After Molly's last trial, I wasn't sure what to expect. I took her and played some fetch until her tongue was hanging, to take the edge off of that "zoomie" potential. I think that may be a pre-trial staple with her. I also was not sure what to expect from Molly, since we were trialing at "home base". Sure, she is comfortable there. But Molly has no trouble with course-inventing, sniffing and zooming in class, so no guarantee of success.
With Fullhouse, we are in Level 2, so we needed to get 21 points. I was feeling very "zen" about that. I wasn't sweating it. My two friends were plotting and scheming until they were blue in the face, as I usually am, and I told them that I have the blessing of No Expectations. At this point in Molly's career, I know full well that I would not be walking onto a Fullhouse course and doing what *I* wanted. As the judge said in briefing, it's "a dog's game".
And it was. I forgot to grab a course map, but you will have to visualize.
There was a straight-as-an-arrow line of jump-tire-jump-jump to the back of the training building. From there you could run left to a tunnel and then come back around over a jump and onto the Aframe. Back to the front of the building, there was another jump and a tunnel.
I planned to do all of that, except after the Aframe, turn around and do the Aframe again. Whatever.
Molly took the first jump, then went and said hi to the judge. One of my HUGE issues with agility is that at the slightest change in plan, my mind goes blank with confusion and frustration. I cannot think on my feet very well. That goes great with a fast paced sport and a dog who runs as though shot out of a cannon.
I was not able to reformulate a plan. BUT I was able to "just start running". I called Molly, she came to me, and took the tunnel. Up over the Aframe, over that jump and into the other tunnel, and back over the jump. We did the Aframe three times with NO BROKEN CONTACTS. 23 points and 2nd place.
Following that was all of Standard, and Molly was the last dog in the entire trial. I did a lot of leash running. This club had a grabber tool, so no bending down needed. Delightful!
And then the time came.
|Standard, Level 1.|
This is mine and Molly's THIRD attempt to get our necessary second qualifying score needed in order to earn the Level 1 Standard title and move into Level 2. More than all that title and move up stuff, I simply wanted to see my dog and I be successful.
And we were. One off course due to me not turning my body toward a line of jumps fast enough and Molly's Aframe suck tendancies, and some goofy but fixable moments (please enjoy Molly's bonus leap of joy after she comes off of the Aframe.)
But WE DID IT. It certainly took long enough.
Yes, Molly's title ribbon is wrinkled. When the lady pulled it out, she asked if it was okay, and I said yes. Why? I could have asked for a different one, sure. I could iron it out, sure. But wrinkled is Molly. Not perfect is Molly. It took us quite a few tries to get our first agility title. It wasn't a perfect road, and I am happy to have this imperfect, hard won ribbon. I will ALWAYS know where we started when I look at that ribbon, and I love that.