Agility Spaz

Monday, October 16, 2006

Expletive Deleted

I lived a quintessential Agility Spaz moment over the weekend. For the first time, I was whistled off of an agility course. Back before my first trial, I spent a bit of time reading up on all the reasons I could be expelled (being convinced, in my spazness, that any of them could happen to me at any moment). Dog leaving something of its own on the course? No, that hasn't happened to me yet. (Not at a trial, anyway. At a seminar, among people I did not know very well -- er, umm, yes.) Toys or treats on course? No, I assiduously check my pockets before every run. Touching the dog? Not 'til we're done. Foul language?

Ahh, foul language. Before you pass judgment, let me assure you that I don't berate my dog. It's always my fault. If it's not my fault from a handling perspective, it's my fault from a training perspective. (Except for the dead rabbit ten yards upwind of a NADAC Tunnelers course. The dead rabbit was not my fault.) Plus, Viva was doing fine. Shot-out-of-a-cannon doing fine. She held a beautiful start line stay to begin our first ever AKC Excellent course (JWW, for those keeping track), then suddenly bore a striking resemblance to a rapidly moving freight train. I swear she was paying me back for running a border collie last weekend. She flew out of the first tunnel ahead of me (third obstacle, for those keeping track), making me wish I'd led out even farther than usual. This led to the first implementation of a "Plan B." Well-executed. No problem. Except that she's still running as quickly as I've ever seen her go, thus ensuring my inability to execute a front cross on the landing side of the sixth obstacle. Result? Second implementation of a "Plan B." Three obstacles later, she shows no sign of letting up. Third implentation of a "Plan B."

My brain apparently has the capacity to benignly execute two "Plans B." Following the third, I lost any semblance of grace under pressure, completely forgot which obstacle came next, and uttered two words. Rather loudly. First word: "Oh." Second word: one syllable, four letters in length, beginning with the letter "s." This was followed by the judge's whistle. Twice. Oops. Foul language in the ring. In the heat of the moment, I suspect that -- even if I had remembered there is an AKC prohibition against swearing -- it would not have dawned upon me that I had sworn. I gave what I have begun to think of as my signature Agility Spaz "deer-in-the-headlights" look at the judge, who kindly informed me that I was excused. Really, she was quite kind. Thus the tale of how Viva and I blew a perfectly good (and fast!) run in our first foray into the world of Excellent. How do you explain to your dog that she's being carried off the course because her teammate's on-course vocabulary was ill-chosen? With her Toss-'N-Treat, I suppose, and extensive belly-rubbing. Sorry, buddy!


Blogger Chris said...

ROFLOL here in my hotel room in AL! I'm sorry, but I so wish I'd been there! I can picture Viva's expression too.

5:34 PM  

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