oh my auggie

Auggie’s Return to Agility

I make it sound so overly dramatic… we really only took about a month and a half off, LOL.

First, I packed up my bag and an overnight bag for Auggie…

…and off we went. A little late, actually, which resulted in a frantic call from his breeder going “hey are you here because… you need to be here!!” I pulled in, loaded out Auggie’s crate, ran off to walk the course and listen to the briefing, ran off again to get my armband, ran Auggie to the warm-up jump and got him limbered up, then in to run JWW.

I was panicking. I felt awful. I had it in my head that we would get out there and he would go “Mmmmmeh… I don’t really want to do this.” I was all prepared to burst into tears on the course that my dog didn’t want to do agility anymore and I had to retire him and and and
I honestly thought I might pass out. I was trying to do some deep breathing to relax (and to stop the OH GOD GONNA PASS OUT feeling) but nothing was helping.
I put Auggie at the start line and decided against a lead out – while thinking I would black out at any moment and konk my head on the standard and I would get a concussion and it would be horrible – so I just ran with him. He came with me and sailed over the first jump.
Whew. Suddenly I can breathe again.
Then the next jump, and then the next. Another jump and another and another – front cross, jump jump jump… into the tunnel, over some jumps, and smoothly into the weaves, smoothly THROUGH the weaves, jump, jump, jump… oh my God, it’s honestly been so long since we’ve had a clean run.

We had a clean run. And… oh my God. We just Q’d. Oh my God.

There was a pretty long gap between our JWW and standard run so we just hung out and relaxed for a while. Standard has been our enemy from the first time we started trialing. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Resolve the issue of missing contacts, then it’s the fact that he doesn’t want to hit the brakes to get up on the table WITHOUT flying off, THEN try to resolve the off-coursing to a contact (*headdesk repeatedly*)
Now the issue is that he has developed a judge issue with the a-frame. And the name of the judge who caused this issue is a name firmly on my List (and the List of several other competitors from this and the other trial, might I add, but I digress.) So he gave me a refusal there. But PRAISE GOD, I backed him up and he took it the second time. Hurray!! So that’s an improvement.
Some darn weave buggies that are largely my fault (the weaves were after a jump, but on either side before the weave entry was a tunnel off-course and the a-frame, Auggie’s favourite off-course, and even though he refused it before it would be just my luck that he’d off-course onto it. =P so I was SO GLAD he got past the off-courses I don’t think I was handling him right through the weaves, LOL. I’m a dork.)
The hilarity of the day: Auggie came over the double jump and went wide. Very wide. So wide he decided to slid under the folding chair that the bar setter was seated in. Then he came scooting back to me and jumped over the last jump. Everybody outside the ring was dying with laughter, going “He wanted extra points! Extra points for the chair obstacle!” He just saw that chair there and thought it was part of the course I guess, LOL. No real “visiting” because he didn’t actually care about the spotter. I have no idea. My dog is hilarious.
I had no idea what our time was. Did we make it? I just didn’t know. I kept telling everybody, “I don’t know if we Q’d. I have no idea. The time might have been too much.” The full-stop before the a-frame and all the time I wasted fixing the weaves might have put us too far over.

The placements/ribbons weren’t out yet but this club was giving people a copy of their scribe sheet, so I went to go peek at the scribe sheet. And then I walked back to our little tent and acted all casual about it.
“Well?? Well??”
“Ask Auggie what a Double Q feels like,” I said.
High fives all around, lots of celebrating, and Auggie got some more cookies for no good reason, LOL. This is our first ever Double Q, and even though it counts for absolutely nothing, it’s a big deal for me. Way to make your return to agility, Auggie.

Off we went to the hotel after that where we ordered some Chinese and crashed out on the bed and just hung out all night.

Couldn’t figure out for sure where to put his crate. I settled on the little corner AWAY from the door, but not totally crammed into the corner under the sink. This is before I brought in his pillow from the car (I had to make a few trips.)

Auggie in his crate.

Snuffling and pouting in his crate. It stormed so I put him in the crate to mellow out while it thundered. He was Not Happy.

Snoozing out on the floor later; after it quit storming I let him back out.

And hanging out on the bed with me. Yes, he did use that pillow. This is why you should always bring your own pillowcases to hotels, people… LOL.

Later, he thought that the spot underneath the bedside table would make an awesome place to crash.

He was unhappy when I told him he couldn’t sleep there all night. Sniffle sniffle.

On the second day, I blew our JWW run with us. He hadn’t even taken off for the triple jump yet, but I already knew he wasn’t going to make it. He’ll try to beat me over jumps and 99% of the time, that means he isn’t going to clear the bar. Well, I pushed it and he tried to beat me over the jump, so he crashed the last bar. The crowd all went “OHHH” because, well, of course they didn’t have my foresight so they hadn’t known before he even took off that he wasn’t going to clear the jump. =P I walked out of the ring and somebody said to me, “He still ran beautifully, though!” and I was like “Yeah, that was ALLLL my fault!” Bad mommy. Bad handler. Bad.
Standard we encountered the a-frame issue again, but this time when I backed him up he really TORE over the a-frame like he was back in his element, loving his favourite obstacle again. I screwed up again and he didn’t clear the broad jump, so when we had issues at the weave poles (which I anticipated in my walkthrough and figured I’d just have to try our best to make it through), I tried to fix it a few times and then decided, eh, who cares, we already NQd. Forget it, just let him sail over the last jump and end it on a good note.

So no Qs on Monday, but overall, an awesome weekend.
My job always seems so very mundane after a weekend at an agility trial.

I wanted to take some pics of Auggie with his ribbons and decided I was for sure taking them by…

Giant Lincoln. Anybody who’s ever been to the Illinois State Fairgrounds has probably seen this in person and they know I’m not kidding when I say it’s a GIANT Lincoln.

SERIOUSLY giant. LOL teeny tiny Auggie.

I wanted to get Auggie in the foreground, then tilt the camera and get Giant Lincoln in the background… I couldn’t get the shot. Giant Lincoln was too darn giant.

My pretty boy. =>

And yes, the ribbons are red, that means they are 2nd place ribbon. Wanna know who took first?
As expected, MACH4 Granny smoked us. ;> REALLY smoked us. She doesn’t want to slow down, apparently, LOL. It’s all a-okay though, red is Auggie’s colour so I’m fine with that! Looks like we’re both gonna be chasing the PAX together. I’m looking forward to it.

So there you have it. On the 19th & 20th we’re back at it in our local club, which I think will be a really good weekend… but we’ll see. The moral of this story is that Auggie kicked butt and he CLEARLY is digging agility again, even in a trial environment. And that he’s a big rock star. That is all.

Oh, I forgot to mention: This was the first time that we have ever been at a trial where they had two rings going at the same time. Auggie really doesn’t give a crap about what’s going on outside the ring, but he’s never competed in a place where there are people issuing commands in the other ring. It didn’t throw him off at all, though. Good boy Auggie!

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