Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Dock Dogs FAIL

On Monday I had Molly signed up for two waves of an indoor Dock Dogs competition.  I was so excited!   We would get to do diving in the winter!   She loves it so much, I thought she would really enjoy herself.

The event was at the "Great American Outdoor Show" at the local farm show complex.  It was a huge event and there were literally hundreds of people watching any activity going on on the dock.  I arrived very early, three hours before our first Wave was scheduled because I was warned that parking could be very difficult.  There were a few teams warming their dogs up on the dock, and the dogs were scared to get in.   Their owners worked so hard but the dogs would not get in.   I confess, I was feeling prideful about Molly.   I knew that my girl would jump in and I felt a little sorry for those owners and dogs.

Around 11:30 (our wave was scheduled for noon.) I got Molly out of her crate, warmed her up, she was high as a kite on the atmosphere, her ball and the sight of the dock.   A couple that had not been able to coerce their dog off the dock asked me as I went by if my dog jumped and I said, "Oh yeah!"  I wasn't even bragging, I was just happy.   Dock Dogs makes me so happy because it is so full of energy and I don't have to curb any of Molly's insanity!  We got up on the dock to warm up, I put her in a stay, I released her...threw the ball....and she came to a screeching halt at the end of the dock.

She. Would. Not. Jump.
Exit Ramp, not the dock.
She screamed and screeched, howled and chattered, she wanted her ball so bad and could not believe that it was lost in oblivion.   The crowd took videos of her and laughed at her, they called her a sissy.  They felt sorry for her, they loved her pitiful wailing.   Two competition waves and countless practices both on the dock and the exit ramp (closer to the water.) and Molly would not jump.   Of all of our failures as a team, this one really stung.   I was embarrassed and confused and quite honestly a little hurt.  As weird as that may seem!

Molly is no rookie!   She's been in the water since she was a pup, off all different sorts of natural docks, off of pool's edges and .... off of a competition Dock Dogs dock!  This could not be happening.  Why was this happening?

There was an experienced couple who were affiliated with Dock Dogs in attendance. (with eight dogs, seven of which were all too happy to sail into the dock, as carefree as the Molly of September!)  They were very supportive and conciliatory and explained to me that some green dogs have trouble understanding indoors.   The water does not look like water to them and they can't understand it.   The bleachers are reflecting in the weird still blue non-water and they really can't understand!  Add the weirdness of the echoing building and the fact that Molly had never seen a swimming pool inside of a building...and I could start to understand the confusion.  I still, even now with all of my empathy for her, I still cannot believe that she wasn't idiotic enough to launch into that pool after her ball.   This makes it official: Molly does still have a brain inside of her head when it comes to the ball!  Who knew!?

Dock Dogs will be on hold until we can do outdoor venues when the weather gets warm!  I have no reason to think that my former bold as brass girl will return roaring off the dock after her ball.  I was invited by a member of the local dock diving club to attend an indoor practice and I will probably do so.  I want to see Molly through this issue, and I want to be around more dock diving people.  I like them, I like their welcome attitude and their crazy dogs.   They are fun!   And I want to learn how to improve my throw so we can get more Big Air!  We will not let this unexpected set back take our Dock Dogs joy from us.

1 comment:

  1. Oh no!!! Poor confused Molly! I am sure your next experience will be great though and you will quickly get your confidence dog back!