Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kinda Cool, Kinda Worried

Riley and I have been invited to compete in agility at the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge in Atlanta.  You may have seen this event on television in the past.  It is a very exciting offer and a great opportunity to show off Riley.  I really hope we can perform at our best and it would be so awesome if we actually made it on television. 
First, I have to thank my father for being incredibly awesome.  I had promised to go to a family reunion in Mississippi the same weekend and it has been on my calendar for almost a year.  I was afraid he was going to be very disappointed, but I think he was more thrilled and excited about our invitation and immediately told me to go.  I really appreciated that.  And thank you, Kate, for putting Riley's name in Purina's hat.
All in all, I am very excited and looking forward to the event, but there is one "but".  Riley does have weird moments and when they happen, she does not function.  The "issue" has never interfered with competing and I forget about it since it does not happen often.  But this event may have some triggers we normally do not face at regular agility trials.
I picture the Incredible Dog Challenge to be an event held on grass, people everywhere, music coming out of speakers, loud announcing, and new smells around every corner.  We attended an event with a similar setting last summer and Riley had a meltdown.  She tucked her tail, would not eat, and just wanted to leave.  I am unsure of the trigger(s) because sometimes it seems sound related and other times smell related.  Even after a couple of hours, she remained unchanged.  Luckily, we were not required to perform at that event. If she had a similar reaction to the Dog Challenge venue, Riley would be unable to compete.
I am currently thinking through my strategy for managing Riley at the event and have some ideas already.  If she is happy, she will do great.