Today we only did three classes. Both girls qualified in Fullhouse and had lovely runs.
Standard class was next. Molly broke her start line stay, not like she normally does but literally as soon as I left her! Usually I am a few strides ahead and I hear her break (she always stands up and shakes her ears) - and I start running. Today as soon as I left her she blasted off and was hopelessly ahead of me! Molly is really allowed to break her stay, I do not have strict criteria about this...but it was terribly inconvenient on this particular course! It was in a straight line, Jump-Jump-Aframe-Jump- to a wrong course tunnel trap, you had to get your dog in the opposite end. With as behind as I was, I could not show Molly the proper line and of course she took the wrong course. The rest of our run was decent, but I tried to be trusting and confident of her weave entries and she did not get a single one of them. She was fairly quick and committed though so I will take it. I have to continue in this trend of not babying! The weaves were split, as we often see in CPE, into two sets of 6 rather than a line of 12 weaves. I really despise this and it seems to be falling into favor with many judges.
Perri ran next and I actually have a video so I don't need to describe so much. Sad weaves but she does get them done. We were tenths of a second from NQing, sigh. I don't like my handling on the weaves, I don't feel like I was confident. I will try better next time. Perri was very unfocused on the first set, and that is unlike her. The second set was good in that...she got her entry but then it was sort of a disaster. I finally just restarted her and then we were all right. Work in progress, work in progress. Overall, very good girl....good poodle! This was the end of Level 4 Standard for Perri, she earned her CL4-S title today!
Jackpot was last. Molly ran second but I will tell her story first: we had a kick ass run with 67 points earned on a Non Traditional Jackpot. It was everything I love about Molly. I did two tandem turns and she flips her self on a dime (thanks to our "spin trick" most likely) and she was just a little point machine. I wish I had a video!
But before that was Perri's run. I had the same plan for both girls but right in the beginning I asked Perri for a tunnel and tried to flip her back into it for more points after she completed it...and she wasn't sure about that. But she did it. And so, I was very engrossed with watching her and I sprinted onto my next line as soon as she was committed....but when I turned around there was the double jump and I tried to get out of the way of it but there was no avoiding it. I crashed into it and sent all four bars flying as well as both standards on either side...and did a very undignified wipe out on the floor. The judge called, "Zero!" for points earned. Smart ass! I was back up on my feet before you can say "Q" and there was poor Perri running out of the tunnel and stopped dead in front of the noisy clattering wreck I had made of the double jump...she was backing up slowly and her eyes were huge with worry. I ran away from her and made myself laugh and said "Isn't that silly?!" and quickly got her pointed onto a 5-point two-jump combo obstacle and tried my best to get my poor derailed brain into gear. (Perri did one jump of the two-jump combo but quickly dove into a tunnel, and that was fine. Whatever she needed to do to feel better!) But Perri did it....after that crash, after that terrifying (for her!) experience...she probably did at least 8 or 10 more obstacles and picked up speed as she went.
This. Is. Huge. Perri did not shut down, she just got on with it. And I am so proud of her I could cry. This is the dog who dropped a bar in Jumpers one time and was too afraid to finish her run, the dog who could only shape pivot work for 20 seconds at a time. Many dogs come back strong from an injury. Well, Perri is not many dogs. It took a toll on her mentally, and it took a toll on me mentally. It took us a long time to get our teamwork back in sync and we are still getting there. This is my first dog ever who has had an injury, and Perri is no easy brain to work with where anything is concerned. A year, almost, later...and here we are. We still have weave problems, we aren't perfect, but we are trying our best.