Holy patootie! What a summer. Full of dog related ups and downs! I think because I have so much to tell (and because I have a slightly sub-par attention span) I will split this up into a couple posts. I'll start with the not-so-great news.
|Sad Hoagie doesn't like bad news.|
First, I think the trial environment was way over Hoagie's current distraction threshold. We were out on a working ranch, with a herding trial going on in the next field over. In addition, Hoagie had the spectacular "luck" of having two cows walk right by the trial ring just as we started our first run. *awesome* In addition, the coastal wind through the little valley we were in was incredible; like sent-a-soft-crate-with-cattle-dog-inside-tumbling-across-the-field, incredible. That poor dog may never trust his soft-crate again.
|Evil crate is evil.|
Unfortunately, I think the main problem was that I was way too stressed out, and Hoagie picked up on that. I couldn't get him to pay attention, on- or off-course. Poor guy wouldn't even look me in the eye, and I could tell he was feelin' my nerves. It really would seem that Hoagie said to himself: "Wow, Mom is super stressed about something. I guess there is something to be nervous about, so I am going to send lots of calming signals to everyone and everything." He averted his eyes, sniffed the ground, and simply sat down mid-course and wouldn't move.
Between the environment and my stress, Hoagie demonstrated the doggie equivalent of: "screw this b.s., too much drama."
|Exhibit A (please excuse the hiney picture.)|
So, moral of the story: I know what went wrong, I know what we need to work on, and I know that in the end, it was an educational day. I won't pretend that I wasn't really disappointed. That's probably why it took me so long to get up the nerve to write about the trial. I learned a lot form the experience however, and I got to watch some great dogs compete.
Congrats to Cindy Decker who got High In Trial in the morning trial with Slick, and in the afternoon trial with Twill. A very talented trainer with some spectacular dogs!
|Yay Slick and Twill!|
|"Oh shoot, someone's taking pictures. I better look like I'm paying attention."|
*Hoagie: Selective Attention Pro*