oh my auggie

September 19th & 20th Trial

Somebody needs to tell Auggie he’s doing it wrong.

This past weekend, I was glad to be back at our local club for the trial. It’s a site we’ve been to many many times, a place I’m comfortable at, and a place I feel like Auggie is comfortable at. I was hoping he would be more relaxed as far as some of his recent issues with the a-frame were concerned, hoping he would have fun, and hoping we might go home with a couple ribbons.

Saturday was a bit of a hairy mess. We didn’t even get started running Novice until after 4PM in the afternoon… and Auggie and I had rolled in around 10AM to set up and hang out with everybody. It was also a sunny day and a bit warm due to the sun; more than once I found Auggie huddled up in the back of his crate trying to catch air from his crate fan.
So when we got out there for our JWW run, he wasn’t totally feeling it. He slowed to a walk through the tunnel about halfway through, and as we entered the weave poles, he stopped entirely and stuck his nose to the ground. Augh! Something smelled quite good and he was no longer interested in me. Attention Auggie: this is not earthdog. This is agility. After several attempts and trying to get his attention back, I waved at the judge and carried my bad little puppy off the course. Snotbucket!

I sat outside the ring and mulled things over in my head. He was still so pokey. What’s his deal? His breeder offered that his confidence might still be shaken from everything he’s had to deal with as far as his jump height going up and down all over the place. Would I ever be able to restore his confidence? I wasn’t sure. And if I can’t restore that confidence, I might just resign to playing with Auggie in the backyard instead of competing.

And then we had to run Standard.
The course was set up in a pretty straight line. Jump, jump, a-frame, jump, tunnel.
Auggie would see that a-frame, and, God willing, that would be the end of the story. If I could just get him to run straight up the a-frame, everything else after that was secondary.
I decided not to even bother putting him in a sit. I was just going to drop him and take off running. I’ve seen people do that before, so why not? Maybe having him in a sit was screwing with his momentum.
So I put him down. And I took off and he came with me. And I yelled and screamed and drove that dog like crazy.
And he went up the a-frame.
I was roaring and screaming and yelling the whole time. Angels sang a chorus of Hallelujah.
And then I pushed him off the entrance to the tunnel.

Hahahahaha! Oh well. Other than that, he ran great, even did his weaves flawlessly (presumably to make up for his total disaster over on JWW.) Even with the one refusal, we got a Q! Awesome!

Sunday was not a very good day as far as the weather went. I decided I would go out early on and watch the excellent runs, and then leave during Open, pick up Auggie, and bring him back with me so he wouldn’t be out there for so long during the day. Shortly after I arrived, we got caught in a good downpour of rain. Lovely. The ground got nice and wet, then the sun came out and looked like it might at least dry up the obstacles.
Then I left to get Auggie and it rained some more. And then I sat there and it rained and rained and rained. Eventually, the rain was just there to stay. I was glad that I invested in my ASICS for the sole purpose (haha, get it?) of running in wet, muddy conditions. Auggie, however, does not have shoes that are specially made for running in wet, muddy conditions. He just has little feetsies that sometimes slip.
Oh well. If he knocked bars or anything, I wouldn’t blame him. I figured we would just go out and see what happened, and if it looked bad, I would pull him.
Well, he didn’t slip and he didn’t knock any bars, but he off-coursed twice. Once was my fault, the second time, he was too busy going “LALALALA THIS IS THE BEST GAME EVER LALALALALA!” At least I can’t say he wasn’t enjoying the game anymore at that point, because the look of joy had obviously returned to his face, and surprisingly, despite the weather, his speed was back as well.

So on we went to standard. He went straight up the a-frame again – bliss! He came out of the tunnel and I pushed him off the broad jump… then oops, I let him back jump it, getting us a wrong course as well as a refusal. Then we came to the weave poles and… Auggie disappeared on me at pole four. Doot doot de doo, he went to go check out the sandbags they had holding the dog walk down. I stood there calling him back… he started to come back, and then went “Oh hey, a-frame!” I distinctly remember going “AUGGIE DON’T YOU DARE.” LOL. He came back to me again.
I was THIS CLOSE to blowing off the run. I thought we’d had too many refusals, wrong courses, and now we were way over time. There was no way it would be a Q.
But in my head I heard his breeder’s voice, and what she always tells me. “Fix it. Whatever happens, just fix it.”
So I fixed it. It took me a while because I had to back him up a few times to help him get the entry correct, but we fixed it. And then on we went, up the teeter, through the tunnel, over the dog walk (where I practically had a heart attack because he looked for a moment like he was going to slip off it), and then through the last tire jump.

“That should be a Q,” his breeder told me after the run.
“Oh, there’s no way. That took forever. We had to be way over time.”
“No,” she says, “I think that’s a Q.”
So I packed up the car, then waited around some more… and what do you know.
That was a Q.
In fact, we were really good as far as time went. We would have Q’d even if we were playing regular agility!

And that means that in four days of trialing Auggie got his NAP.
The same dog that took me TEN TRIES to get a single Q towards his NA.
You have to be kidding me.

So there you have it. We’ve gotten a jumpers title now, and a standard title. Just, sadly, not all at the same time, LOL. We’re still in Novice Jumpers until we get those 2 more Qs towards his NJP. I have to decide if I want to move him up into Open Standard or not.

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