SUMMARY: Spookiness, pesky jumps, and weaves.
Last weekend, Boost Qed 4 of 5 on Saturday and things were lookin' good.
On Sunday, she Qed in only 2 and spooked on 3 of her runs, and I don't really know what triggered the spooked episodes, although they were just like the previous 2 weeks in class, where she had done the same thing. I noticed that the wind had come up each time. But whether it's only that--goodness knows, she's been around wind--or a combination of that and general insecurity, or of needing to go potty, I don't know. And I throw in the nonwind choices because: This weekend, it seemed that each spooked episode was right after a hard calloff or a big mistake. And, although I try not to be negative, when she blasts past a set of weaves and I bring her back to try again, I know that she knows that that was incorrect.
AND, being an insane working dog, she doesn't want to take the time to empty her bowels while we're out in the field; she wants to PLAY! and even if I withhold play, she has the patience to sniff around only a few seconds and then ASK to play again. Or go check out what someone else is doing. The world is FULL of things that are far more fascinating than pooping! After the third spooked run, she finally did #2 immediately, and it was obvious that she had been holding it for a VERY long time.
So--wind with unusual smells, plus stress on course, plus needing to poop? I dunno. She'd just go into her danger/alert barking, semipanicked ears back, tail down. She didn't even know what she was barking AT. Tried the judge, tried the people next to the ring, tried something off in the distance that I couldn't figure out what.
I have visions of Hobbes the Wonder Baby, 2 years old and in the lead in the GP finals (2001?), going into a tunnel 2 jumps from the end of the course and never coming out.
OK, but about those weaves and serpentines:
- Sat Full House (Q, 1st, and highest score of all 142 dogs competing! (Tika 2nd highest)) 2 sets of 6 not quite straight on, perfectly. But ran past a jump at a slight distance off the line from Aframe to tunnel.
- Sat Colors (Q and 1st of 12 dogs; 2nd fastest of 75 level 3/4/5/C): don't remember whether there were weaves; no probs with jumps.
- Sat Jumpers (Q but no place), no weaves, but ran past two jumps on a plain vanilla serpentine and then did several refusals at a straight-on jump with a sharp turn afterwards.
- Sat Snooker (no Q), didn't try weaves in opening and I forgot what I was doing for an early offcourse.
- Sat Jackpot (Q, 1st, and 6th highest of all 146 dogs (Tika 7th)): Don't remember whether there were weaves. Ran past a jump slightly off the line from tire to tunnel.
- Sun Jackpot (no Q or place): Went into a tunnel and popped back out as I beat feet in a nother direction. HOW can she blast into a tunnel at 100 mph and do a U-turn like that??? Weaves in the gamble, but she came in to me instead of seeing them. When I finally got her to settle at my side instead of dancing around, she SENT 15 feet straight out to the weaves, made a perfect entrance, and completed them nicely (but over time).
- Sun Jumpers (no Q): Didn't run past anything, but knocked one bar early, then after a hard calloff she spooked before the next-to-the-last jump and was looking over her shoulder when she jumped it and knocked it.
- Sun Snooker (Q, 1st): weaves were #6 and we approached them only in the closing, she ran past them completely and then spooked; I did finally get her back and through them, but that meant that we were out of time before doing #7. We did Q, though.
- Sun Colors (No Q): A very sharp angle into the weaves (about the same as sending her to the Jackpot weaves from 15 feet back), and she ran full speed through the first pole, out the other side, and went into spooked mode. I actually had to touch her, finally, to get her attention.
- Sun Wildcard (Q, 3rd): Weaves last obstacle; she entered perfectly, did a couple, then popped out. But at least no spooked dog.