Because we are home!
So Go Dog and I followed the yellow brick road and what did we find? Well. I got some COURAGE and the Dog found what she had inside all along: the ability to GO!
This was a very eye-opening weekend for me. Lesson filled and very good for the whole Project. And I don't think I've ever enjoyed running The Dog so much in a show, but not necessarily because we qualified or had some amounts of glory or anything like that.
I have been struggling for awhile now to let go and stop playing it safe when showing. I admit it-GUILTY! I heart clean runs (Especially now that I pay my own entry fees!) and titles and enjoy those milestones, and since joining Masters I have fallen into the trap of running conservatively in order to accomplish those things. But running that way is not nearly as fun to me or the Dog, nor is it fair to her- I know that besides the fact that I have been like a body-snatched alien handler it shows that I wasn't trusting her or being confident in her skills. And MY lack of confidence was showing in HER times and attitude, causing all sorts of frustration. The trialing break we've had has been wonderful and helped me realize that this was happening- she runs really well in practice! Enthusiasm AND attention abound. So I went into the weekend resolved- handle like we practice- not like the body-snatching show handling alien. Be daring. Go for it. After all, that is the ESSENCE of Project Go Dog!!
We started on Friday- Team Tournament Day. Up first- Team Gamblers. I planned my usual 9 obstacle opening and a close. Lesson One: it turns out, when one runs a dog how they are accustomed to running in training, they do really well. They also run a lot faster than you are used to them running in a show. We sort of ran out of stuff to do. Oops!
Jumpers ran very well also. There was a super fun five jump line at the end which was the perfect reward for the Dog- the making of a Go Dog lies in jumps chutes because they spawn flying! After that we ran Relay, which was slightly scary (pipe tunnel- the spawner of Evil Flying Go Dog!). Our Team survived though, and won relay with just two teeny (ok, terrifying) refusals. And wouldn't you know, our awesome team took the whole tournament too! Black Dog and Brother Dog had amazing days of their own, with Brother looking strong at 26". They both ended MVPs in their heights, with Go Dog just slightly behind Black Dog in 22." Top three dogs of the day? Cool.
Saturday started with Gamblers and Snookers, both Qs. In Snookers, we attempted our first ever Blind Cross off the Aframe in competition. It worked! Solid hit! Much better than the other Aframe we attempted, which was a pull off to the side and much more questionable. And she read the next obstacle perfectly- there were several inviting obstacles she had to bypass, so I was thrilled that she both read the side change (no sneaking behind me!), and followed the line I indicated.
We followed that up with Standard, Steeple and Grand Prix. While those were big fat NQs for us, they were nonetheless valuable.
|Steeplechase Round 1|
Sunday was a perfect day for the Dog- Qs in all three classes: Standard, Jumpers and Pairs with Black Dog. Nice runs, courses weren't quite as fun though so not worth posting the maps. She was a bit tired (as was I) so things were a little less GOish, but still much better (faster, happier, tighter) than most shows.
I think that Black Dog only missed one Q this weekend- she decided her birthday present to her mom would be being a Perfect Pup, since the White Dog was not running (much needed R&R!). Black Dog is an honorary Go Dog for sure!
And if you get the chance to get to Lawrence, KS sometime... Go! The club is awesome and the arena is very nice (not dirty or dusty- no Black Lung!). They do a great job offering lots of classes and getting through things very quickly. One ring show and we were done by 1 on Sunday. And who knows, maybe you too can have epiphanies. How circle of life- earlier this year, this show busted my confidence, and now it has restored it!
PLUS. Home in plenty of time to see Harry Potter, so it really was the best weekend.