In November we were at K9Jym where Molly runs the best (probably because we train on matting and the crate area is separate, which keeps her reactivity stress low.) We managed one Standard Q out of the weekend to bring our total up to 7/10 towards the C-ATCH2.
This was her Jumpers run and while it was an NQ, it was a very fun and fast running course. So rare for Molly to drop bars, but how is a girl to collect after all that glorious extension??
The beginning of December saw us at Flexible Flyers with no Standard Q to show for it - AFrame flyoff - but I was convinced I had found our new miracle: calming L-Theanine treats. She ran with speed and focus all day and as usual I struggled with my handling to keep up with her. I loved this Colors NQ!
This past weekend we were at our last trial of the year. The Composure had no effect on Molly's stress. My own stress was jacked up to the max due to some "dog world politics" that I won't go into. Additional stress came from the excitement of needing three more Standard Qs and being entered in three Standard runs - we NQd all three of those Standard runs. Molly ran her best but the stress showed itself in agonizingly slow weaves and more contact flyoffs than we have been used to lately. I left the trial on Sunday feeling completely done in and down about my handling skills and personal stress management. I made a decision: we need a break. We will take the month of January off of trials - although we will continue in regular training class as well as our club's fun run. We need some time away from the grind for Standard Qs, some time out in nature and some time relaxing together.
I also discovered tonight at a vet visit that Molly has an infected anal gland. The right side was full of blood and the left was full to the max of fluid. Small wonder that she wasn't herself at this past weekend's trial! Molly has been having trouble with some leaking over the last month, which is unusual for her. She has always had some trouble with her anal glands but never an infection, and she has never leaked. On Sunday I saw some blood in the fluid that she has been leaking so it was a vet visit and some answers. The discomfort caused stress, and stress means slow weaves and contact fly offs for Molly. So. There's that.
But here is my favorite run of ours from the weekend, Jumpers. Of course Jumpers!