Saturday, February 2, 2008

Our dogs can humble us

So Ian has (or should I say HAD) an 87% Q rate. I was on a high since he'd only NQ'd 3 runs out of 23 since Thanksgiving ... that was until last weekend!

Now he hasn't been to class in about two weeks, and it's been cold and snowy, so he's been inside a lot. Plus I've been battling pneumonia, so I haven't been much fun lately (as Devon has been reminding me). Ian was so happy to be out and at an agility trial, he was bouncing up and down and wagging his tail furiously before his first run last Saturday. This is NOT my usual calm, serious Belgian Sheepdog! In fact, his breeder asked me later if I got the wrong Belgian (since I only have one the answer was obvious)! So he was running the Standard course like a dog possessed. He was going so fast in the weaves, he just couldn't keep up and came out of them. I paused, and we both looked at each other a little shocked, and then I just kept going toward the table. Ian was still so wound up, he flew to the table, skidded across it and fell off the other side! He was so embarrassed, he wouldn't look at me. I shook my head and told him to get on the table and sit. Ian's embarrassment was short lived as he flew down the A frame and just kept going through an off course tire before taking the tunnel he was supposed to take.

Well, I figured he got it all out of his system in Standard and settled into for a nice JWW run. Ian had a beautiful JWW run ... until he came out of the weave poles at pole 10! I could have killed him! This is a seasoned agility dog who knows what to do! So we headed back to the hotel with no green ribbons or points (and no Q toys for Devon)! We are 88 points from his MACH, and he suddenly decides weaving all 12 poles is optional!

Sunday morning comes and Ian is again excited to play the game. The weaves were obstacle #4, and it was a nice line of jumps and a chute into the weaves ... and Ian again came out, this time around pole 8! I stopped dead, looked and him and in a stern (but not mean) voice said, "Ian Reid! You get back over here, and you do all 12 of these weave poles! That is unacceptable! Now you get in there and weave!" I was probably pushing the boundaries with the judge so I didn't look at her, but I had clearly made my point with Ian! He flew through all 12 poles like I've never seen him before!

Needless to say Ian Q'd a very, very challenging JWW course by nailing his weaves and actually saving the run down the last line due to my poor handling. He earned 3 points in one Q out of four runs last weekend. UGH! I've been completely humbled! Here's hoping our Q rate is higher tomorrow when we do one day of a local AKC trial!

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