29 April 2012

April USDAA, the second part, which is pretty much along the lines of the first part.


I wish I could report that Gustavo was back to his shining star self, but he had another hard day at the dog show. A run with the weirdo shakies, a run that didn't happen, 13 obstacles of a brilliant standard that melted down at the electro shock table of death, and then a totally normal, right on snookers run.

Every set of poles he did, lovely. Every dogwalk, lovely. Every teeter, lovely. But the stressed out disasters, just too stressful for us both. Maybe someone with sharper training chops than I could figure out Gustavo, but he just feels so off beat to me when his brain starts short circuiting. Or when he decides to run away off a startline to join his friends and their meaty bones. 

Another day of concerned people asking, "What's wrong with Gustavo?"

I think Gustavo is telling me this dog show stuff, highly overrated and gives him a headache. He's entered next weekend, I think we will just stick to jumpers and perhaps a snookers run if it involves a lot of tunnels. We aren't going to quit agility, but I think his days of competing may be coming to an end.

Otterpop clocked along. She pulled a couple of nice runs out of her butt later on in the day. The rest, sorta blah. She did win her Grand Prix, Standard, and got a SuperQ, but sorta blah. Mostly she wanted to go back to work and hold horses in their stalls. This is her thing. You open the door, she guards them from leaving with her beady little eyes while I feed or blanket. This excites Otterpop. She likes to trot after trucks and help with chores. She did all this stuff after the dog show with way more gusto than any of her runs over the weekend. A perfect day for Otterpop would be agility agility agility just not at a dog show and do hard gambles then go to work and do jobs all day with a stick in her mouth.

Which is what we'll do tomorrow.

Team Small Dog, maybe dog show days are over is what they are trying to tell me. I did receive many compliments on my trash can emptying! I was loaned a very fun lab to run in jumpers and this was awesome! Loan me your fast, peppy dogs, people with sore legs and backs and I will run them! I made one handling error that cost us a refusal, oops. You are supposed to get Qs and WIN with loaner dogs. Sorry Peggy! 

We are entered next weekend. We'll be there and run some, not sure what. We will keep practicing, we will keep going to class, we will keep trying to get as good as we can get. But I think the team might be going mutinous on me about our dog show career. Agility is fun for me and for my dogs. But if some of our agility isn't fun for all of us, Houston we have a problem. Stay tuned for the drama. The last thing I'd like to be is a quitter on my long road to championdom. But what would we all do if Team Small Dog quit dog shows?

8 comments:

Paul Anderson said...

Just a thought, didn't you just spend time moving to a new ranch? The dogs are probably stressed from all the activity and the upheaval from what is normal. It might not be agility, it might be the change from locations. Dogs are creatures of habit and don't always rebound as quick as you'd think they would. Give them a rest and let them get use to new surroundings before you blame it all on agility. It seems like they had a very stressful week culminating in a trial which they weren't ready for. Remember they can't tell you what they are feeling but this unusual behavior sure sounds like stress

team small dog said...

Gustavo sure is stressed out and yes, I'm sure moving makes this worse. But it is very bad for him to get stressed out, and it sure does manifest at agility trials. If I can keep him healthy by eliminating stress, I will and trials are a constant stress source for him. Better training might help him focus better and block out the outside stressers, but I am just not getting there with him.

Otterpop, she's always been a puzzle, what goes on in her head. Stress, dislike, no frisbees, sore leg, bad training, who knows?

The one step forward, 35 steps back pattern though, maybe it's trying to tell me something...

Anonymous said...

Any new news on Ariel?

team small dog said...

She is recovering nicely at home!

sclmarm said...

Sorry to hear of trials and tribulations:( Hoping for 35 steps forward!

I know of two agility dogs of the small dog type in Southern CA right now that have a daddy very busy being an apprentice lineman. But, alas, they are 500 miles away:( Why does CA have to be so LONG!

Cedarfield said...

I'm also coming to the realization that my Dobe just isn't that into agility trials. I've been working hard to get her to the point where she'll like competing by going in and only running a few easy obstacles and then out for a reward and she's better but I have to wonder if it's worth it. I've probably done 6 trials so far and haven't yet been able to get her all the way around even a Novice AKC Jumpers course. She just seems uncomfortable with people watching and I can't say that she really loves it even when we practice, I can tell she'd much rather be hiking or chasing squirrels. Wouldn't it be better to let her do what she really likes which is Nosework and Tracking? And maybe my next dog will be the type to like agility or maybe I will get an older one who seems like the type that would like and be good at agility. She's 4 now so I can't imagine that she's going to change all that much in the next year or so. It really bums me out if I think about it too much because I've been training her since she was 8 weeks old and had all kinds of hopes and dreams about doing agility with her. But I just try to remind myself that there are lots of other things we can do together and still have fun.

Elf said...

Ha, I also came away from the same trial wondering why I keep trying and thinking maybe our agility days are numbered in the smallths. Maybe it was that trial. Maybe it was the weather. Maybe it's contagious. I saw one of otterpop's ok runs and one of her brilliant runs, and one of G's mysterious and not very long runs and a brilliant one, too. Then I think that we live for those occasional brilliant runs. Then I think that's a lot of time, money, effort,and emotion for an occasional brilliant run. Ups and downs. I always wish I had all the answers so we and all our dogs could all be happy all the time.

CA Pet Palace said...

Yikes, it seem I am not alone with my dismay last weekend...I'm sure hoping that it was that trial, something in the air, the agility stars not in alignment... I am blaming it on stickers and Ernie told me some kind of stinging nettle type plant but it was THE worst runs we have ever had since we started competing in Agility last April.. Last April we had some run amuck, amuck, amuck, visit the polesetters in their chairs, maybe the judge, get the zoomies, launch off the teeter because he was going so fast and didn't weigh enough to make it tip fast and didn't care to wait.. but never did we have to beg and plead for the little guy to run the course. He was always having fun, even if I wasn't so much. :) It was miserable for him this weekend, and for painful for me.. it made me sad and I scratched the last classes and am praying that we don't have a repeat this Sunday. Remington usually loves agility but not last weekend, he ouch, ouch, ouched when he encountered stickers and then spent the rest of the weekend looking for them and sure that they were lurking everywhere waiting to hurt him... I went home wondering if we should just stick to his utility obedience training but I'm willing to try again this Sunday and am glad that you are doing the same.. I heard from many entrants that the stickers were bothering many dogs, especially the short of statue one... I took Remington to Manzanita last night having the luxury of only living 5 minutes from there... joined our two red headed beach buddies (Irish Setters) and Toto ( Greysen the Cairn Terrier) we ran and played on the field avoiding the baseball practice kids...and then did obedience practice, only once did he begin to limp, hold his foot up and think he was broken from encountering a sticker...so I'm hoping we can work through this next weekend, because I don't know of any carpeted, air conditioned agility fields at this time, but when I win the lottery you can be assured there will be for you and me and all the other small dogs who don't do heat, stickers and who knows what else.. :)

I did have him checked out by Darren, and got a good report as far as adjustment.. also made plans for a field rental at Heart Dog for next week for a sticker free agility practice.. couldn't get there this week.. have to work to pay for all this agility.. :)

Here's to a better trial for all next weekend...