This last weekend we stayed home. Probably just as well. My ravaged soul needed a respite from the slings and arrows of outrageous agility.
Two weekends ago--USDAA--Woodland (near Davis). Two dogs. No Qualifying runs. Not one. Not all weekend. In the 102 weekends of agility since I started, when I've had 2 dogs competing, this has happened exactly--um, was going to say 1 other time. But there also came 2 weekends last fall while Jake was injured, Rem was running very badly and I didn't know why yet (would find out in a matter of days), and Tika was entered in only1 run a day, where we also came home with no Qs. But I'm not counting those as *real* weekends.
But this isn't supposed to happen! Not to an experienced handler and an experienced dog AND the new/fast/wunderhundkind, all in the same weekend.
Repeat the mantra: "We're doing this for FUN. We're doing this for FUN."
Tika actually ran very nicely, except for one round where she discovered that Horses Inhabit The Earth and went off to tell them that they'd better not THINK about leaving their corral on her shift. At least 2 other rounds I just did stupid handler things. Maybe 3 other rounds. A couple of rounds she knocked a bar, which I'm not blaming her for yet--we just need lots and lots and lots of practice in different situations. Rem & Jake virtually never knocked bars, ever, so this is new for me, too. And she paid attention and got all her contacts and ran like the wind (but with more agile turns and less dust).
Jake, on the other hand, was a puzzle. I've been saying this more and more--we just weren't in synch. He did things that I never would have expected--and didn't do things that I'd have taken for granted he'd do. And he was often slow (never is in class--this is starting to look like a mid-career-Remington syndrome--am I putting too much pressure on the boy?). And he didn't get hardly a single contact correctly (he's doing them in class SOOOOO PERFECTLY! It's SOOOOOO frustrating).
We did have a couple of runs that were pretty nice most of the way through but got bobbled one way or another. he got really turned on in one of the gamblers courses and had a spectacular opening sequence--and then missed a pretty easy gamble ( (a) I probably could have handled it better but (b) he slowed and stopped and came back to me instead of carrying out, and he carries out GREAT normally). Argh.
So I sat in my van and cried for 10 minutes before heading home.
By that evening, I couldn't quite grasp why I had been so completely devastated. I have such good, clever, cute, funny, smart dogs, so what's a sucky weekend or 2? And Jake has earned 3 championships (many many dogs will never earn even one) AND he'll be 12 in a month and many dogs are retired from agility at 8 or 9, so... count those blessings.
But I'd really like to not do that again.