I am exhausted!
This weekend was my club's autumn CPE Agility trial and I took the position of Volunteer Coordinator for the event. I set up a Google Documents spreadsheet so that people could sign themselves up ahead of time, I organized our member volunteers and the weekend of the show I continued asking for help, thanking people and making sure that everybody was where they need to be. I was very fortunate this weekend that many people agreed to work - it can be an enormous struggle to find a group of people who are willing to volunteer their time to help an agility trial run. And it is impossible for an agility trial to run without volunteers, so often the VC is reduced to begging and yelling herself hoarse to get the positions filled. I even wrangled Vince into coming along to help set bars and clean up the trial site afterwards. It is incredible how much work goes into holding an agility trial (or, a trial of any kind!)
I ran Molly in three classes per day. No videos, no ribbon pictures, too busy!
Saturday I ran:
Colors Level 5, a Q. Molly missed her weave entry but when I put her back in she did them pretty quickly and willingly. The rest of the course was sloppy but clean (she was really high and was running a bit wild.)
Jackpot Level 5 NQ. We had 43 points in the opening and we were flying and dancing together. Did I mention I love distance classes? In the gamble, though it was a tunnel to a serpentine and I crowded up to the gamble line to support the first jump out of the tunnel. I should have left her more landing space but I was trying to get her to turn tight for the next one...and she took the bar. It was a gorgeous run though and I was very happy with it!
Standard Level 5 NQ I honestly don't remember all the specifics! We got an off course and Molly skipped doing a jump (of course my fault, it was a blur.) Molly did get her contacts (and she had to do the AFrame twice!) and she did enter and stay in the weave poles.
Standard Level 5 NQ This course had more than a few tricky off courses and discriminations and we survived them all. Molly even perked up and started some actual footwork in the weaves towards the end...too bad she jumped the Aframe. I was really proud that she got her dog walk though. The dogwalk was in the middle of the course. The better line was to be on the right of the dog walk, but that meant I could not be right at the end ramp to "support/micromanage" (sigh.) her contact behavior because a tunnel was at the end of the dog walk. I decided to trust my dog and run on that side and she ran it nicely. Those 9 more Standards that we need for the C-ATCH are looking awfully impossible just about now...
There was a photographer at this trial (the same one that we had at our October trial last year, the one that takes a ton of photos per class.) She got a blurry shot of me in Standard with Molly on the top of the Aframe. Molly did her stress-out pause on the apex and I am looking at her with an absolutely tense and not happy expression on my face. I try so hard, so hard to relax when Molly is on the contact, but I clearly need to try harder. Over the past few weeks she is showing me: she will run onto the contact zone if I am some distance away but when I get close, she stresses out. I have not once hurt Molly or yelled at her about the contacts, but my micromanaging and worrycloud expression is really freaking her out.
Wildcard Level 5 NQ As well as Molly did on the weaves this weekend, as soon as I asked her to weave in Wildcard she slammed into the entry ...and then got totally stressed and left the weaves. She took the other Wildcard option, an off course tunnel and was then totally gone. We did a messy approximation of the course (of course running cleanly to the bottom of the Aframe....thanks Molly.) and done. Ooookay.
Jumpers Level 5 Q By now I had seen that photo of myself in Standard. I didn't really feel like running this class. I was exhausted, I was worried about getting experienced ring crew who could understand how to set the double jump, I was a little brought down from a day of NQs (just a little. It is not our first!) and the course had some tricky off course traps. I am sure I looked very brow furrowed to Molly, and I made myself smile. Just smile. Maybe it didn't go to my brain, maybe it did. Maybe it is silly just to force one's mouth into a smile shape but... We qualified! I decel'd at the proper times and Molly was jet propelled on the course for our last Level 5 Jumpers Q towards the C-ATCH!
So it wasn't an awesome weekend in the Q department, but that is okay. Over the summer Molly started a bumpy return to her prior speed in the ring and I was really happy with that. Molly's stress reactivity and environmental stress seems to be way down, and I am really happy about that. With the exclusion of Wildcard, and even then she was NQing really fast! Molly was extremely fast in the ring this weekend and did not slow to a trudge, or stress sniff, or shut down on me at all. I firmly believe that we are continuing to grow and gel together as a team.
And here is a photo from Pooch Smooch from last year's show. I did not get a chance to order a CD from this weekend's trial since I was so busy, but they did get some really hilarious Molly-Moments.