I'm very, very competitive. I've set goals and I am driven to achieve them. It's not a new thing at all although it's a first time involving dogs (or anyone aside from myself). That said, nobody is harder on me than myself. For instance, three weekends ago in Canby at the outdoor trial, Saturday we ran and Qd in a very tough JWW course. Everyone complimented us on it and all I could think was, "Thanks, but wow was it ugly!" And the important thing to note is, the ugliness was not Vegas at all. She was a rock solid superstar. The ugliness was my handling. I was out of practice and fumbled a lot. So it was an accomplishment for sure to Q, but it was due in no small part to my Vegas. She did all the work and just happened to work with my ineptitude. The problem I've had lately was 50/50. Half the time I recognize when I did something wrong that caused us to go wrong (or not) and half the time I don't. It's the half of the time I don't and my competitiveness (along with a short temper) get in the way. I get cranky immediately and I lack a lot of grace under pressure. On the one hand, I hate it. On the other hand, I can't seem to fix it in the heat of the moment. It's driving me crazy.
Part of it has to do with who I am running. I am running a Great Dane. I am oh so aware of the comparative lack of runs I will get with her (and that we have in general) versus 95% of other breeds. So for every 20 runs they get that go wrong, we get one. Taking friend and fellow 24" competitor, Craig, as an example, his dogs can earn more points in a single run (before the multiplier) than we can in an entire weekend. It sucks. So when we have courses, like this weekend, that I feel very confident in and something happens that makes it go awry, I get upset. Very upset. JWW was like that both Friday and Saturday. We didn't even get to run the whole course! Today I went into the day with the mindset - at least I thought I had - that we would have fun no matter what. That was my goal and yet I really had hope for good results, too.
We went back to our tent. Vegas crated, Leo out. Leo back in the crate when he was wandering too much. I tried to take a nap. I mulled and stewed, shed a few tears, and stewed some more. Then I napped. And still I wondered if I should scratch her from JWW and go home. I even posted that I was going to on Facebook. And I mulled some more and decided that isn't who I am. I'm not a quitter. I don't give up without a fight. And JWW was once her game. It not being her game this weekend didn't mean we didn't have it in us. So we stayed. I chilled for a while, watched some of the other dogs run, tried to stay cool in our tent but it didn't work out, started to pack some of our stuff, and ended up hanging out inside the barn to stay cool (It was easily 15 degrees cooler inside.). I left Vegas and Leo in the truck with the A/C running when it was time to walk the course, with the windows down part way, of course, so I could get in should they lock the doors.