I didn't get around to posting an update from yesterday for two reasons. 1) It was Super Bowl Sunday and we were hosting a small gathering at our house. I use we in the general terms. It was a party that was pretty much wholly put on by Adam since I knew I was going to be at the trial and had no idea what time I would be getting home. He did a really nice job of cleaning the house and putting together all the food and drinks. A lot of which we will continue to enjoy as leftovers this week.;0) 2) Things fell apart again.
Our first run of the day was Open JWW and I was just going to see how things were going as we were on the course to try and decide where to pull her. Again, we weren't going to run the full course. The most unfortunate part of the course was the fact that it started on a tunnel. As I mentioned before, the tunnel can totally amp Bess up. She didn't seem too bad coming out of it, so I sent her over the first jump after it and I can't remember now if it was right after that jump or the jump after that she took off. I think it was after the first jump. She hit the ground and was off with a fit of zoomies. Brother! I told the judge thank you and made my way to the exit gate. On the way there, Bess decided to say hi to the judge. When the judge turned her back on Bess and did the best she could to ignore the little monster, Bess stuck her nose right up the judge's butt. Looooooooovely! I apologized and gathered up my dog. I firmly, but not emotionally, took her by the collar and led her out to the truck. I didn't talk to her. I didn't talk to anyone on the way there. And I didn't make any eye contact with her. I put her away for a time out, and went back in to watch some lovely runs.
The zoomies were very disheartening because I really thought that we were actually making some progress. We still had Standard left and I wasn't at all sure what to do about that. What I really wanted to do is keep that crazy dog on leash and take her through short sequences, but I can't do that at an AKC trial. I also most certainly did NOT want her to have another opportunity to take off and self reinforce with some zoomies. Since I obviously did not have a firm grasp on my dog or when she was going to take off, I decided to just scratch her for Standard and we headed home. Disappointing, but I'd rather not run at all then give her yet another opportunity to pull something like that. On the up side, this definitely reinforces my resolve to pull her from agility for a while. So it's back to basics for Bess. After she spends the rest of February doing absolutely nothing agility related.
The other thing that I have to share today is our work on the Take My Hand trick.:0) It's not very polished just yet, but we have a good foundation. I do have to admit that this trick was a little painful for me. It wasn't so bad with Bess, but Heffner really leaned heavily on my forearm and his paw pads are a bit rough. Bess was much lighter on me and used her rear a lot better. I also used a fair bit of luring, but I'm okay with that for this trick. And if you're wondering, this trick has not encouraged my dogs to jump up on me. They fully understand that this is a behavior that they offer when asked to, not when they decide to. A very important distinction regardless of the size of your dog. I should also apologize ahead of time for some of the language of the movie that was playing in the background! Guess I better shut some doors when I'm recording and Adam is watching TV!! Here's the video:
At some point I'm going to have to put together a bloopers real from all the sessions that we're recording. There are some entertaining moments along the way!
For those doing the Idita Walk, you should check out the finishers roster. If you can believe it, as of Sunday there were six people who had already racked up the requisite minutes! In less than a week's time! Wow! Makes me feel like a slug.
I hope that every one's Monday has been a gentle one.;0)