I signed Trooper up for the Instinct test. The running order was sent out several days before. There was one large dog taking the Instinct test, so I knew Trooper was the first one up. I hate being first! Unfortunately, we didn't leave the house as early as I wanted. To make things worse, the GPS in my new van sent us some wonky way. We ended up pulling up to the trial site just minutes before Trooper was to run. We didn't have time for him to potty, decompress or take it all in. Not good.
Trooper went in the ring and only sniffed one of the three tubes. Then he wandered around nervously for the next 59 seconds. I couldn't get him to focus or check the other tubes. We ran out of time. The sad part is that he actually sniffed the correct tube. If I had called it, Trooper would have got the Q. Grrr . . .
|A picture of all the ribbons my dogs earned on Sunday|
The second run was even worse. Jedi showed me every tube that was hidden in the ring, but he wouldn't indicate which two had rats. We timed out again.
Hubby was tired from getting up stupid early all weekend. And his back hurt, so that made him extra grumpy. He grumbled about how much money and time we're wasting on the dogs. I was a good girl and held my tongue. Let's just say it was not a pleasant ride home.
However, the day wasn't all bad. I ran into a few women that I've trialed with before. (The dog sports community is smaller than you'd think.) They were happy to see me and Jedi. Apparently, they'd been asking about us the day before. Doesn't that make a girl feel good? Also, the desensitization efforts from Saturday's match had a positive affect on Trooper. He was much more approachable, even going up to sniff strangers. By the time we left, he was relaxed and seemed to be enjoying himself.
|Look! It's Rumor! I met her.|
It's disappointing when the dogs don't do well. It's easy to make excuses and lay blame. Could I have done this? Yep. Should I have done that? Maybe. Unfortunately, the truth is more complicated than that. Dogs are living, thinking beings with their own reasoning, feelings and motivations. Sometimes -- despite our best efforts -- things go wrong. And sometimes we can do everything wrong and the dog just "gets it." But you know what? I'm not going to let it get me down. A bad day running my dogs is still better than working at my regular job. It was a vacation day well spent. TTFN, -- K