Tonight's class was a Gambler's course Katrin had us play with in December. I was looking forward to this - Gamblers is fun.
Since there was a lot of equipment to set up we got to the barn a little earlier and Niche (Katrin's FCR) and Ike trotted about while we set up. Niche has been diligently trying to get Ike to play with him for MONTHS and tonight Ike finally did. Hooray. I am really happy that Ike felt comfortable enough to play with Niche. It helps that Niche is so respectful - I think it makes Ike feel much more confident.
Callie and her humans arrived and helped us finish the set-up. All three dogs played together. WOW. Yay, Ike!!
While the lead up to class was awesome, class itself did not go so well. Ike and I ran the course twice and I was very choppy and kept asking Ike to correct things! WEIRD. The choppiness I get because I am still figuring out this transition business and I wasn't 100% sure what course I intended to do. Re-doing equipment, not so much. I wouldn't do that at a trial in a Jackpot or Chances course, why am I doing it in practice?!! Argh!
Katrin ran Niche and I worked the stopwatch. After Niche and Callie's runs Ike was huddled in a corner, shaking, paw up at the exit of the barn.
For once in my life I listened to my dog and brought him outside to try and chill out. He immediately went to the side of the car where his crate is. : ( I let him get in the car and went back in to let Katrin know that Ikey P was done for the night. Bummer.
Katrin let me run Niche and while I was still loud - I think it must make me feel more confident? - I was noticeably smoother. At least I was noticeably smoother to myself! So I am very pleased about that. The one instance Niche almost went off course he made the right choice in the end. He is a sweet pea of a dog.
After class Katrin and I were talking about Ike's melt-down and we think maybe agility class on top of the ground-breaking play was too much for Ike. It sucks, I feel so helpless when he is like that. Of course, now that we are home he is fine. He was just snoozing in my lap.
I am a bit down about Ike being so visibly upset, but a lot of positive things happened tonight. Playing with Niche? Playing with Niche and Callie? ASTONISHING. And personally, while my handling with Ike was TERRIBLE - I feel like my handling with Niche improved dramatically. I guess I will call the night a slightly positive wash!
4 days ago