Legend and I got up extra early to head out to the agility in Carthage today. Although I consider it a "local" trial it actually takes almost an hour and a half to get there. All relative I guess.
Anyway, we started out in Standard. The run was solid I guess-not pokey, but not blazing. I didn't have to call her twice to get started which was a good sign. But she missed her weave entry and blitzed past the teeter. I did call her back and make her do it because I wanted to make sure it was not because she was scared of it. Sometimes she finds the teeters at a trial unacceptable and bails off. But she went over it fine and finished up the course well.
After looking at the Jumpers course I was pretty excited because it was very open and flowing and looked like it would be a good course for having fun and building confidence. I figured that even if we didn't Q it would be a good experience for her. Well about 5 minutes before we were going to run the spectators (who I'm sure were other handlers and owners) thought it would be a good idea to stomp their feet and make a huge ruckus at the end of someone's run. People actually had to yell up to them to stop because it was spooking the dogs. I didn't think much of it because Legend is not usually afraid of noises but when I went to get her from her crate she was hiding in the back and I had to pull her out. Then she wouldn't even play with her toys. Not a good sign. She settled down some and was taking treats and more focused when we got to the ring but on the start line she was stressed and hard to get going. We started out slow and eventually picked up speed but ultimately NQ'd with an off course towards the end (probably my fault for trying to keep her out of the tunnel-guess my plan worked too well, I turned her the wrong way entirely!). Now I'm not trying to make excuses for her, dogs need to be able to work through distractions and unexpected circumstances but it is generally considered common courtesy to not do things that might scare or distract the dogs. In this case it wasn't just the dog in the ring or the dog getting ready to run but that whole end of the building was affected. Lots of dogs were crated right under the loft and could have been spooked if they were sound sensitive or maybe just not expecting it.
Sometimes you just get some bad luck to work through but I was kind of bummed that it was not the positive experience I was hoping for. Although she did seem fine by the time we finished so maybe tomorrow will be better. Lately, I just never know, although the general trend has been toward improvement.
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