It appears that all my animals are feeling good right now! You all know the struggles I was having with Gus the last few weeks but over the weekend at an agility trial, Harley had a meltdown. Well meltdown isn’t quite the right word but it’s the easiest. Basically, she decided she just didn’t want to work or even play!
We were entered in five classes on Saturday: Jumpers, Chances, Regular 1, Regular 2 and Touch ‘N Go. Chances should have been the hardest because it involves a distance line where you have to send your dog away from you to go do an obstacle. Harley is okay with chances and I only entered it because I was kind of hoping to win another high in trial. Well, let me tell you we had absolutely no hope of that!
For every single class on Saturday, we went into the arena ready to go. Harley had phenomenal stays that day. However, the minute she crossed the start line… she just gave up. There were some amazing smells in the arena and she would run over to them and just forget all about me. This has happened before but always when I called her and got her attention back on her job, she would come running back and we’d finish the course. No such luck. I ended up having to excuse myself from every class. I actually picked her up and carried her out of the ring.
I was a little frustrated, a little embarrassed, and a lot wishing I was out riding Gus instead of at this stupid trial. The judge was wonderful and very understanding, thankfully. He applauded how I handled the situation and even came up to me at the end of Saturday to make sure I wasn’t too frustrated. But this was the first time that we had finished a day without a single Q to show for it. It was rough.
Thankfully, Sunday was a new day. I still wouldn’t say that Harley was good… she was too excited to get on the A-Frame in Regular and we had a few issues in jumpers (mainly because I wasn’t expecting her to actually listen and screwed up the course) but she was working! Yay! I did have to excuse us from Touch ‘N Go because she caught a scent and told me to ‘ef off but she made up for by Qing in Sunday’s Chances and, of course, her favorite class Tunnelers.
All in all, it was a terribly frustrating trial but it ended on a really high note with two Qs for Harley right at the end of the day. Luckily for the boy, Guinness had a wonderful trial and came home with two titles (Open Tunnelers and Novice Touch ‘N Go) and NINE Q runs. Go big boy Guinness!
The biggest lesson we learned from this weekend is that if I actually want to be serious with this, and I do, I need to get Harley Barley back in classes asap. She’s got too much drive and is just too damn fast for me to not have regular practice and someone coaching us through it. But I love going to class so that’s not really a problem.