Saturday, May 10, 2014

5/10/14: AKC Rally Excellent A at Ludwig's Corner

Subtitled: Pongu's Terrible Horrible No-Good Very Bad Run of Sadness

This morning saw us up bright and early at the crack of dawn (after three hours' sleep because I am an idiot and also Queenie kept banging around in her crate super loudly all night) to head out to Chester County for an AKC Rally trial at the Ludwig's Corner fairgrounds.

The venue was really nice. I can see why people like it. The parking staff and event organizers were very professional, the fields were gorgeous green grass dappled with buttercups and dandelions, the obedience and Rally rings were set off from the conformation area so that the performance dogs didn't have to be disturbed by all that primping and preening going on elsewhere.

Unfortunately all the nice things about the day were overshadowed by how badly Pongu crashed and burned in the ring.

This is, of course, my fault. I did not adequately prepare him for outdoor trialing. (I also did not adequately prepare him for some of the AKC Excellent exercises, but none of those ones were on today's course so that ended up not mattering.)

So we got there and Pongu wanted to run around the fields and roll in the horse poop and eat the grass and otherwise act like he always acts when he has any opportunity to run wild outdoors, and he did not want to work. Still, while our warm-up period was wobbly, I got enough promising signs that I thought we might be okay in the ring.

haha no

no, not at all

We went in there and it was like I did not have a dog. Although Excellent ran first thing in the morning, and it wasn't that hot (we were in there around 9:30 a.m.), it was directly in the sun, and Pongu, being a black dog, overheated very quickly.

So he was uncomfortable and he wanted to eat the grass and the result was immense frustration and embarrassment on my end, and apparently giddy tomfoolery on his. He wasn't scared, which I guess would be a silver lining if I were inclined to look for silver linings right now, but frankly I'm still pretty annoyed with how crappy our run was and I am not the slightest bit interested in silver linings at this particular moment in time.

I will be later, I'm sure. But not right now.

We finished with a score of 83, having lost 10 points on a jump runout/retry (Pongu broke the plane of the jump running past it, which would have been an NQ in WCRL, but apparently is just 10 points off in AKC) and 7 points on crooked Sits, crappy heeling, slow/non-responses, and I don't even know what else, take your pick, if you can imagine an error we had it at some point in there. We probably should have NQ'ed; the fact that we did not is entirely attributable to the judge taking pity on a team that was indeed pitiful.

Good enough for second place, if only because there were a whole two dogs in the class. Yay.

Filed under "Good Stuff, I Guess":

-- Pongu had no trouble heeling up to the stewards' table and keeping his eyes on me; this has been an issue for us in the past
-- I got more attention heeling than I expected under the circumstances
-- at least he actually took all his jumps (albeit with a runout the first time, possibly because it was a high jump, possibly because my handling sucked, possibly because he was distracted from woohoo!, we're outside!!) and held his (brief, short-distance) Stays
-- he did not appear to be worried or anxious during this run, although we would probably have done better if he were, because then he'd have been paying attention to me instead of trying to eat grass.

It still sucked a whole bunch and I am not happy and why did I ever think I could do obedience with this dog. Or at all. Ever.

I watched some of the Utility runs (both A and B) and my dog is never going to do that. Never. Not ever. Who am I even trying to kid here.


So anyway today was terrible and it sucked and I'm going to take a nap now.

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