oh my auggie

Baby Payton’s First Agility Trial

The time leading up to this trial was… emotional.
I went through “We might actually be able to pull this off!” to “OH GOD HE WILL BE TERRIBLE WE ARE GOING TO BE LAUGHED OUT OF THE RING” and all kinds of turmoil. A friend asked me “What’s the worst thing that can happen?”
And I didn’t answer because if I said it out loud, it was going to make me cry – the worst thing that can happen is that Payton is not Auggie. He is not Auggie and he will never be Auggie and it is unfair to Payton, and to myself, to continually compare the two.

“He is just a baby,” people said. “I never expect baby dogs to strike awe into people their first time out!”

Auggie did. Auggie’s first run ever. Remember? “One day that dog is going to be awesome,” from a total stranger.

He came home with a first and Q in his first ever jumpers run. It was a clean run, I still remember the feeling as I staggered out of the ring with my dog in my arms. My amazing Auggie.

And now? Now I have Payton.

I decided that we needed to just go and have fun. It’s just expensive practice, I reminded myself. All I want is for Payton to go in the ring, take a few of the jumps I ask him to take, not pee on anything, and also to get his weave poles.

The morning of our trial, I asked Auggie if it was okay that I was taking Payton to the trial instead. I also asked him if he had any advice for his baby brother.

I took Payton outside before his run. I had sliced up hot dog I was feeding him. I told him not to pee on anything. I asked if he could please remember how to do weave poles because I have video evidence that he DOES know how to do them, so please do them.
As I entered the ring I remembered what a friend said. “You only have one first trial with your dog.”
I gave him a kiss, then a second one.
Then we ran.

And you can’t see it in the video but I started crying right after the video cuts off. Because I couldn’t believe it. I really just wanted him to get his weaves… and he ran the whole course and he Q’d and everything.
I was crying and everybody kept saying “Oh, good job!” and I kept blubbering “He’s my baby dog!!” and took him outside and fed him the rest of his hot dog crying and telling him “You did so good! You were so good! You’re such a good boy!”
I just never believed it would happen. Sometimes I would be working with him and think “you know, maybe he COULD pull it off.” But I didn’t really think he would.

I didn’t care what happened the second day. If it was anything like Auggie’s first trial, the second day would be a disaster. But I really didn’t care. After that? After so much more than I ever dreamed possible? Heck, short of peeing in the ring Payton could do whatever he wanted.


So I says to him, “I don’t even Payton. I mean… I just don’t even.”
I hoped it would happen. But I never dreamed it really would.

I better get these weave poles cleaned up because I might need them sooner than I thought. Wow. Admittedly today’s weave pole bobble was ENTIRELY my fault. When I trained Auggie to do weave poles I trained him to do it by me chattering WEAVE WEAVE WEAVE the whole time he was in the poles. With Payton I did not do that. I just say “go weave.” And when I chatter he’s like “I’M ALREADY IN THE WEAVE POLES WHY DO YOU KEEP TELLING ME TO WEAVE I GOT IT OKAY???” And I caught myself walking the course yesterday and reminded myself to SHUT UP, but today I did not, and instead of just “go weave” I said “Go weave weave weave weave…” and realized what I had just done.

I guess whatever advice Auggie had for his baby brother was good advice.
Or maybe I just have the best Payton in the world.

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