28 November 2012

One step forward, a million steps back.

Gustavo keeps me on my toes. Like toes that you were wearing flip flops on and an elephant in those spiked shoes ice explorers wear for climbing up the glaciers comes along and eyes your flip flop toes and goes for it. One big elephant foot comes smashing down.

And the elephant just walks away, then turns around for a second, and gives you a little smirk.

It's not like you even had good toes to start with. Lumpy toes and no pedicure. But still. The only toes you got.

How about back to Square 1, barely able to do agility in class?

In the last 8 months, he's done nothing but improve and become a consistent, fast partner out there. Shit still happens with him, but the shit is small and the shit is fewer and farther between. We've been agilitying together as a team. In class and practice at least, things have been going just how we've been trying to get them to go. A bright spot! Unicorn magic happy rainbow!

Last night in class, his meltdowns were to the extent that I had to run off the field, go get Otterpop to finish class, because his cuckoo brain made my brain overheat til my lid flipped and steam came gushing out my ears. That hasn't happened in a long time.

There were too many meltdowns to list. The list just starts with tunnel vortex, running away, freaking out on the startline, total teeter terror.

A good trainer would have stayed patient, backed it all up and worked out the boggles, finding a way to reward the good and move on from the disasters. This one just grabbed the dog, yelled, "NANCY I CAN'T DEAL WITH HIM AND I'M GOING TO GET OTTERPOP!" and threw in the towel.


vici whisner said...

Hey, nothing wrong with tossing in the towel. The worst thing you can do as a dog trainer is continue working your dog when you are not "feeling it". Can't tell you how many times I let my emotions get the better of me and later realized I should have stopped 20 minutes before I did.

Thank goodness for Otterpop! Saved the day.

Everyone has ups and downs. Some have more downs than ups sometimes. Hang in there!

team small dog said...

Poor Nancy to have me for a student. I went and got Otterpop and proceeded to run everything with blind crosses. Eyes a rollin! Jim calls it Retro. I call it blowin' off some steam. Otterpop says YIPPEE. Then Gustavo sits in my lap. I love Gustavo.

Agility Foot said...

There were dogs in our class last night having meltdowns too. Maybe it was the impending storm or the coming of the Frost Full Moon, or just the fox that poops on the agility field. Don't be too hard on yourself.

Agility Foot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

sounds like you did the right thing. for all three of you.

Steve said...

In times like that I *try* to remember the SG acronym "DASH": Desire Accuracy Speed Habitat. Where she says both the dog and the trainer have to have/build the desire to train. Sometimes the dog doesn't have it and sometimes we don't have it!

Sounds like you did the right thing to me!

Elf said...

Everyone is not perfect all the time, and that particularly goes for dogs. Some of them are perfect-beyond-belief sometimes and the rest of the time they make up for that. Switching dogs sounds like a good strategy for me, let gooey's brain relax and get those blind Xs out of your system so they don't show up suddenly in the national steeplechase finals.

Alaska said...

This post made me think of an article I just read. You might like it. If not, carry on and forget I mentioned it:


"Love that boy"