Sunday, May 2, 2010

Agility ups and downs......

Well last weekend I was overjoyed with Zazzy, but yesterday I came away disappointed. I'm sure we are never supposed to be disappointed with our dogs, as it must be something that I have done. Or haven't done. I had plenty of time to reflect and philosophise this morning on a long walk in the rain (I can't be distracted from introspection in the rain, when you wear glasses in the rain you quickly loose your vision!) We had 3 runs, she was first in the ring (again!!) for her agility where she knocked two poles and missed a straight forward weave entry. I excused this because the grass was wet and slippery, as both of those are unusual for her. I looked forward to better runs, lots of people asked how she was and I had joyfully been saying how much happier she is now. Well the next class was jumping, the first half went OK but then she went off course and unfortunately I could not let her flow on (I could not think quickly enough of a course where she could keep going) so I called her back and continued.... only now she was half speed, she came out of the weaves, and then her nose went down and superglued itself to the floor..... I could not get the slightest bit of response from her not even with a tap on the shoulder, let alone get her to play at the end. It was little consolation that many other dogs also stopped to sniff there, wonder what on earth it was. Last run was senior gamblers, I found a nice flowing course for her and again we set off well, then half way round she started shaking her head, like she had a fly in her ear. I thought she might fall off the dog walk, but she slowed down enough to multi-task for that, but then unfortunately ran through one jump and under another before finally shaking off whatever the problem was and continuing. The whistle came a little earlier than my calculations because of this, however she still managed to make the gamble (the time for the course being 50 secs and she came in in 49.9!! LOL) and despite all that she won the class!! (Although that's not really the important point here is it?!) This morning after much thought I wondered whether her less good runs are a direct result of stress in queues. In the queue for the jumping class, which was the one that worried/frustrated me the most, the dog behind was off lead all the time and actually on the start line while the dog in front of me was running. At Wallingford I spent 20 minutes queueing behind a lurcher that was lunging and barking, and as it was a lurcher that attacked Zazzy so badly last year I was trying to keep a bit of space (it was hurting my ears as well!). Unfortunately the guy behind was really crowding us, and his dog kept getting up Zazzys tail and she started getting grumpy with it. I tried to move away but he kept moving in and was shoulder to shoulder with me at one point, making me claustrophobic and stressing us both as I was trying to concentrate on the very twisty course. Some people leave their dogs lying to one side while they queue, but so many people let their dogs go up to/go for/walk on other peoples dogs that I don't want to risk doing this. My friends (assuming we are at the same show!) obviously have their own runs to worry about, and don't have that sort of time to spare for queuing. So I need to think of something else. Anyway, back to the show, at UKA shows the classes change fast and you have to be on the ball all day as not all changes are announced over the tannoy. I happened to be on the way to the loo when I passed the ring that Kaydee was to have her one casual run in when I realised they were about to close her class! Just managed to get her in time although I had no idea where the course was supposed to go! Not ideal, as she is the dog that most needs a thorough warm up. However, she did enjoy it! I've saved the best 'til last, good ol' reliable Becky had three runs, and despite no formal training for a couple of years at championship level she managed to get fourth in the jumping, fourth in the agility, and second in the gamblers! She thoroughly enjoyed herself!!

1 comment:

  1. HI Hannah I can only offer suggestions for the obvious bit!! Have you tried not queuing? YOu know as well as any of us that it is OK to stpe out of the queue and tell the person behind you will stand out of it until it is your go and just keep your eye open for the ticket person for when they ask who is next in the line. I fyou thnk there is going to be a tricky set up developing just opt out and keep your distance. TBH if the dog behind me was off lead and behaving unacceptably giving my dog hassle that he/she didn't appreicate I would have politely reminded them the dog needed to be on the lead at all times unless competing or in the exercise area.....but you are nicer than me :) If neither option was OK (or got no response) I'd move back in the queue or go off somewhere for a few minutes to re-focus. Just let them get on with it. You have options and don't need to stress yourself or Zazzy.


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