Well, another agility trial is behind us. This one was given by the Mattaponi Kennel Club. Now, if you remember my last Weekend Report , Jimmy had a bad scare due to the A/C vent. This weekend's trial was held at the same spot. I was hoping, hoping, hoping Jimmy wouldn't be holding onto the fear he felt last time. Unfortunately, he not only held on to it, it festered. As soon as I got him out of the car, he knew this was the scary place. He did not want to enter the building. I let him crate out of the car since it was early morning and not too hot yet. I brought him inside as close to our run as possible and he was shaking just like last time. I hoped he would work through it like last time and once in the ring his love of agility would help him through. He took four jumps into a tunnel....and didn't come out. No amount of coaxing would get him out, so I had to crawl into the tunnel to grab his collar. I carried him off course and out of the building. I can't describe how I felt.
Our Jumpers run was fairly soon and on the other side of the building. Over there, his fear was noticeably less, but still with him. I decided to give it another go just to see what he would do. It was a really hard course and I didn't care at all about Qing. I just wanted to see if he could hold it together. And he did! He even pulled off a Q!
This gave me hope for Sunday, but alas, the Standard ring still held its menace. It was almost identical, a couple of jumps and fleeing into a tunnel to hide. I am just so heartbroken over this. I hated seeing him reduced to a quivering wreck all because of bad timing and an A/C vent noise. If he hadn't heard that damn scary vent noise, he'd still be as right as rain. I managed to keep it together as I got him back to his crate (on the safe side of the building), but I do confess to getting teary while I sat with him. Funny how you can get so emotional over "just a game". Both of us have put a lot of heart and soul into getting this far. I can only hope he won't take this fear to another building. The fact that he ran his Jumpers course again on Sunday (just one bar down, but he stayed with me and ran) seems like a good sign. I'll hold on to that as a good omen.
Before we headed home, Jimmy had a 30 minute massage. Naturally, he had a good bit of tension to work out, but no ouchy spots. By the end of the session, he had relaxed into lying flat on his side. It lightened my heart just a bit to see he could let go enough for that.
We've got another trial next weekend, thankfully in a different location. I wouldn't be going otherwise. I'll have my answer soon enough. Then nothing for a full month. Probably a very good thing.
Here's a picture of Jim when scary thunder-like noises were far from his mind.....