Pixel and I ran in an agility trial this weekend. First time since October. We've had minimal training- a few league nights over the winter and the odd short training session here or there. I went with no great expectations, except having fun with the princess, and to hopefully scrape off some rust before regionals.
I certainly felt rusty. lol. Slow motion really. Partly due to the deep sand footing, and partly to the fact that I wasn't as mentally into it as I needed to be. We ran in 6 events, and came home with no Q's. But we had fun every run. She was pretty speedy, bouncy, and even bit me twice. I'll take that as a sign of a happy Pixel. We had a bobble in almost every run, and over time in the two that were clean... Refusals seemed to be the theme. Pixel has struggled off and on with wrapping a jump- sometimes I think she has committed and rotate, only to discover my cute little dog did not take the jump. lol. She also cut behind me on a serp to a push thru- first time ever. Watching the video it appears that I took my eye off my dog. For shame. ;) Oh, and I guess not doing the dogwalk in a few months means she has forgotten how to target.... Our list of stuff to work on for regionals grew 10x over the weekend. lol
Here are two of our runs thanks to Jolene- a standard and jumpers from Sunday.
Regardless of no Q's and the odd blips I thought we did a good job on the courses this weekend. Gail (the judge) is pretty tricky and there were lots of lead outs, backside of jumps, and interesting angles. Pixel handled the challenges well and only once did I make a bad handling decision. I felt like my mental game improved over the weekend, and my connection with my dog was solid. So all in all a good job! I am happy with Pixel, and with myself.
I brought all the dogs with me on Saturday- they stayed benched in the van but they each got to come in throughout the day, and we had a nice walk on a deserted country road. For the first time Wicca noticed there was agility- real agility, and wanted to play. So much that we had to leave the building before I had a breakdown. It was so hard at the beginning, but it has been getting easier. She has come to agility with me a few times over the winter, and she came to the seminar with me a few weeks ago- she was happy just hanging out eating stuff. Until yesterday. Geez. I wonder why it is so hard. I mean, all along (her whole agility career) I've been saying that I will have to retire her young. You'd think I'd be over it by now. But all I can think about is I wonder what she thinks? Why she can't play? Does she think she is being punished? It was heartbreaking to see her at the trial, pulling to the ring. Ugh.
Watching some people run dogs that are lame, or a little off, makes me jealous. Why can't I do that? How do they deal with the guilt of running an injured dog? I can't comprehend that at all. And it happens all the time. A dog with a slight limp- maybe the owner doesn't see? I feel guilty when Wicca jumps off the couch, or bursts into a zoom in the yard. Don't get me wrong- there is nothing I'd want more than to have her back next to me in the ring- I miss it incredibly so. But I am not willing to hurt her. Sometimes though I'd like to be like some other people and just give my dog a dose of metacam and let her play. In my heart I know I couldn't do it but I would be lying if I didn't think that once in a while.
Sunday I left her and Boone at home. Brit and Vito made the trip again though. Brit came in and worked a bit. She is doing so awesome. I adore her. We did some heeling, some stays, some tugging, some stands, and lots of visiting. She met some long time facebook fans, and jumped up and wiggled and did her happy dance for them. It was pretty cute. Mr.Vito came in and played with me! And socialised. I was very proud of him. He was comfortable almost right away, enough that he played with me. That was a good feeling. Vito is so strange, but really is the cutest dog ever.
I loved being able to go home each day. Today I was home by 3pm!!! I had a walk with the dogs, a nap, and then laid around the rest of the day. Now of course I am not tired. lol.
I've got a busy week ahead- some sheepherding, and obedience lesson, and some demo fun this weekend. Lots to look forward to this week!
Re-reading the post before I publish it, I realise it sounds like I was pretty upset about Wicca. I was, but I'm fine. She's fine, all is good. It helps to write things out- I've always been that way- my blog is like my therapy. lol.