Monday, May 24, 2010

You Win Some...

“Winning is not everything, but wanting to win is” - Vince Lombardi

First the good news about our agility competition: Dakota came in with the fastest final run of the day: 22 seconds! The next closest was 38 seconds! Here's a video of (most of) her final run. My camera isn't holding a charge, so I couldn't leave it on while waiting for them to do their run, AND it's taking longer to start up, so all three videos I took are missing the first couple of obstacles :-(

Anyway, here's the run:

Now the not so good news about the day...

On Wednesday at our class, the instructor announced that the dogs wouldn't be allowed in the room with us and that they'd have to be crated. This was because there are a few dogs who raise a ruckus when there are dogs on the course, and there are dogs who are dog aggressive. Once, a dog even jumped over the fence and chased the dog on the course.

So... did I understand WHY she opted for what she did? Sort of. I absolutely believe that problem dogs should be required to wait outside. She knows these dogs, they're all in class with her. She knows their habits and behaviors. But instead of standing up and saying, "You. Your dog barks every time another dog is running the course, so your dog has to wait outside." she punished everyone. Many of our dogs, including Dakota, simply lie down quietly and wait their turn.

Dakota doesn't mind being crated ... at home. But she doesn't like being away from us elsewhere (unless we leave her in the car, which is probably like a crate-away-from-home.

Regardless, we gave it a try. I asked to put her in a different room, away from the other dogs who were barking and howling and scrabbling at their cages and she settled in okay. When I peeked in, she was just laying in the crate quietly, so I thought it might work out.

Then I went to get her a few minutes before her first run. I opened the door and she slithered out, tail tucked deeply between her legs, head down, ears down. I gave her to DD at the entrance door and went inside to watch.

Dakota took her first obstacle, a jump, and then ran PAST the next one (poles) and to the exit of the course, trying desperately to leave. She has NEVER done that in the whole time we've done agility. She loves to run agility. DD got her back on course by holding her collar and pulling her through the poles, but she lost a ton of time.

And DD burst into tears when they finished.

So, we opted to put her into a friend's car, with her dog, thinking that might work better. She drives a Prius and can run her A/C without running the car (it was pretty hot out yesterday). I waited until about 15 mins before Dakota's next run and checked on them... Same thing. She was a wreck. I took her out, walked her around a bit, got her some water, let her pee ... but the damage was done.

Her second run was a mirror image of the first. She took her first jump and then tried to leave the course.

And DD burst into tears again.

Here's the thing. Nearly everyone was angry. ALL the dogs were off their game. None of the stronger dogs did well at all. The Border Collie -- typically the "dog to beat" didn't even have a fast enough time to make it into the final runs. That's NEVER happened.

The owners were stressed, the dogs were stressed.

After Dakota's second run, I chose to take her out into the play yard and just miss the rest of the dogs running (she ran third, so the majority of dogs ran after her). She played with several other dogs whose owners had opted to the do the same thing. There was much grumbling and anger and frustration.

After the end of the second round, points were tallied and Dakota's team won first place! YAY!

We brought her in for pictures and then I simply took her to my seat with me, without asking. She laid at my feet, content. Apparently others opted to do the same, because when the instructor looked up from taking the picture of the last team, everyone still had their dogs.

She sighed and said, "Okay, but if your dog barks you have to leave."

There were final runs of the highest rated dogs in advanced, intermediate and beginning.

Dakota ran second, and had her best run of the day: she did all the obstacles, didn't try to run off course, was accurate and fast -- and I credit it to the fact that she was able to settle in with me like always.

If they insist on crating all the dogs at the next match, I don't think we'll attend. The frustration and stress was over the top. DD was a mess, I was exhausted.

In other agility news, DD ran two other dogs -- one of who won her final match as well. The other one actually ran against Dakota in the final match and did well, but not quite enough (she was a small dog and just can't run as fast as Dakota when Dakota's on top of her game).

Also, DD whacked her left pinky finger on the wall, bent it back until she heard it pop and it puffed up like crazy. This happened after the first run. We iced it, and worried that it was broken. She couldn't use it -- too painful. After we got home I gave her ibuprofen and more ice and by bed time she could wiggle it a little bit and it was at least bearable.

So, yeah, not such a stellar day. But Dakota did add a first place team ribbon and a trophy to her collection.


You Are a Soothing Latte

You like to take good care of yourself. You believe that you deserve to be pampered.

You don't deny yourself much. You know if you don't treat yourself, no one else will.

You tend to savor your morning coffee routine. You take your time with your latte.

Plain old black coffee just wouldn't be the same. The latte is about so much more than the caffeine for you!

Uh... not so much.



Maria Zannini said...

Ref: crating

I understand the trainer's frustration, but deciding to crate on the DAY of competition was a big mistake.

What she should have done was address the behavior issue when it came up during training rather than put a bandaid on it during competition.

You can't just change a dog's routine in mid stride.

I'm glad Dakota got her ribbon though. Yay, Dakota!!

Hope DD's finger is okay. Ouch!

MomJane said...

Dakota did really well considering the stress. How is DD's finger this am?

Brandy said...

Aww, Poor Dakota. And YAY! Dakota! I hope your daughter's finger is okay and heals well.

Congratulations to both of them.

Hope you have a good day!

Tori Lennox said...

It seems really stupid to me to crate the well-behaved dogs.

How's DD's finger today?

Marianne Arkins said...

DD's finger is much better today -- still VERY tender, but clearly not broken. Thankfully.

Dru said...

After all that I'm so glad that Dakota got her ribbons.

I'm glad that DD finger is not broken.

I hope you had a good day.