Monday, October 29, 2012

A Few Good Dogs

Yes, plural. As in, The Dog wasn't the only hard working teamie this weekend at USDAA. We now can count The Pup among the few and the proud!!
I'm so (I repeat, SO) happy with The Pup. I ran her in just a few classes Sunday and she showed up to both!! Not naughty ADHD Pup who chases fuzzies. And visits. And runs away at the end of the run. No, it was my good fast girl. Who knows things and has a brain between her most giant alien ears. We finally saw a glimpse of her future, and boy. Shiny.
We followed Jen's advice. The hard bit about No Free Love. Only The Leader may bestow love and pets and eye contact. Essentially, all her friends largely were made to ignore her. She lived out in the car alone and only got to come in to play with me. We tried a new warm-up routine- sat and played ball before her turn, no arguing at all about paying attention to me. Much less stressful going in, I think. And those were only the beginning of the changes.
She was so much better dealing with the pressure and distractions. She seemed to acknowledge the people in the rings but had no pull to them. She could have left the ring to molest the crowd and steal a toy, but instead came easily to jump up after. Happy to be caught and get her rewards in due course.
The Pup fell asleep on my beer. Cute yet disturbing. 
As for the pressure, she broke a bit early on the first stay (on eye contact). She missed a jump towards the end of Jumpers and I ran her back, which wilted her slightly. She checked out a fuzzy right after but it was just a quick sniff where before the pressure of that redo would have put her to the point of all out fuzzy hunting and Pup-style validation seeking. She dealt with being 'wrong' much better than she ever has before.
The rest is just gravy. She ran FAST in jumpers before the missed jump. Like, hee-haw. Best extension yet in a show.

Until Standard, that is. What a great run. She held all the stays: start line, table, teeter. She ran her A and DW really well and stuck her weaves. Everything else in between was awesome too! She drove ahead which she hadn't seemed to feel like she could do before, and my was that drive in a nice gear.

AND we got another measure for 16"- one more to go before 3! Ga!
Lest we forget, my fluffy Dog. I figured something out. Why her brain broke. Or my brain. Whatever. Looking at this from the mental management standpoint, we were running in full Competitive mode with zero training of new things. Maintaining the machine through Cynosport. The machine had to be turned off during Recovery. Then our machine needed a reboot, so back to our foundations we went for Preparative measures.  Learning new things, modifying old. Our devices just haven’t been syncing yet with these developments, and in that case she reverts to thinking over doing.

I hadn’t realized this until most of the way through day two of our three day show.  I worried over the reasons for her somewhat hesitant runs early on- sad? Hurt? Issue with the facility? But then I had the lightbulb moment and I got smart and got clearer, and she turned around a lot. I'm not perfect. We had a meltdown in Steeple Rnd 2 even after I figured things out, but otherwise an awesome end to the weekend, each run better and better. Where we started with communication errors and carefulness, we ended on mind reading, good team work, and a fast happy Dog. It was very interesting.

Despite the weird that crept in, we still had a successful weekend on paper. (Although she ABSOLUTELY did NOT want to do her good 2o2o teeter. I asked her to the first run and she was SO SAD.  After that I didn’t ask for it and she offered a controlled-no boinking- 4 on the rest of the weekend.  I think I need to find a fun match to do some test runs before we pull that out again.)  We have our Steeple and Team Qs for Tennessee, we got TWO jumpers Qs (just two more to go before Gold ADCH!) and placements in all of our qualifying classes. She blazed through GP (one bar….GA!) so feeling good about future byes happening.   Overall actually, her standard type classes were really, really good. It was a weekend where I loved having running contacts. Sunday’s standard run was such a RUSH.  At the end both The Dog and I were like…heck yeah! If we were dudes we would have punched each other. That run is the perfect example of why I will not give them up, even if turns with her make me insane and sometimes it means we don’t qualify. 
No video. I agree, how lame. I so wish I’d recorded both girls’ standard runs yesterday.  But I have bruises all over from The Pup being caught and The Dog mauling me with joy afterwards, so that will serve as a tiny (painful) reminder for some time.

1 comment:

  1. That is SO great!!! Many yays for the baby dog! And I'm glad Shiver stopped overthinking; wish I could have seen those runs!