Friday, February 14, 2014


Tomorrow I am taking Ein and Perri to a CDSP obedience show.  I am hoping for Ein to finish his CD-C and I am wishing I had not entered Perri at all.

My ring confidence has taken some hits since the autumn, all my own fault.  The obedience trials in September, Perri's repeated lagging on figure 8's in CDSP Trials and in classes, the match at Suburban, the second AKC rally trial.  Ein lags all the time at trials and training due to anxiety.   Perri is Perri.   When Molly was a mess at the rally trial two weeks ago, the tattered remains of my ring confidence flew out the window.  Now I am a mess, too. 

When I imagine going in that ring tomorrow all I can imagine is my lagging and anxiety ridden dogs, burning shame and the entire group of people looking on in pity (while petting their own prepared dogs heads.)  The thought of taking that leash off and losing my dog in the ring again is terrifying for lack of a better word, and I can only accept that it will certainly happen. When I saw an acquaintance of mine on the run order with her two dogs who turn in excellent performances (no doubt due to plenty of hard work!), my own anxiety ratcheted up a few more notches.  

This is ridiculous.  But it is where I'm at mentally.  With Ein I know the dog I will get in that ring.  He will lag but there will be good moments.  The Figure 8 will be hard for him.  The Stand for Exam might NQ us.  The recall over bar jump will be okay.

With Perri, I don't know the dog that I will be taking in that ring.  I am still reeling and unsettled by her behavior at the AKC Rally trial at the end of January.  At the December rally trial she was a dream.  She was a bit apprehensive ringside but I worked her through that and she really turned it on in there.  That was not the case at all in January and I am still shocked by it.  I didn't take her back into that AKC Obedience ring.  I took her to do rally at a quiet indoor obedience club.

It doesn't help that we will be going to Let's Speak Dog, a place where Ein has a record of not doing so hot and not liking.  But I've got to shake it off.  I've got to be strong for these dogs.  These dogs would just as soon go run in the woods or snuggle on the couch with me while I read a book.  These dogs will give me what I've put into them, they will give me all they've got.  And I will do them no good by bubbling over with anxiety and worrying that they are going to lag in the ring.   Step out, be confident, be strong, leave the ring sweating.  I must become one with my dog and forget that there are any other humans in that building with me.  After all, if I want my dogs to focus on me alone, I should return the favor.  I love CDSP Obedience because I can have fun with and talk to my dogs, and I plan to do plenty of both tomorrow.  I need to stop being a mental sissy and try to look forwards to this trial!

"Well this was your bright idea."

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