I don't think we have had such a lousy agility weekend since sometime before July 2009. Wow was it awful. I suppose it doesn't help that I started out tired and freezing cold. Interestingly enough, Saturday was actually a bright and sunny, beautiful day. But as with most Spring days in the Pacific Northwest, when we finally get the clear skies to warrant a sunny day, the temperature drops overnight. So I spent a good couple of hours attempting to nap but unable to do more than short snoozes because I was so darn cold. And I was sitting up in a camp chair in our crating space, my head against a concrete wall, and right near a door that brought cold breezes whenever someone came or went. Yeah, not a great start to the day. And on top of all that, I was at the trial site at 6:30 am in order to set up our crating space although we didn't run until late morning. The other icing on the cake was learning first thing that the courses had been extremely difficult the day prior and the Q rate very low. Just fabulous.
Our judges were two I had never run under before. It amazes me when I look back at our AKC record to see how many qualifying runs we have versus the number of judges. Sometimes it seems like we see the same judges regularly but when I look at how often we qualify under the same judges, that rate is much lower. Anyway, my list of "won't run under again" seems to be growing, albeit our issues this weekend really had nothing to do with the course design nor the judges.
Saturday we ran Standard late morning or mid-day and JWW wasn't until 4-something or 5.
Knowing the run was blown, why continue? So wait we did until our JWW run. Here's that course:
By the time I got home it was around 5:20 pm. I ended up having to bag the sardine order I'd gotten in while at the trial since the boxes would not fit in the freezer. Once that was done I scrambled to get out the door, already late to our drill team practice. We had decided not to meet with the dogs that time and, instead, focus on what our goals and plans were as well as discussing final choreography options. After that, I was teaching agility class so it made for an entirely crazy long day. But a fun ending due to my sweet Leo and his awesomeness during our practice following class.
Sunday we were running tall to small and Excellent classes were first up in both rings. Yay! 24-26 JWW was running in one ring and Standard ran after Fast in the other, with 20" dogs then 24-26. My estimate put us out of there by noon. Here's our JWW course:
Vegas quit on me. We were almost there. She was moving well. I had no indication she was going to pop her weaves. She just did so suddenly that I was in shock. It wasn't until later that morning even after my friend, Rachel, commented on the weaves going into the wall probably being the issue that I could grudgingly admit maybe that was it. Although I still think it's crap. You train to handle the obstacle no matter it's setup. She's done it before. So I'm not 100% convinced. But it's an option.
At this point I was damn peeved. 0/3. And seriously, she had taken the weave entrance. We'd done the difficult part. She's rocked her weaves so well all year that I didn't consider popping an option any longer. I've begun to count on her doing her part so I can re-learn how to do mine based upon her change in confidence, thus speed. So popping her weaves, yea, I was pissed. Oh for three and Easter weekend, not at home with my kids, cold, tired, and no days to sleep in. It all combined into making me one cranky biatch after that "run." I actually was going to pull her. Based upon the fact that I wanted the standard leg and our MX - finally - so badly and could have been happy with that but she kept disappointing me, I should have gone with instinct. I should have scratched and gone home because at least I would have wondered "if" we could have pulled off a coup for the weekend, something of value.
Unfortunately Vegas quit on me again. And our weekend truly went to hell. I couldn't even look at her. Hell, I could barely make it out of the ring without bursting into tears - which I promptly did outside after kenneling my dog. At that point I honestly didn't even want to take her home with me. My partner quit on me. She just gave up. She apparently didn't want to work with me any more. I don't know. Physically she was - is - fine. Yes, this was a second weekend of trials in a row, but she'd done four without batting an eye just recently. It's not like I didn't take her out and do other things in life. We work on obedience stuff at home. We go on walks. We romp in the woods and just play and visit with people. She's completely spoiled and nothing had changed. But she quit on me for no apparent reason and it wasn't until late that evening that I could even look at her and hug her again. Oh she knew it in her own way but she was smart and kept her distance, mostly, until then. We had gone home and snoozed off and on throughout the rest of the day and around 8 Sunday night she got snuggly and I caved. More tears ensued and I forgave her. I'm sure she forgave me if she was ever upset. And that's the crux of owning a dog. Do they ever get mad at you? Sometimes I wish they would since I know I've deserved it before - although I'm not sure I did in this case. Ignoring her and not being able to look at her for half a day is not a crime. I just had to cope in my own way and that was to have a pity party and shut down.
Last night when I was putting together the videos, I still couldn't figure out what happened. I still don't know and am still frustrated. Part of me wants to retire her and focus on Leo in agility. That's, of course, not logical as she still loves the sport. But if she loves all but weaves, I can't love it with her cause weaves are in every venue. We have a break between now and Memorial Day. I think I'm going to not think about agility with her at all until at least May 1. Then I'll reanalyze where we're going and hopefully get my hands on 2x2 weave training and begin that with her. And depending on how that goes will determine the future outcome. In the meantime, I love my girl. She's my heart dog, loyal to a fault, and I am constantly amazed at her love for life, for her family, and for me. I'm going to try to treasure non-agility moments and come to grips with my own competitive hangups to see if I can continue with Vegas in the sport I love.