03 September 2007

This is just a sucky story. You might as well skip it.

OK, so the Steeplechase is the thing that, if you get a certain time and are clean on the first round, you move on to the second round. At this Big Dog Show, there were a lot of really fast dogs, but Ruby still made it into the second round.

Here's what the second round is like. Imagine it is the baseball game and everyone is in the stadium, watching, ready for Barry Bonds to hit the famous home run. It's not like that. But there are lots and lots of people sitting around in folding chairs, watching because they know all the dogs in it are top notch and super fast. And ready to win some money.

This Big Dog Show had top dogs from all over the place-some really tough competition. And huge classes. So, even though I didn't feel nervous in the finals, maybe I was and I just didn't know. I've been in enough of these now that I really feel calm and cool and collected and kind of la de dah, another day at the dog show.

It was very hot and in the afternoon, and I knew Ruby was tired, that concerned me a little. I took out her little purse I keep her treats in (it has bunnies on it). I told her one more run, this one is Steeplechase so you need to go FAST! I think we were both on the same page.

We happen to have this little curse I neglected to mention regarding popping out of weave poles in Steeplechase. Either in first round, so we don't make the second round, or in the finals. Ruby never, ever, ever pops out of poles any other time. Never. She does the poles with her eyes shut. When she's tired though, she doesn't love the poles, I think they make her sore and tired. So I am very careful with them, and I was especially excited that in this course there was only one set of poles and 2 a-frames, which is her particular favorite thing and something she loves to go very fast over. Unless she is hot and tired. Which she was.

In my mind, I was thinking please please please please please let some miracle happen and we would like to Win the Steeplechase! Maybe Ruby can hear this due to the mutant telepathy and it stresses her out. I don't know. What I know is, she ripped out this blazing fast start, flew into the weaves, slowed down in them, and popped out. What I should have done was just ignore it and let her run and finish and just be done and be fast. What I did was try to put her back in with the glimmer of hope she'd fly back thru and finish. Ruby doesn't work like that.

Once you've screwed up anything with her, she mentally melts down. She is a perfectionist and if it's not perfect, she is outta there. So she just slowed down to a crawl, did a couple more things, and I could see it was not going well and I pulled her out of the ring. In front of the big cheering crowds who were expecting all fast and perfect dogs and then what was this antic?

I am sure this is something I do to her. It made me want to cry. I really just wanted to sit down and weep like a whiney pants little whiney baby but I didn't do this, it is not the cowboy way. Whether or not everyone secretly was making fun of me as we walked back to our tent thing I don't know. I doubt it but in my mind I was pretty sure everyone was. Can you see how twisted my mind is these days from being so sporty with this whole dog thing? Thank god I am not an olympic swimmer or something. I'd be a wreck.

We survived. We'll just keep trying. The dogs both had a lot of ups and downs at this dog show, some great runs and some crappy moments and I can be happy for the qualifying runs they had and also that they were both good and happy and fast for the most part. End of lame story.

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