Monday, February 6, 2012

The debut, Part II

In 10 days, Phoenix and I are going back into the AKC Open and Utility rings for the first time in 5 months.

I looked at the calendar this morning and had the profound thought of, "Huh. That trial is next Friday. Whattaya know."

Heck, I was just glad our entries got in. A lot of folks' didn't. Glad I mailed mine early. We may be the first freakin' dog in the ring but who cares.

Then I felt a little guilty for not having been training more. Or harder. Or serious-er. (Is that a word? It is now.)

Then I came to my senses and realized that training more and harder and serious-er had a lot to do with the total train wreck that was our UDX debut last summer. Ugh. Been there. Done that. Let's hope I learned something from it.

Yeah, we've been training. And we've been enjoying time off, too. I've been focusing on the good stuff instead of being a harpy about the stuff that's not so good. I think we've fixed a few things. I know there is more that needs fixing.

On the way to a match last weekend, I drove by a business called "Phoenix Repair." I was tempted to walk in with Nix and ask if they could fix his moving stand and fiddly feet on group stays. Probably a good thing I just drove on by.

Phoenix and I are both happier about our training time together. I've quit being OCD about everything being perfect. I've cleaned up some criteria about what gets a treat/reward and what doesn't. We're both still coming to terms with the concept of making effort. Some days, it's an effort.

Our training is more about the "doing" and the "being" than the "getting." Does that make any sense?

So we'll re-debut next Friday and see what happens. I really do love the work-in-progress aspect of obedience trialing with a dog who is still fairly green when it comes to working both rings in one day. Although it would be an incredible experience to get consistent 199 and 199.5s every time we showed, I'm not sure that would hold my interest for long.

Whatever Phoenix and I do, it will be interesting. And we'll do it together.

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