Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Happy Birthday, Secret!

Secret turns two years old today! Happy Birthday, Secret! Once again I totally failed on finding her a birthday hat to wear. Whoops.

So yesterday was our big dock jumping adventure at the Wisconsin State Fair. I'll just begin by saying that things did not go as planned (or hoped), but overall I'm very proud of how well Secret handled the day.

We got to the fair park around 10:00, an hour before the first event. We had no trouble getting in the gates to unload everything. As I was setting up our kennels I could hear a weave pole challenge going on in the building. I'd never heard anything about anything like that being offered, so I was bummed that we hadn't arrived a bit earlier so that I could have tried to weasel my way in. Luke would have thought that was awesome. :o)

I had to leave the dogs in their crates while I went to park the car and go through the main entrance. It was a little nerve wracking considering I had no idea where we were going or how long I'd be gone, but parking wasn't too bad at that hour and it didn't take long at all. I made it back in time to get the dogs out to go potty on the postage stamp sized patch of grass that was available to us (and Secret actually went, I couldn't believe it!).

There isn't much point in giving a play-by-play for each time up. The short version is that Secret never got in the water during the competition. Between the first & second heats I took her up on the dock to work with her. I ended up having Bethany go up there with her while I stood at the edge of the pool to coax her in with her leash on. I thought that if she would just go for a swim that she would figure out what the pool was, but no such luck. If anything I think she shut down more at that point.

The GOOD and HAPPY news is that she played with her toys in the midst of all the chaos! She isn't even interested in toys at agility trials, but she happily tugged her Wubba & frisbee all day long. She stayed happy, barky & playful in the waiting area amongst some pretty crazy dogs (everyone else there was very experienced). She really did not like one particular chocolate lab, but aside from that I was pleasantly surprised at how well she did around all the new people & dogs.

She definitely got stage fright looking out at the crowds when we were up on the platform. When they would cheer to encourage her it would just make things worse. It also didn't help when the guys working the show tried to encourage her into the water -- They seemed to figure this out on their own and backed off a bit towards the end.

For the last few jumps we were just trying to get her to go down the exit ramp to get her toy. She got the last one all on her own, so that's a good thing. I'm disappointed that she never found any fun in the event, but the pool was just a very new, very scary thing for her. From what I understand, the combination of the event being indoors AND with a pool is about the hardest thing to throw at a newbie.

Oh well. We will stick to our local lakes and rivers for now. Maybe some day we will have a chance to work with a pool some more -- Or maybe even come across a competition held on natural water. But otherwise, I think we'll just keep swimming for fun.

Here is Secret's video, although you should know by now that there isn't much to see. lol

Luke had a super fun time. He quickly found the exit ramp, though, and from there it was impossible to convince him there was any other way into the pool. I'd be curious to see what he would do if we went to a dock that had a door blocking off the ramp area. Ultimately, though, I didn't expect him to jump, so I'm just glad he enjoyed himself. He got to go swimming nine times! :o)

1 comment:

  1. I had pretty much the same experience with my girl Darby. She LOVES water. She happily jumps into lakes and has even jumped off a dock into the lake. So I entered her in a dock diving competition held in our hometown. They had a pool for them to jump into. Darby would have nothing to do with this. She wasn't used to jumping into clear water. She had no idea what I was asking her to do. It was frustrating, but in the end it was ok. I'm sure Secret and Darby would completely love and excel at a dock diving competition held at the local lake :).