And last night I was feeling so very optimistic. So very...relaxed. By chance we had a substitute instructor in Molly's agility class earlier this week, and Perri was my substitute dog. And special attention was given to Perri's start line. It's been a sit stay, she gets stuck. A stand stay, also gets stuck but more ideal. Running off the start was great until it wasn't. Then there was high fives and downs which pleased her for a while. We both agreed Perri needs a very specific and clear start line routine. We decided on trying to sit her between my legs while I remove the collar. We are connected, she is squished and safe.
This all could not have come at a better time, when I had a trial planned for Perri that weekend. I also wanted to smile at Perri when I led out away from her on the SL but I forgot. How could I forget that?!
We ran Fullhouse first and it was beautiful. I was floored! Perri's first Q of 2018.
Jackpot was next and Perri got mildly stuck on her start line but released fairly quickly. She ran just as happy and confident as she did in Fullhouse! My phone malfunctioned and did not start recording so we sadly missed that one. Got Ein's though!
It was a long wait until Wildcard (for both dogs.) We did a big long loop walk with our friends, and Zorro got to play with the border collie puppy Josey Wales and they both got to explore. I found a big metal stop sign nailed into the gazebo, that's new! Once upon a time I took Molly's first C-ATCH photo in that gazebo.
Wildcard was next and Perri got pretty stuck on the start line. I actually switched handling sides and got real silly to get her to break. I thought for sure she would get funny during the run but she did not. She ran nicely. I timed a front cross well and handled her well and I loved that. She needs that so much! She also weaved although I was doing the clap and chant "do every one!" and put so much effort into it I got momentarily disoriented. Anyway, Perri finally got another Wildcard Q 2/5 needed. Yeah!
I could not be more happy with Perri's progress! Facebook memories tells me that at this trial a year ago, Perri had a similarly awesome day. It deflated me a little because...things did not go to well from that point onward last year. But I reminded myself that a lot has changed. I have spent this year in full support of Perri. Very minimal trialing with no titling goals. Confidence building only. And my mind set has changed drastically. We have Zorro now. This is so good for both Perri and I. She loves having that little guy running around at her heels, playing with her and looking up to her. And I love having a pup who enjoys hiking, training and who I can dream big for. Perri and I are in a different place than we were last year and today felt different. It didn't feel like a test as it did last year. It just felt like, "let's see what happens and if this isn't good for you, that's ok."
It was good for her.