So as of this morning when I left the house, I was still torn whether to run her or not. The dog trainer in me said not to. She was not solid on the teeter even in known locations, and this was not a place we trained. And if she bailed off, I couldn't put her back on it. But my gut said try it. I know this dog. She's feeling pressure from Page who now shares equal training time. Today was Excellent only and crating was tight so Devon was the only dog there. She felt very special. And I know she steps up for a crowd. She loves to be admired. I didn't think we'd do much damage if we tried it and she bailed; I just wouldn't ask her to run again this weekend and I would know where we stood. So as I walked out the door this morning, I grabbed a second jackpot for Devon.
I chatted with a friend, Dr. Bonnie, who actually helped put me on the road to this retrain. We discussed all the reasons I had made the decision to enter her, and Bonnie agreed I should try and run her. She also felt if Devon didn't do the teeter, I should very neutrally walk off the course and not finish. She would also get no jackpots, but again I would be neutral. Bonnie advised me to explain to Devon ahead of time what the plan was, so I did. It might sound silly, but I got her out of the crate, and we "talked" about how she was very special and I knew she could do the teeter. But if for some reason she didn't do it, she couldn't do the rest of the course. But I thought she was so smart she was going to do the teeter. As always, Devon looked very solemnly into my eyes (as she held a stuffed yellow duck in her mouth) as if she understood every word.
So I walked the course, which was strange because we haven't run Standard in exactly a year! I had my plan. As my marker dog came up, I was nervous. When I got Devon out, I warmed her up as usual, but as our turn came closer, I felt like I did before Ian's MACH run -- about to puke! The girl in front of me warned me if her dog broke the start line he was coming off. Sure enough he did, and we were up. We had lots of friends who were in the stands who knew this was a big deal for us, and I knew they were all pulling for us.
The course was dogwalk, chute, tunnel, teeter, table. My plan was to go with her to the tunnel and meet her at the tunnel exit praising her all the way and running with her to the teeter. You will see in the video clip below, Devon saw the teeter as she exited the chute. She started toward it, but I said, "tunnel." She took one look at the tunnel and said, "Nope, Mom, I'm doing the teeter!!" I realized she was right and we were going to the teeter.
Have you ever seen a more confident teeter?? Trust me, I've never seen a better one from Devon. And she even went off course to take it!! You can hear the crowd cheering, and Judge Carla Boudrot turned to the crowd and said, "I guess she was having a teeter problem?" My plan was as to tell Devon how brilliant she was the entire time she was on the table. But you see Devon was so proud of herself, she jumped up and put her paws on my shoulders as if to say, "I KNOW!!! AREN'T I SUPER COOL!!" I was so thankful that the judge understood and didn't whistle me off. I thanked her profusely during the next walk through!!
So here's the run. You can tell how super proud of herself Devon was.
Devon's JWW run was actually first. It was a nice run, but she was moving slowly and she was very distracted. As I front crossed in the middle of the course, I realized she was distracted and looking around. I got distracted and lost my place for an instant and pulled her off a jump. I felt just terrible. However, Devon nailed her weave entry, and she's been having problems with that entry, so I felt like it was a huge success.
I got to redeem myself in JWW, though. About 10 dogs out, Jane Glier asked me if I wanted to run her Corgi Kip. He runs in the 8 inch class, and I've run him before in class. I really like this little dog, so I said sure! I already ran the course, so I had a plan. Jane said he didn't rear cross well, and I said that was fine since my plan didn't include any rear crosses. Well, I underestimated how fast that little stinker was! I had to rear cross, and as you can see, Kip handled it just fine. It's so much fun to run a well-trained dog, and Jane is a great trainer. Kip and I Q'd and he earned a 4th place! The funniest thing was hearing folks in the crowd wonder what the heck I was doing out there with an 8 inch dog!! Here it is on video!
We're back for another two days, and I can't wait to see how the rest of the weekend goes!!