03 February 2009

Great dog, shame about the handler redux.

Have we learned any new lessons lately? Like really good ones. With morals. Moralizing. How about demoralizing?

Hey, here's one! A nice tale for a day after a dog show.

One of my friends so very sweetly took a video of Gustavo's First Standard Run. It was a stinker of a run, that much I knew. Off the bat, knew about 4 major errors that occurred. Was a bummer, and I moved on. Had a good day after that, and I sure love my little baby of a dog.

So then I watch this video. I haven't posted it here. Yet. Because I will surely be carted off to agility jail once this gets around. It is like the training video all agility teachers are supposed to show their classes for the lecture called, Don't Do This-Scared Straight Handling. In fact. If I wasn't so shamed and mortified, that is exactly what I'd do. If the video was someone else, this is exactly what I'd do. But the video is ME! I am the criminally bad handler. I am the handler from hell. With an uncorrupted, virgin dog, and basically is a video of the drooling zombie leading the poor little lamb off to the slaughter.

Highlights, for this feature video coming to a youtube near you:

It starts off with dog self releasing their start line.

Goes to a non criteria dogwalk contact, with dog self releasing itself.

Goes to a weird, non pivoting pull.

To a screamy, unneccessary Out call.

To a super late front cross causing a super wide turn, with this comedy show ensuing with shrieking and complete dog confusion. I don't even know what to call this bit. The time Laura went insane doing dog agility and Gustavo just goes along with it?

To a wrong position which causes a refusal at the a-frame.

To a stressy, late down on the table.

Complete train wreck of a missed weave pole entry, with letting dog complete wrong entry, bringing around so dog thinks he is going elsewhere, missing another entry, running thru almost all the poles, pulling dog early, and finally getting some poles. Um, hi, any wonder after this beginning we just had, poor little baby of a dog misses the pole entries? Good GOD!

Late rear cross after the poles. At least this is caused because I am YAAAYing the completed weave poles.

Late rear cross causes a late front cross, causing dog to do a blind cross.

Thankfully, after the teeter totter, goes on to a nice ending bit. A sigh of relief is breathed at the very end. Watching it caused me to run out of the house, to go wash my car. So yeah, I'd already been planning on washing the car but not RUNNING OUT OF THE HOUSE to go do it. I could barely make it through. I don't know that I can ever watch it again.

Humbling? An understatement. Lowest of low points in dog agility? I believe possibly, YES! This might be it! Far worse than the time a judge actually stopped his Grand Prix ring, and came running over to me to cheerily quote a quip from our agility boyfriend Greg Derrett, "Great dog, shame about the handler."

After Gustavo's run, I thought it was weird when a few people started giving me unsolicited advice on various things that was along the lines of basic kindergarten dogma such as, don't run with scissors or eat paste, and the monsters under your bed are satan's handmaidens. I was thinking, Why do they think I don't know this? They think I'm some kind of agility idiot, my personal first time ever in the starter's ring, not the dog's? What do I look like here, a total agility first timer, brand new sneakers and we just started taking our first class last month?

Uh, yeah. Because that's exactly what it looked like. I was the one eating the paste.

Watch it if you dare. Your opinion of me, sadly dropping 12-37 points. But realize, this is a lowest low. I will never, ever allow that to happen again. Scared straight for reals. We can only go up from here.



Anonymous said...

I couldnt even watch the run because of your dog agility lady costume...you've gone all hardcore with stretchy pants with stipes down the leg. They are my favorite dog agility costume so two thumbs up from me.

The run was not bad so stop beating yourself up...I have at least one run that looks like that at most trials, except we never redo, just keep rolling with the chaos. I consider it a working the kinks out run.

team small dog said...

Yes I wore the Sporty Pants! Very Sporty Spice!

Maybe I will be able to watch that video again someday, say in 100 years.

Anonymous said...

I'm not even going to watch it before I give my unsullied eyewitness remembering account of watching the actual run which is that I thought, the whole time you were doing a great job at triage, i.e., treating the most important wound first, and that was doing a GREAT job of competing with all the millions of interesting things Gustavo was finding out there on that agility course. You were a definite second or third place in interestingness for the whole first part of the course, but you DID keep at it, and you DID keep regaining his attention to become first in interestingness at least for long enough to complete the obstacle you had asked him to do EACH time he lost focus, even if the way you asked him to do the obstacle was wrong or elegant, because it's hard to give correct signals to a dog who is not currently aware of your existence. So in my humble opinion, OVERALL, you have been 80% successful in becoming Gustavo's most interesting thing, and since that is a 79% improvement over when you got him, well you do the math. (Because you know we are both good people with the math.)

Elayne said...

Aren't baby dogs fun? In a year you'll look back on that and have a good laugh.

And yes, the pants are very nice.

Cedarfield said...

Oh please! Stop the whining! You call that bad?! Why, I've got video that's 10 times worse than that in my Favorites Folder.

Elf said...

Ditto what thems said. You should watch one of my runs sometime. Or, erm, maybe you shouldn't. You and he just need to figure each other out, and he's really different from your other LBDs. Nice weave poles, BTW! (Finally.)

LitlBigDog said...

You did look quite spiffy!

Muttsandaklutz said...

Hey, don't beat yourself up for being human. We all have runs we'd rather forget. From your description I was expecting something much worse than what's in the video. Besides, the little scream when he blindcrosses and backjumps was very cute!

My next dog will be a pint-sized mutt and I will consider myself very lucky if s/he is as cool as the Goo.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, the dog was so unbearably cute I never noticed the handler.

team small dog said...

OK. I watched it again.

So whatever hellish stuff went on, the whole time he is laying down on the table, his tail is wagging. He is on that table, smiling and happy as can be and wagging his tail, back and forth, just dusting off that table the whole 5 seconds.

I love Gustavo.

Anonymous said...

Uh huh. And he is LAYING DOWN. For THE WHOLE FIVE SECONDS. While having the time of his life.

That is No. Small. Thing. Indeed.