I’ve come to the conclusion that trialing Jig is a lot like handling some highly explosive chemical. It’s certainly exciting, as long as you don’t jostle it too much because that’s when it blows up in your face.
I entered the RRV trial this past weekend to see where we’re at before heading to Nationals. I have a couple weeks to firm up our weakest areas and want to make sure I’m focusing on the right ones. She does so brilliantly at home, there’s no way of gauging our progress without putting it to the test.
There were some good parts, some terrible parts, and not much in between. The good parts earned us a few class placements, an Open Duck title, one leg toward her Open Sheep title, and High Combined Non-WTCH for the a.m. trial. The terrible resulted in a JCT. That came in our last sheep run. Apparently, five runs of me thumbing on her and resorting to some hellacious micro-managing was five runs too many. I knew as soon as she left on the gather for our last run of the day that I was in trouble. She had her crack-dog look going. Her ear set, the look in her eyes, the lines of her body, all told me that explosive chemical I had been playing with was about to explode in a most glorious fashion. I should have stopped the run right there, but I sincerely thought I could get into her head. After all, I’d been there all day.
Flashback to our sheep run at Nationals last year. Only worse.
Not a good way to end the day though I’m trying to remain focused on the positive. Trying not to compare our performance to some others. Remembering how young Jig is yet. Keeping in mind how many folks watch her and tell me what a cool dog she is because they can see things I can’t when I’m wrapped up in the middle of it all.
Jig has talent, drive, and heart. I am impatient, demanding, and oft times likely unreasonable. I certainly don’t deserve her. Some day when I pull my head out of my backside, perhaps I will.