22 August 2011

UKI Agility Scientific Experimentation Process Progress Report.


Sooo, here's a scientific postulation:
What would happen if I ran my dogs in a trial in the exact spot where they practice every week?

Science would probably tell me that Otterpop would run awesome, and that Gustavo could be unpredictable and flakey and possibly run away to the luncheon table or else be great.

Me and Science, we talk about stuff like this a lot.


Science Project Subject 1
Gustavo
He ran great. Swell! I should be freaking hopping up and down on one leg right now shouting about it. Couldn't ask for more. Little fella, exceeded my expectations! Running dogwalk of my dreams, be still my heart. Focus and listening and super fast running, all rolled into one.

Science tells me, besides this being awesome and cool, that he is super happy running in a place he's comfy in. Like if I went out there and ran around in my cowboy jammies and weird polar fleece jumper top my mom gave me that looks like a massive bathroom rug.

Too much information. But so comfy.


Science Project Subject 2
Otterpop
She ran super crappy. My awesome little speedster, her of the super fast agility speed and tight, concise lines, her of the mad skilz, just ran crappy. In a place where she's super comfy in. Usually. Usually not populated by Others. Although, she has run there when it's populated by others multiple times and not disappointed me before.

Also, it is a Trial. Even though The Judge is just Diana, who we have known our whole agility lives and sit next to in class every week and take completely terrible videos for. But Otterpop Knows. It's a Trial and in Trials, ACT LIKE YOU ARE BEATEN AND FREAKED OUT AND ARE ONE OF THOSE LITTLE TROTTING DOGS.

I heard someone murmur nearby that it's me. It's always the Me. If it is, at this point in our agility lives, WTF. I am stumped and stupified.

The weirdness and frustration that is Otterpop is right up there with things that make my jaw go drop. Like the thought of wearing a giant bathroom rug jumper out in public. And words that come out of the mouth of Governor Rick Perry.

Thud. Jaw drops. Or head bashes against the sheetrock of the bathroom wall.

Science Experiment variable:
Frisbee.
This being UKI and all, I am allowed to whip out my frisbee on course. I should have yelled out KFC! before I started, but, so sue me, Colonel Sanders. Judge Diana is very used to me and my ways. She knew what I was doing. She got to blow her whistle!

But Hey! Like magic! Frisbee whipped out brings out the Real Otterpop within seconds. From where the Sad Otterpop she was standing on the dogwalk looking like I beat her. Because, she just stopped there. On the dogwalk. Because we do that all the time. Not. But then the magic of frisbee snapped her out of her little weirdo-land and off she went.

And then finished her run with flair and aplomb and vigor and zip and a zingy esprit de woohoo.

Is the Experiment Done?

Probably while you are reading this, I am back up there at Beautiful Forest Agility doing experiment Part 3. How does it go when practicing the next day? I'll let you know. I suspect Otterpop, right now, RIGHT NOW WHILE YOU ARE READING THIS thanks to the magic of the internet and time travel, is tearing it up around the course and we are having a blast.

Gustavo may be doing the same or he might be freaking out because I set the table out there. Or maybe not. Not table in UKI Agility, a true and cheery fact.

What did Science Prove?

I can't tell you. I am scratching my head. Hopefully not because there is a tick. Just because, I Don't Know.

Proof that Gustavo can do well despite weird medical issues and poor training and a new feral need to attack meaty bits whenever he sees them? Especially if he is in a place he knows and loves?

Proof that despite the gazillion things I have tried to get Otterpop to be like she is EVERYWHERE ELSE ON THE PLANET EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY which is barking and insane and a pain in the ass and just running and leaping and happy agro wild, she still just can flat out shut down and become a weirdo stepford dog of great misery and put out-ness to do the agility which she loves EVERYWHERE ELSE ON THE PLANET EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY except at trials?

Help me, Science. I am once again, baffled by you.

2 comments:

Mary said...

Hmmm. Given that you have had mucho experience competing since you were a little tyke (equine) on through being a big tyke (equine/canine), I certainly am inclined to agree that the "You" part of Trial Ambiance that shuts down Otterpop is at most trivial.

So, I'm thinking the next scientific experiment should perhaps include a counter-conditioning strategy following the basic cheesecake method guaranteed to achieve results in humans. Step 1: Trial Ambiance Capture: insert a tiny camera in a judge's hat brim set to video-tape an entire day of actual agility competition. Step 2) insert Otterpop into in a small room with that robot-thing set to dispense treats at odd intervals while the entire day of Trial Ambiance video-tape plays on a wide-screen TV with surround-sound. (Unless you think this would be dog abuse?)

team small dog said...

Sort of like Clockwork Orange! But with robot! Yes, this would be quite a scientific project!