I don’t post very often about me; my blog is about the dogs, and I try to keep the non-dog stuff away. However, sometimes it falls together. Last week was very tough for me. Lots of things have been piling up for a while, but I ended up in a depression kicked off by Daisy essentially having a massive reactive panic attack. That incident is a blog post of itself, and one I don’t have the motivation to write. I did want to blog in some small way to say I haven’t been anti-social because of anything anyone else has done. I haven’t been on Facebook or Twitter for over a week, and I’ve very briefly spoken to a few friends. Being social is hard right now, not just the big social things like partying or big groups, but small social things like talking to a single close friend or family member for more than 5 minutes about nothing important, or tweeting something nonsensical.
The training sessions I didn’t feel I could miss were exhausting and I actually can’t constructively remember what happened. I wrote my notes about training immediately after arriving home on Tuesday, and that will be my basis for planning December training. If anything asked for something that I didn’t write down, I haven’t got it.
I felt a little better Saturday (thank you, Claire), and a lot better Sunday (thank you, Katie and Matt and Sue and the other Dig It folks). I feel a lot better today, but I’m still maintaining a social media blackout. Anyway, why am I talking about all of this? Because Rio. And because, when I come back and re-read this in a month or a year, I need to know what kind of mental state I was in going to this show.
Rio had a tiny little show at Dig It, to see where she’s at in terms of competitions. I’m very happy to say where she’s at is pretty awesome.
I elected to run her NFC in agility. I had a plan, I stuck to it, Rio was great. We did an Aframe and a long line of jumps to a tunnel, and she nailed it. She stayed 90% calm and focused, and that was the only thing I wanted. In her second run, we did a few more Aframes, and were a little less focused but still working.
Her jumping course was super, really easy. NFC x2 again. First run went to plan; we rolled right round for a “clear”. I intended to stop and train where necessary, but I also didn’t want to stop her if she was going well, as that often just serves as a distraction rather than a reward. Ri likes agility, it’s fun of itself. I was pretty sure she wouldn’t come in for the line at the end, it was a tight turn after a very extended run, and I was right. She skipped two jumps in trying to adjust herself, but it was a super run. Focused and fast all the way around. Second run, we did some proper training. Rewarded her wait, rewarded her drive to the tunnel, and when she didn’t get the turn again, I brought her back. Changed my cue a little, and then rewarded her for getting it right.
Steeplechase was last, and was probably the hardest course as it was Open (still lovely and easy). I didn’t go NFC as I didn’t think there was anything worth training Rio for. I need training in competitive Rio and non-competitive Rio being the same dog, so the last run was for me. We got E’d, but it was a good run, we just missed a few obstacles and then added a few more in. She did the final line really well, fast and drivey but also responsive to the turns and angles.
I am going to skip January’s show and enter February, and see where we’re at then. Maybe some dogwalks too, who knows. I need to get the balance right between food in the queue and toy in the ring, and keeping her engaged but not wild. She also does better with longer breaks between runs to calm down and re-engage, so I’ll probably just enter her for one run at each course next time.