Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Baby's First Q

I’ve been holding off the weekend re-cap because I’ve been (impatiently) waiting for trial pictures to be posted. Not up yet. Can you believe people have things to do besides put pics up of my dogs?! Umm, hello? Kate’s first trial!

Need. Pics. Now. Less waiting, more buying!

Alas, we’ll make due with our own. I’ll just use random backyard have-nothing-to-do-with-this-post photos.

Short version, if you’re the short attention span type: She did great! 3 out of 4 Q’s. Even got a first!

Longer version for those that care:

I must admit that sometimes I tire of learning things from my dogs. Sometimes you’re in the mood for the deep and meaningful, sometimes you just feel like playing a stupid game on the weekends with your dog. Am I right?

Things are never simple with Kate. I guess I should say “with me and Kate” or even perhaps, just “me.” I really, really just want so bad for her to relax and enjoy herself. Enjoy the game. Not worry. So, naturally, I worry about her worrying. She notices that I’m worrying and worries even more. Now that she’s worrying about me worrying, I worry more (and, honestly, get a little frustrated) and we end up in this circular cluster fuck of nerves.


Now, one of my agility problems is that I don’t really plan much or set goals. I do love to train and trial, but since I don’t tend to take the agility thing super-serious I don’t take the planning and goals thing seriously either. I have no timelines. I can’t do this with Kate. No off the cuff shit like with Bella. Goals settle my mind. Keep me from thinking about other shit that doesn’t matter. With Kate, I must plan more. Think ahead.


I got up Saturday morning so freaking nervous that I was physically uncomfortable. OK, maybe now time to think about this a little? Like, what the hell is my problem? What is there to be nervous about? Stupid game, remember?

I am always a little uncomfortable at trials. I am a fairly introverted person. Being the center of anything is never completely comfortable for me. This was more than that, though. Was I worried about being embarrassed if Kate didn’t perform? No need for that. Great group of supportive folks. Many of whom have or have had dogs with various issues. Damn-near everyone knows what it’s like.


Am I worried about failing? Failing what?! It’s agility, dummy. Not only is it just agility, but since I have no plan or goals, no mark to miss, right? Plus, Kate doesn’t know a good run from a bad one. Far as I know, she doesn’t read course maps or have the ability to count points, either. That’s the point that stuck with me…

She doesn’t know.

That’s what I have to keep reminding myself of. She really doesn’t know. She wants to have fun and enjoy herself as much as I want her to. The clock, the points, the Q’s, the titles, the people standing around watching don’t mean shit to her. She wants to run around and then eat some cheese. She doesn’t know.

And people say talking to yourself is weird.


So, in that 10 minute drive I let Kate and myself off the hook and even set a few goals:
1) Hold her contacts (no worrying about the clock, no letting them slide *cough*Bella*cough*)
2) Play with her in line and at the start. Don’t stand there watching other dogs and ignoring her.
3) Should a problem arise, stay with her, support her until she figures it out, don’t change my volume or tone of voice.
4) Dispense lots of cheese even though it may mean 2 AM potty walks

It worked pretty well. Our non-Q of the weekend was our first run. It was one of those WTF?! non-traditional gambles. The ring was divided into quarters and the gamble was doing a 1 pt, 3 pt and 5 pt obstacle with no others in between and you had to be outside of the quadrant that the gamble obstacle was in. Whew. There was lots of hopping back and forth and really weird lines. Fun to watch, kind of a hard one for baby dogs. Kate nailed her contacts and got her gamble but was over time because we screwed around with a difficult tunnel entry.

Her other three runs were great. Stayed with me, didn’t run around anything and actually had a little speed. Not her top, but that will come with experience and confidence. We had some nice compliments on her contacts and someone actually said, “Oh, I didn’t realize you were running the young one.” *smile*


I think Kate was feeling pretty good, too. Normally, Kate is pretty clingy. She is seriously like owning a 31 pound piece of lint. Saturday night she actually went on the other bed in the hotel room to sleep. I asked, “What are you doing over there? What is this? You get one damn Q and you suddenly need Me Time?”

Yes, me time. All about me. If you could stop thinking about yourself for 5 minutes, you would have realized that years ago. Stupid human.

SOOO proud of the Dingbat!
Will post trial pics when I get them.


  1. Congrats!
    And where are those pics?! ;)

  2. sounds like the trials went well overall for both of you. here's to many more great runs!

  3. Yay! for Kate and her human :) Madonna was a bit narrow minded. We ALL just wanna have fun :)

    Waggin on,

  4. Yay for letting yourself (and Kate) off the hook, sounds like you guys had a great time!

  5. I'm really late to the party, but big congrats to you and Kate! Great job.