalk & she wasn't hesitant like I thought she'd be but she did just run through the yellow. No stop but not creeping either. I ended up being behind her a couple of times during the run as I just wasn't sure how to handle her nor did I know how she would be running. She did have a gorgeous triple to weaves entry and I got behind her again when she hit the aframe. With her running aframe I need to be ahead of her to push, front cross, rear cross or pull. She almost took an off-course jump but a hard call saved it and we qualified. It was by no means a pretty run but only three dogs in our class qualified and we took 3rd place. I was very proud of her for putting her game face on and gave her lots of "good girl's" and "awesome job" and gave her a lot of super high value treats. 'Puppy Crack' as Kim and I call them.
Jumpers was next - a fairly easy course from Lisa Haidle-Potts with a high Q rate. She still had her tail tucked and again after this run I treated her HEAVILY and gave her lots of praise. I do think she could have been faster though and we qualified but I honestly don't remember the course at all unless I look at it on paper. I was pretty beat on Friday night so I took a Tylenol PM to guarantee some sleep; it made me a little spacey however.
Sunday I pretty much had my girl back. She was excited and barking for our Standard run. The course Lisa had for us was pretty tricky with a lot of wraps and tight angles. We were doing great until the end. I just didn't see her taking an off course tunnel after the table. The very last time I walked it I found out it was a sit on the table and thought "Oh I can do a lead out push to the chute and she won't even look at the tunnel." Somehow I forgot about that during our run and tried to front cross which was late and the backwards motion just sent her right into the off-course tunnel. Even tried to call her off it but she just looked at me and went in anyway. Oh well...as I'm still kicking myself for forgetting to lead out from the table...
The Jumpers course that Tom designed was a bit trickier than Lisa's and quite a few dogs missed their weave entrances. Ruby didn't however and was she great though at one point I could hear River barking during our run. We were crated right by the Jumpers ring and he could see us at the start line. I momentarily forgot were I was for a second as Ruby and I were running but we pulled it out and took 3rd place. So I think I have my dog back and Shawna was kind enough to tape our runs for us so I'll post the links when she uploads them. All I know is do not take Tylenol PM two days in a row during a trial. Oh and don't forget your agility bag. =)