Friday, March 26, 2010

Successful Debut - Part 2

As you know, Riley had a very successful agility trial debut with four qualifying runs and four first places. None of my dogs has ever done that perfectly at their first trial. I really had no idea what to expect from Riley. Normally, she is gung ho about everything, but recall that she had a total meltdown at Reagan's first trial at the same location. At that trial, a festival was setting up Saturday afternoon and was tuning their instruments. It was not loud or obnoxious, but Riley completely flipped out and then maintained a nervousness all day Sunday as well. Normally friendly and happy, her tail was between her legs, she was shut down, and refused most treats. She has done much better at the trials since then, but that is always in the back of my mind.
There is a really nice 2 mile walking path at the show site. Normally, I walk the hounds first thing in the morning to burn some energy, warm them up, and to thoroughly potty them. But since I have weirdos now, I decided it would be smarter to hurry them along instead of strolling along taking in all of the sights and sounds (yes, Reagan was there, next post). Stephen was kind enough to bring our bikes to the trial and I biked Riley around the park. That worked perfectly and we made it back without ruining her day with something unexpected.
In my last post, you saw three of Riley's agility runs. Unfortunately, our last class, Novice Standard, was not filmed, but it was quite funny. Riley and I worked our way around the course. Novice level allows for some errors so if you run past an obstacle or do an incorrect one, it behooves you to fix what you did because you may still qualify. At the end of the course, there was a tunnel, dogwalk, and jump. I sent Riley to the tunnel and then I started for the dogwalk. Riley quickly joined me, but I had taken my eyes off of her and suspected that she may not have done the tunnel. I did not hear her go through it. I look up and my friend, Jerry, was standing right there ringside watching our run. I quietly asked (cause you really aren't suppose to ask for help outside of the ring) "did she go in the tunnel?" He shook his head. Riley had just started up the dogwalk ramp, so I asked her to jump off, go back into the tunnel, and finish the course correctly. I was not sure if we had qualified since we had maximized the allowable errors. But sure enough, we did and with a first place.