So yeah... Today was not a good day.
I don't know what was wrong. My knee started killing me last night and still hurt like a son-of-a-gun this morning. My right knee is the one that typically gives me issues and this was my left, so I have no idea what that is about. I iced it and took ibuprofen. I don't think my knee was the cause of anything.
Laurie (who owns Family Dog Center) had to say goodbye to her 10 1/2 year old German Shepherd, Rocky, last night and most of us found out about that this morning. That totally sucked. That might have been part of the reason for my crappy day. Who knows.
Luke's Jumpers run started off our day and it was a great run! My knee was twinging and not happy, but we got through the run and had another fantastic time (maybe the old fart will be able to keep up with those "young veterans" at Champs after all?). Kaiser started great in his run -- even gave me another super awesome lead-out (we started practicing those for Champs now, too). He was moving out nicely enough that it was probably set to be another 100+ DRI run for him; until he completely blew me off on a front cross to run straight into the tunnel. Seriously. He looked at me and then took the tunnel.
Tunnelers was the second run of the day. In case you missed it, we just need the one Tunnelers Q for Kaiser's V-NATCH. Today's course was full of 180 turns and I was concerned about getting the first one. Well, Kaiser turned easily, looked at the tunnel entrance I was indicating and then went 15' sideways to take an off course tunnel. I picked him up, walked him off the course and put him in his crate with no words and no treats. I honestly don't think I've ever done that to him.
I have no explanation for how I felt about this. I was unbelievably upset about the whole thing. Not like screaming or beating my dog upset. Not really upset with myself (other than for being so upset to begin with). It was just an inexplicable feeling of disappointment, which I still don't really understand. When Kaiser missed Q after Q after Q in Chances I never came close to feeling this way. Maybe it's because that's Chances and you half expect to NQ? This was Tunnelers and while we don't run it often, Kaiser rarely NQ's in classes like this. It's TUNNELERS. And we got two, count-em, TWO NQ's this weekend.
Sadly, a dark cloud pretty much hung over my head for the rest of the day. I apparently was quite bad at hiding my disappointment because more than one person asked me if I was okay while I walked around like a zombie between classes. At one point I almost felt like crying. What is wrong with me?
Part of it might be Champs related. It's not fair to Kaiser, but I am hanging all of my hopes & dreams on his ability to win his division this year. He's been so steady and rock solid this year and today just felt so disconnected and lost. It's not his fault. He was tired today - SO tired. I ask a lot of him when I run him in everything like this. I probably need to cut back on that. He tries so hard.
Everyone in my crew flopped Chances. It was not a hard course, they should have gotten it. My dark cloud apparently clouded my vision and made my timing totally suck. But hey -- Secret was happy again, so yay for that! Kaiser seemed stressed. That made me sad.
His Touch-n-Go run was up next and I just wanted it to be fun for him. I'd put him in by Luke after Chances to see if it would make him happier and when I went to fetch him before his run he was out cold. Poor sleepy Kaiser. He put in a valiant effort and we did get a Q in that run. Go figure, we end up with an extra Q in the class I figured would hold us back from our V-NATCH....
Both Kaiser and Luke NQ'd at the same spot in Regular. Both completely missed my cue for the dog walk discrimination -- so apparently I need to go back to a more obvious RFP? Or maybe we just need to train. One of those, I'm sure.
The trial got done super early today -- I was out of there at 1:30. I stopped at Dairy Queen to console myself (dude, you can get a blizzard in a waffle cone now!) and after unpacking the car I loaded up the dogs and went to the river for a swim. Thanks to our never-ending monsoon season this year, I got to walk through some pretty nasty, stinky mud on the trail to our swimming spot. That was pretty awesome. We met a whole slew of people walking back from the beach area and I hoped that meant that we'd have it to ourselves. There were a handful of teenagers and their fat Boston-looking dog there when we arrived. The dog was not leashed and the group appeared to be heading towards us on purpose with the dog as though we were there to play with them. I looked at them and said, "Um, no." Thankfully that was all they needed to get the message -- they leashed the dog and left soon after.
They didn't need to leave, I just didn't need them thinking this was the dog park and that my dogs had any interest in socializing with their dog. What is with people? When I bring three dogs to the river what do you think we are there to do? When there is water and toys in one spot, my dogs do not want to visit with your dog. In fact, at least one of my dogs (yes, the bitchy one), will probably go after your dog if she thinks it will take her toy. So no, let's not have them meet, mmmkay?
I'm a little down on myself today. I have a lot of work to do (on myself) before Champs in September if I want to be a proper teammate to my dog(s).