Saturday's USDAA trial was Perri's first time in Starters, and it was her first trial back with weave poles. We played in : Gamblers, Standard, Pairs, Snooker and Jumpers.
Monday in agility class, Perri ran around the chute. I was a little nervous about that, but Perri does that often in class with tunnels or jumps. It is why we don't go to class too often. Still, I was hoping the chute issue would not occur at Saturday's trial.
The good news is that in both Standard and Pairs Relay, Perri performed all 12 weave poles! That felt like a major sigh of relief and victory. That felt like something that would never happen again! However, in Gamblers and Standard...Perri refused the chute. Absolutely and completely. No chute, poodles die in chutes! While I was delighted about her weaves....it was extremely bittersweet to have another obstacle that Perri has been performing in trials for over a year become An Issue.
The other thing that surprised me was Perri at 26" jumps. We have practiced with the jumps at that height. Perri has been jumping 24" in AKC and CPE for a year and she looks nice at that height. I entered Perri in Championship class because hey, "It's only two more inches and she flies so high even at 24". And Perri cleared 26" no problem at the trial. She balked at the tire one time, but flew through it in Standard. What I did not like was seeing how hard Perri was landing. I don't have any videos from the trial unfortunately (My friend video'd our Snooker and Jumpers run, but cannot send me the videos.), so I can't watch any videos of it. But I just felt like Perri's jumping style looks beautiful at 24", but add those extra two inches and she is powering over the jumps, and landing like a ton of bricks. I also noticed some shakier commitment than usual from Perri. In the morning there was a hot air balloon over our house. Perri was very rattled by that and I know my girl: it probably shook her up ever so slightly for the trial. But I have to wonder if the jumps were at 24", if she would have run nicer. I felt like I had to support her a lot more than usual, and I have "trust issues" as it is. I gave a lot of thought to it, and I have made the decision to enter Perri into Performance class rather than Championship. Just because she can do it doesn't mean that she should. There was something off about our teamwork at the trial on Saturday, I can't put my finger on it, but I can't help but wonder if the jump height was the issue. Any little thing can throw Perri's confidence off. Maybe it was just that particular trial day, but I listen to that little voice inside of me when it comes to trying to feel through the darkness and make good decisions for this "martian dog" of mine, and that little voice seemed to think that those jumps were daunting for my little big girl. Performance 20" it will be. Me and my sweet sensitive girl don't have anything to prove by being in the Championship class.
As for that Molly. She ran a quick and dirty Gamblers Q for her Performance Starters Gamblers title. We were having a lovely run in Standard when she made a beeline and exited the ring and started sniffing a dog ringside. NQ, no Performance Dog title, horrifying, embarrassing, and no one who runs a pitbull ever wants their PITBULL running amok outside of the ring. "Out of control". I carried Molly for the "Walk of Shame" back to her crate. No Meatball. Bad Dog. I just don't know what happens sometimes. I really do not. I have a video of it and it looks smooth as silk, she does the teeter, a jump and never even flicks an ear to turn with me, just sprints right out. That hasn't happened for a while and it was really discouraging for me.
So. Bittersweet day. I am happy about Perri's weaves, disheartened about her chute. Worried that all of the poodle's obstacles will break one by one. Oh please, not the teeter next.
And Molly is Molly. Forever and ever.