It’s been awhile since I have posted anything and I’m not quite sure I really want to post this but here we go….
Jethro and I finally made our agility trial debut at the Henry/Stafford East Tennessee Agricultural Exposition Center in Harriman, Tennessee. The trial was hosted by the Tennessee Valley Kennel Club (TVKC) and they put on a pretty good trial. Plus, there are also vendors and I understand that the concessions makes a mean cheesecake. But, it was gone before I had a chance to try a slice.
Oh, well. That slice of heaven was going to be my reward for a qualifying run or at least finishing a course. Jethro and I did not have a qualifying run but we at least finished each one. Except for the first one. We were disqualified because MOM forgot that the handler is NOT to touch the dog after said dog is in place. I took him back to the start by his collar. NOT ALLOWED. Heard that whistle blow and just cringed. My bad. I couldn’t blame Jethro, he was just ready to go. The judge was so nice about it, said he hated to disqualify us and I agreed, rules are rules.
The second run was better. At first. Not only was he really excited about running because it is fun, but he also he remembered a REALLY interesting scent after our practice runs the day before. So, about the third or fourth obstacle of our second attempt at qualifying, he once again had to go check it out.
Right before the third run, I took him downstairs to wait for his run. Unfortunately, I stopped to watch someone and took my eye off Jethro for a very short period of time. A man walked by with his dog in close quarters. Jethro has definite ideas of space with his ongoing fear aggression of dogs. This dog was his limit. He whirled around and launched at the dog. The other dog, understandably terrified, took defensive action and ran. However, his owner was still attached and so Jethro slammed into him instead, knocking him over. Chaos ensued, just like a Wiley and Roadrunner cartoon.
Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt. Except for a few egos.
Jethro had been WAY over threshhold for much of the trial due to all the noise and activity. I had obviously dropped him in over his head, but he was absolutely solid in the ring. He was so proud (if anxious) of his efforts and so was I. I was a bit shook up but he got down to business. I didn’t want to disappoint him so off we went and did a much more acceptable job, which is the video I am also posting.
Fortunately, the last run was also quite acceptable. This was our first agility trial EVER. The only black eye to the entire thing was due to my one lapse in vigilance for Jethro’s peace of mind around other dogs. It cost me time with the TVKC Bench Committee and a possible suspension plus a probable fine of $200.00. A tough lesson but yet another opportunity for growth.
Needless to say, everyone was exhausted by the time we got home Sunday evening. Even Ziva, who was a VERY good girl in her crate, only tried to escape twice and only chewed one bungee cord. But, that’s another blog post.
We even had a good time. At some point. Met some really nice people, a few not-so-nice people. That’s part of the game. Most dog people are NOT fond of human beings anyway, so we are all learning how to deal with it. Our dogs help keep us grounded. They have to work so hard to keep us grounded and somewhat sane. I feel sorry for anyone that does not have a dog.
$200.00 fine and no suspension. We will keep on keepin’ on. Jethro would not have it any other way.