Saturday, February 7, 2009

Teeter trauma? Nope, we're cool!

Thursday night in class, there was a three jump to the teeter sequence with a long run to the teeter. This run built up speed, especially since I was ahead of Devon. I was curious how she would handle this approach to the teeter. I decelerated as we approached the teeter, and she checked her speed nicely and performed the teeter confidently with her now characteristic tail wag all the way across it. I know she's especially proud of herself for mastering this piece of equipment.

On our last run of the evening, she had now done this section two other times. She knew where she was going, and she was headed to the teeter at top speed. She did check her speed, but she jumped on the board solidly – and the board shifted sideways on the base and the whole base gave a shift sideways. 

Devon was off of that teeter in fear like a shot. It had been a stressful day, and I wanted to explode in frustration! However, I kept my head remembering my partner needed me and this was a pivotal moment for our training. I talked to her in a silly voice saying, “what happened there?” and “Isn't that a silly thing?” And she started wagging her tail. She was ok

I gave the teeter  a quick visual onceover to make sure it wasn't broken, and then asked her to do it again. She wasn't thrilled with the idea, but BLESS HER!! She did it!! She got lots of praise and jackpots at the end. I ran back with her and switched sides, and we did the teeter again -- and this time her tail was wagging all the way across! What a girl! More jackpots and lots of praise. Finally, I did it a third time, lots of praise and one treat, and we went on to finish the sequence! I rewarded with a toy and great praise from me and our instructor Liz.

While I think she's fine, I am glad I have a week of classes and training time here before our next trial. I did realize that at some point Devon might hit a teeter that she didn't like because it moved too much. The more I think about it, I'm glad this happened in a "predictable, safe" environment. Mostly I'm thrilled that Devon got right back up on that teeter and got over it. What a good, good girlie!!

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