SUMMARY: It finally happened.
Over 17 years of agility competition. Four dogs. 280 trials. Or, as they say in industry, 4600 runs with no accidents.
Had one or two close calls. Like, just last weekend, for instance. I walked Tika into the ring for a run still on leash, but she had her nose to the ground instead of paying attention to getting to our stop-down-stay position. So I looped her around me to approach the start line again, which caused her to swing momentarily outside the ring rope--where she squatted and peed. Horrors! A dog who eliminates in the ring is--well--eliminated from that round, and there go the multiple dollars that you paid for the privilege of peeing in the ring. But-- I think because she was technically outside the ring rope--it wasn't called and we went ahead and ran.
It was a close call, and I have always prided myself on being aware of my dogs' needs and bodily schedules and making sure that they get plenty of potty time during the day. And Tika, really, has always had a bladder of iron. She virtually never needs to go out in the middle of the night unless something is wrong. She can go 12 hours easily from night until the next morning and then merely saunters out casually to take a leak. Even these days, nope, she doesn't want to go out before bedtime and doesn't bother going out again in the morning until after Boost has done her run and then fetched the newspaper. Even now, even at 12 and a half years old.
Today, luck or whatever ran out. Pottied the dogs before leaving home. Pottied them an hour later at the site after I'd set up our gear. Took Tika out an hour after that, and had no sooner stepped a foot inside the ring when she squatted and peed. And just like that, one of her only 2 runs all day was done. I had hoped that it was still close enough to the gate that it didn't count, but nope, judge shook her head and waved us off. Crap crap crap!
Well, OK, no actual crap, thank goodness. But it did piss me off a bit, so to speak. Not sure who to be mad at, though, really, except The Fates. I had done my due diligence in pottying her twice in the last 2 hours. Judge was just following the rules. Tika obviously couldn't help it.
It does make me wonder what's going on with Tika's internals.
But mostly, it makes me so very sad to break such a long-standing record.