Molly's Standard run she was reactive-stressing big time for some reason. I couldn't keep her engaged ringside and she was good on the first six obstacles but faulted the table. I asked her to get back on the table and she was looking everywhere but at me. I released her to the Aframe and she ran it nicely, but disengaged again and ran towards the ring gating. I called her and she did two more jumps to the teeter. Disengaged again. I thanked the judge and we left the ring. Unfortunately when Molly is that disengaged, the next step is often jumping out of the ring. Which I really did not want. A lot of people asked me why I pulled her. I told them I could just tell she wasn't there.
Jumpers with Weaves was the total opposite! I took Molly for a long walk, hosed her off and we sat by her crate with charlee bears and then moved ringside. She was lasered onto me ringside, and we had an absolutely gorgeous run together. Until the weave poles. I behaved my body language but kept clapping and cheering her (saying "Good girl!" "Go!", things like that.) So mad at myself. This is hard for me though, I will get there. On Molly's third attempt through the weaves she suddenly locked in and drove through the last half. The photographer actually captured a moment of her really cruising through the weaves and looking happy. When I saw that on his preview computer it meant the world to me. I was really crushed about the weave pole issue, but seeing my girls face look like that. We can do this. We can do this. I guess some people might say my dog is ruined for the weaves but I say she is not. I say, we will figure this out. She doesn't give up on me, I don't give up on her. That's how we roll.
Perri's day was a little better. We also had an absolutely stellar run on the JWW course (Excellent level.), but the second to last jump Perri ran wide around. I ignored that. That's a refusal and you NQ with a refusal. I kept my dog running and happy. We hit the weaves and she stressed and faulted them. I skipped backwards and said "Perri! Let's try again!" And she was so happy, she launched into those weaves and danced through them and over the finish jump. The photographer got the best ever photo of us both looking beyond happy at the end of the poles, I love it! One of those beautiful NQs.
Open Standard was the moment of truth! We ran off the start line and she went off to the left for some reason, heading for the teeter. I called to her and she stopped and trotted to the next jump, stress-shook and walked around it. Poor Perri! A refusal, and we were only allowed one refusal. But that was all we needed! Over the next two jumps, into the tunnel. The double jump, the table. Up and over the a-frame, front cross to the triple and a jump then the teeter. Front cross, jump, tunnel. Repeat the jump and into the weaves. She hit the entry and stayed in those poles and I could see her in my peripheral vision dancing through them. She finished them and next was the chute and she charged towards it, saw what it was. She faltered and slowed...then put on a burst of speed and flew into it! Up and over the dog walk and I was cheering her on and telling her she was amazing, and over the final jump for our first Standard Q since December! It felt so good, like we overcame everything that has haunted us. Maybe not for good, it's a process. But for Sunday, for that run...we nailed it. So proud of my girl! I wish I had her Sunday runs on video, what a difference!
One last thing about this weekend's trial... Ein got to run in the B match, since you could choose your dog's height. Ein has never run at this location, never runs such a long course. I forgot that Ein hasn't done the A-frame in well over a year, nor does he suck right onto it like the big girl dogs. He even did the chute and the teeter! So proud of him, and he was loving it. He so loves to be included! And of course he got a big meatball after his run, just like the girls do.