30 August 2015

Dramatic, terrorized wicketphobia and a little piece of cheese.

Banksy loves to sit in the pond. She doesn't float exactly, more like semi-hovers on the rocks and wants you to Throw The Ball. She jumbles herself back up to the shore and lays there shivering, where she even more Really Wants You To THROW THE BALL.

Banksy doesn't love to sit in the car. Although, she sat in there for 2 days just now and nobody exploded. I didn't hear any screaming, barking, or monkey clucking. She sat in the car for much of 2 days parked on a dirt fire road outside the agility trial with a metallic sparkle space cloth draped over her crate and slept. Just like an astronaut, locked into a solar tank in outerspace. That's what I tell her, anyways. An impossible made possible, Banksy chilled at a trial.

She even gets a bed in her crate now. Could it be the days of bed shaking and shredding in displeasure of being jailed in the car all day are gone?

Probably I just jinxed myself. I'll be sad if the camouflage store bought dog bed spontaneously combusts next weekend But so far so good, Banksy.

There was drama. She's nearly ready to compete herself, in a big shiny dog show in the Starters ring. Coming soon to a dead grass field near you. Hold on to your hats and I'll try not to pee in my pants. Part of being ready is the measuring. Banksy is little. So little I think she may be able to compete in what seems to me like the coolest place to be, the USDAA 18" division. For dogs not over 17.5" at the withers. Banksy is just below that. Where me and many of my friends have measured her just for fun at many dog shows for the last year. Because it's tricky when your dog is just there at the cut off zone.

I REALLY want her to measure into the lower division. Lower jumps, lower aframe. Seems like a good thing for longevity of tendons and muscles and bones.

We practice this measure skill every chance we have. Always be prepared. Shouldn't be a problem, right?

Ha, ha, ha.

At the dog show, simple little measuring became a terror worse than worst terror of all, dreaded trip to the vet. To stand on beloved dog agility table with a little metal wicket that has to just touch dog withers long enough to read the measuring number. With a stranger, even a nice friendly stranger with a little piece of cheese. Not so much to ask. We have prepped and practiced and trained this skill. Banksy was ready.

Ha! Ready to bolt across the show grounds, even with the upgrade of large amounts of greasy, grass fed happy pig fed bacon being shoved into her face. Even when her BFFrenemy Kirk stands there all by herself with her big girl pants on for her measurement. Banksy said no way, and never and not happening.

It takes a village and many village members and hours later, Judge Erik the Saint of Patient Judges, bacon in hand, was able to get a measurement. I am pretty lucky to have a village who all realizes MY GOD WE NEED TO GET THESE MEASUREMENTS! Much table and wicket and dog dragging around the trial grounds this weekend. Thank you, village friends and especially Judge Erik Patient Saint of Patient Measuring Judges.

You know who had no drama? Gustavo, that's who. He just gets out of the car, goes to the ring, runs fast and then we're good. I give him a piece of cheese. He got some Qs. He got some didn't Qs. I don't really care. I had hoped for his Grand Prix Q but he popped a pole at the very end. Well hell. He'll do that every so often. Piece of cheese! I kind of don't give a rats ass what he does as long as he's a drama free, happy camper of a fast runner.

His crate is next to Banksy's in the car. He gets a little glamor fan to blow his hair in the wind and sits under the space panel too. He has a little dog bed and a soft red saddle pad and a big dog size bucket of water to drink from. He just does this now, and he has patience.

Gustavo always enjoyed being measured, as I recall. Who wouldn't? Just not Banksy.

I realized, I haven't checked Gustavo's Qs in years. He has received some paper certificates in the mail over the years for things in Gold and Silver with never earning an ADCh because I've never run him in pairs. As far as I recall, he has zero pairs Qs in masters agility. Maybe someday we'll try this. Or maybe not. Another thing I could give a rats ass of. With Otterpop, these things mattered because I was always trying to be Number One Winner. With Banksy, I suspect I'll keep careful track in a little notebook with a pen. With Gustavo, piece of cheese and a walk in the shade, and then we go home and go to the pond.


nope said...

18" class RULES. you gotta join us. i used a metal t-square, like a carpenter uses, and the clicker to get my puppy under it. this progressed to the clicker for having the pressure of a ruler on her withers, actually pressing down, not just touching because... hair and fluffy stuff. it took a long time. just stuffing her face with food definitely did not work. we had to build duration of the behavior real slow.
at first, she would try to run away, and failing that, to flatten herself in the presence of the evil device. and you have probably already tried all these tricks. just keep going. it's worth it.

team small dog said...

We are backing all the way back to this level of measuring training! Glad to know that Banksy is not the only Measure Terror dog out there, and that you got your dog over it enough to get her measurements!

Anonymous said...

i had to just make it a part of the day. and in different locations too. eventually became ho-hum. worth the effort to get that 18" measurement, because, yes, easier on the joints and all with lower equipment.

Shawn said...

My 10" tall Daisy hated the wicket also. She once managed to squish herself down to 6" while still standing up with my hand under her chest. When they're sure that wicket is another name for dog-eating monster, it's amazing how fast new ninja skills are mastered! As Daisy turned 17 in May, please tell Banksy that the evil wicket does not, in fact, eat dogs. It's a magic wand that grants lovely fun jilities for years and years!

Remember how we would have to sometimes blindfold horses when scared things were happening? Hmmm.....