Yesterday was the day that decided Penn’s fate. Was she coming back to live with me or getting dropped off at the local shelter. Well, it was in her hands. She could either do well at the seminar or fail to excel. I tried to remember my last post advice to myself& just take a deep breath& relax. I actually had people I knew in this seminar with me. We did a late night supper& early morning breakfast which helped calm my nerves a little& at the same time, add to the stress of ‘..but if we do bad, these people know me. Embarrassing!’.
I am, of course, kidding when I say she was going to become a shelter dog. I was planning to keep her regardless of her behavior but my happiness on the drive home was definitely going to reflect how we did. So, how did we do? Well. I think everyone who saw her seminar failure in September was very surprised. The amount of work that I put into her focus showed& she only had 1 runaway zooming session and it was the very first run so I will cut her some slack on it. She also came back ..that whole stress-related disappearing recall? So gone.
She looked like a champ out there running! She was motoring around the course, taking her blind crosses, paying attention when I asked for things I don’t normally ask her for& the best part? She tugged. She tugged like a maniac, amid distractions in a new place AND with new dogs/ people present. I feel like I could hold a seminar on tugging because I’ve put SO MUCH work into getting a tug drive on the red dog. The fact that she tugged yesterday was the highlight of our entire trip. I was actually able to tug her to the start line& had to hide the tug once we got there. It was just such a fabulous day overall& I still have an overflowing heart from my happiness at our success.
It is so nice to put in effort& then see it returned in spades when it counts. I know some people had doubts (and I did, as well, when I was feeling particularly negative) whether or not that whole pesky focus issue would ever be resolved. I am so, so relieved to see major progress in that particular area. Basically, once people doubted if my amazing red babydog could actually do agility, I decided to show them that yes she can. Chances are I can make her better than YOUR agility dog ..even if they are a herder! My crazy competitiveness has some perks. People thinking we may not have success in the agility ring? I am bound& determined to show them just how very, very wrong they were to ever doubt my gun dog. That motivated me to work very hard on all the things Jess told me would improve our teamwork& focus. Shocking news: it worked! Our first seminar feels like a bad dream these days! Guess that is why she’s a world champion, hey? Also, it poured rain the entire time so I didn’t bother bringing out the video camera for any video ..though, I am regretting that decision now!
After a successful yesterday, we had a LONG drive home. Then today I got Penn’s AAC card. We can officially head to trials! If we had of had another seminar with zero success, seeing this card would have made me want to rip my hair out. The fact that Penn& I showed lots of progress means that I was overjoyed to find this gem waiting for me. I am very fickle and in the moment with my emotions, apparently! Now, I have to go pretend to run a course (which I will post tomorrow) and then curl up with my very amazing, lovely Vizsla for some serious snuggle time!