Break Time

So… I’ve calmed down. Somewhat. In between spazzing out at foster dogs eating my favorite sandals and cleaning up after darling cousin dogs marking all over my house. Everyone is all nestled up in their crate right now, we all needed some “apart time” to diffuse the chaos.

I couldn’t contain myself to wait a full 24 hours to write to NT (New Trainer) about my freakout, but I did try very hard to not sound like a total freak OCD crazy dog lady. She wrote me back a note saying yes she agrees that I get overwhelmed, but that I am okay staying in the class I am in. And that if I can swing it, some private lessons with her, or seminars with other specific trainers would be a good idea too. I agree. *Big breath.*

We dont have class next week due to the holiday, which I think is actually a good thing. Some time off to breathe and not obsess about agility, or behavior, or whatever. I am going back to basics with all three dogs, and will be focusing on managing everyone. Just having everyone quietly crated this AM when I left the house was something of a relief. Usually they are like a pack of wild monkeys loose out in the courtyard trying to crawl under the gate as I leave them (forever this time!!!). It was probably nice for them too.

In other not so good news, my coworker’s gorgeous-but-doofy Golden got into antifreeze—or some derivative thereof—while here at work yesterday. He is currently at the vet in dialysis, working on beefing up his already existing $6,000 vet bill. Ooof. He is as bad as my dogs in eating everything in his path, but we cannot for the life of us figure out what he found/ate. We have scoured the parking lot and suspect areas, but no obvious puddles that we can figure out. We did have the mobile car wash people here yesterday… Could they have used some products that he lapped up? Fortunately my dogs are contained and not wandering when they are here with me, but that still freaks me out, and I feel absolutely horrible for her. Thinking healthy thoughts for Elmo…

And calming, positive thoughts for Casa de Chaos.


Fun Match Take 2

Yesterday we drove out to BFE again (ie. Riverside) to run our second Fun Match. First time I coerced my sister into being my wingman, this time P was the lucky accomplice. This may sound tacky to some, but we went out before my grandmother’s wake. I felt a little weird, but at the same time, I know she would want us to carry on with our normal lives, so I think I did it in honor of her. Plus I know she would get a kick out of watching me run around like a maniac with my dog, not too dissimilar to our horse shows from many moons ago… The wake was beautiful, by the way.

So, Fun Match went okay, not as good as the first time. The venue is funny. A rinky dink little place with a lot of, um, “stuff” laying around, but a nice agility ring, plus three seperate practice rings in the back, which is cool. Most of the people I have encountered there are very nice, one woman in particular I have seen both times dotes on Forest. Which is nice, it makes me feel a little less alien from the whole scene. Which I might just be okay with staying that way… we’ll see.

So, theyre not exactly speedy at this joint–I guess its not “fun” if someone is barking at people to hurry up, right?–so we only got two runs in before we had to leave. It didnt go that great. Poor Forest. We have had the worst last month or so–between the move and the holidays and my grandmother’s passing, its been utter chaos and not a lot of stability nor training time. I am wondering if my epic stress levels transferred to the feild yesterday.

Our first run was just short of disastrous. We made the first three jumps, then missed the entrance to the tunnel. No biggie–a few tries, got him through, over the broad jump, then a solid, brave teeter–yay!. Missed the weave poles first time, got them on second, got to the table–then the shiz-nit hit the fan. Off the table and to the tire… and HOLY CRAP A FAMILY OF UM VERY NICE LATINO PEOPLE WATCHING THROUGH THE FENCE  AND OH MY GOD TOTAL MEXI MELTDOWN!!! It was at least 3 full minutes–which seemed an eternity–til I could get him through the tire and up the dog walk. The judge (whose place it is) was extremely nice, helping me out and being encouraging, but man, that sucked. He was barking at those people ala bloody murder and I could not get him to focus on me at all. Apparently we need to work on some distraction for distractions cues. So, we sorta worked through it eventually. Made it up the dog walk, through the chute, jump, tunnel, A-frame (he loves him some A-frame, weirdo), and the last two jumps. P was stunned when we got out of the ring… like “Whoa. That was interesting. Why is our dog such a racist? He hates Asian people too.” Ugh.

Second run was better, we ended up going in the 12″ because we had to get a move on and get on the road. Again in the beginning he was a little spacey. Got him over the 3 jumps–missed the tunnel again–but I know that was due to my horrific front cross this time for sure–broad jump, another great teeter, weaves (first time–yeah!), table was good, tire, dog walk, chute, another horrid front cross by me and almost biffed it but he saved me, tunnel, A-frame, jump, yet another spastic horrible (front/rear?/I have no idea) cross and a save by him. I didnt pick up my paper after to see my score but its possible we may have Q’ed on that one?? Not sure if the tunnel was a refusal or not…

So, poor guy. I feel bad for him that he (and Little D) have had to endure all the mayhem of the last two months. Then again, what is it like for dogs that go to trials every weekend? I assume they must adapt to chaos on the weekends eventually… maybe just with stabillity for the rest of the week? Would love to know.

Hopefully the chaos has mostly subsided and we are well on our way to Mellowsville. We sure as heck could all use some down time.