Monday, March 7, 2011

“So… what IS it?”

I will really need to get used to this question for the time being.  Having a Fraken-Puppy Monster does lend to some queries when people meet her, and boy, did she meet a lot of people over the last week.

This past weekend Crack Puppy laid siege to the world of AKC agility. All who met her trembled in fear and recoiled in horror.  Pitchforks and fire-y torches ensued.

Nah!  But that would make a good story!

Reality was much less interesting but probably better for building those socialization skills than being run out of the building would have been.  The club hosting the show was awesome and made room for all the ‘six month old puppies’ coming in for exposure, among them my Franken-Pup.  Puppy made lots of friends and enrolled most of them into the Bite of the Week Club- five puncture wounds and the last one is on the house.  (We DID get lots of helpful advice on that little issue, now that people believe me about the Velociraptor-like nature. THANKS! She’s getting better already actually.)  She got to play with tons of nice dogs too, work on some foundation in a new place with LOTS of distraction and just hang out in the show environment. I was blown away by how settled she was; clearly she is made for the agility world. She chilled in her crate without a single hint of a complaint and I couldn’t faze her if I tried. To her joy, she got a bunch of new toys too. She even stole... er, I mean, picked out a teeny ducky squeaky all on her own from the vendor.  

Even the most die-hard breed enthusiasts gave her a warm welcome.  There were quite a few surprised blinks and “Ohs!” when they heard what she is (it was really funny, clearly they expected a Jack or something)- I’m not sure the term “sport mix” has infiltrated every circle yet and the idea of such a blend hasn’t even occurred yet in the imaginations of some.  But they know now! There was a general assent that it could be awesome. MN is so nice and progressive. Like San Francisco with better cheese.
Of course, the actual point in my being there was to run The Dog (who is feeling remarkably crabby about this second billing here).  As you may recall, I was completely unsure as to what version of Dog I would have.  Turned out to be a bit of everything!

On Saturday, she had probably one of her nicest Standard runs ever- pity about the weave pole entry though! (Once again, hate winter. Cannot train entries and she is starting to miss with regularity now! GA!!) Even with a refusal/restart she had a fantastic time. I can only predict what could have been without that refusal, but since it was already one of the fastest in the class… Oh well!  I will take the good feeling over the Q any day. She had so much fun and worked so well with me it almost made me a bit teary.  Then she ran JWW just as happily (though perhaps without quite the control) and qualified in 4th even with a trip to China (or three), so a nice day.

Sunday we started with JWW and I expected her to be a bit calmer (not a morning dog, especially when it comes to JWW). HA! HAHAHAHAHAHH! She took some of the puppies’ crack I guess. A spectacular off course over a jump instead of going in the tunnel.  I had to laugh as she trotted around the backside of the tunnel- all I saw was her ears twitching in annoyance that I didn’t appreciate her unique course design. She begrudgingly got in the tunnel and on we went.  Fine after that and good spirits, until she crashed the last jump. I was surprised and made a small gasp. Big Mistake, Leader.  That plus the break in the run earlier turned The Dog into Atlas, with the weight of the run on her shoulders.  We played after and had some rewarding fun on the practice jump, but it was not enough for the self-flagellating dog. Sigh. She ran in Standard with 100% care but about 1% zest. That is about as zesty as white bread.  Which means of course her contacts were ALL sticky (even the Aframe), she did an abused dog auto-drop on the table, and she ran like Velcro through most of it.  She qualified- she made DARN sure that she would be perfect- but I don’t like the trade off.

Oh well. What can you do? She’s sensitive, but she will get over it, more quickly than me, I suspect. Cheese bites and getting to play with coveted widdle baby toys go a long way to restoring confidence, so we went home and played on a jump, rewarding tight turns and did some happy fun tables too.  

Puppy got to do some training too and made a movie. MOST people have already seen it, but the FB protesters (ahem, MOM) can watch it here.

We also took some great pictures of her at her first show.  Since I can’t get anything of her that isn’t blurry (unless she is sleeping) it was necessary to get someone with a good, non-cell phone camera to document the day. I will share those as soon as I can get them edited.  Enjoy the somewhat fuzzy fun for now.  

"Come out of here? But I WANT to sleep in the dog toy bag!"
She was dreaming of nursing or chomping. Wonder which??
Super Head Tilt Pose with new JOLLY BALL!
Isolated moment of sweetness. 

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