I entered FAST as our "warm up" run. Molly was very calm and focused from the beginning of the day to the end, no craziness! Dream Park, this trial site, is historically one of her most challenging places to run at - mostly because of the noise and volume of entries. We usually NQ FAST because of insanity-problems but today Molly was on right from the start. And the "send" contained not one but two tunnels. Perfect set up for us. Molly was the only Excellent-level dog to qualify, so now we have our first Excellent FAST leg!
We have not earned a qualifying score in AKC since 2015, so....kind of exciting!
Standard was next. After the dog walk there was a wrong course dummy jump after the double jump, so knowing how Molly carries out far if I give her any acceleration, I stayed back and called her as soon as she was in the air. And....she came in towards me hard and missed the next jump on the course. Ohhhhhh well. We continued on to enjoy a perfect run otherwise, I felt pretty disappointed in myself!
Jumpers with Weaves was NQing a lot of very talented and experienced handlers, the course had some tricky traps. I was thinking that Molly and I probably didn't have much of a chance, and that was no way to think! I was pushing away some personal pressure of my own. There is a chance, a slim chance, that this run would be mine and Molly's last run ever as an agility team. I would have loved to earn her AXJ and have a perfect, clean run. However, we ran it ... like Team Danielle and Molly. That's okay! The weaves got us, then the wrong course tunnel got us and then we missed a jump. She was running slower than normal, but in "good girl consistent mode", so the rear cross I did was too strong and she pulled in towards me.
About my remark, "our last run as an agility team." I went into today knowing that. Knowing that that was on the table. Knowing that, worst case scenario, that this very well could be our last trial together. My throat closes with emotion just to think about it. I took her for our potty walk before JWW and had to swallow tears down. I kissed her on the head and told her that I love her.
But, I really do doubt it!
My mind is a maelstorm of thoughts right now. I will be shocked if Molly's biopsy is negative. That is the truth. I hope so very much that it will be negative. Molly is exhibiting a classic symptom of early stage lymphoma - a swollen lymph node with no other symptoms. However, her bloodwork was normal. Her behavior is normal. These are very good signs. Signs that make me feel like she is a good candidate for achieving a remission with chemotherapy. There is no doubt that I will try chemotherapy for Molly if the vet feels she is a candidate and if it does not destroy her quality of life. But I don't want to think about any of this, accept any of this, until we have biopsy results.
If today was our last trial, it was a great last trial. The grounds are huge at Dream Park. Molly got to roll in and eat horse poop. Play fetch with her chuckit ball. Run off leash in a fenced area (not always possible at trials!) Sniff livestock and dog smells and get loved on by our agility friends. I bought her a ridiculously over priced beef trachea to eat on the way home. Everything a beautiful day of agility should be, and more. I thought more than a few times today, I wish this could go on forever. Or at least, for a little longer. I love my girl so fiercely.