Monday, May 30, 2011

Tough week

Ive had a tough week.  Work has not been nice. People are mean and they think they are allowed to say what ever they want to me.   A parent, who I had called her about her sick kid, said she would call me back  and let me know if she could get off work to come pick up her kid. She even asked for my phone number. She didnt call me back so I put her kid on the bus home.  Ive been stuck at school before waiting for several hours for a parent to come get their kid. So if they arent coming, I put them on the bus. Well she shows up 10 minutes after the buses had left. She was mad, which I can understand.  I told her that I was sorry but you said you were going to call me. She denied that and called me a  "stupid white person". Nice.   Then another kid, with a chronic condition came to school, right off the bus, to my office, sick. Really sick.  After 2 hours, no parent, and she wasnt improving at all, I called an ambulance and sent her to the hospital. She was admitted for two days. When she came back to school , she said that her  dad  kept saying I was CYA.  Nice, huh?   I guess the hospital was just CYA  too, right?  There were more upsetting interactions but I dont feel like writting about all of them.  Ugh!  I just not sure I was meant to do this job. 

So I wasnt in the greatest mind set for the trial this weekend.  My runs werent until the afternoon, so I figured I would just drive the 2 hours up to the trial instead of staying at a hotel. That morning I took the dogs to the park for a walk before I would leave.  We are walking down the path and its early, 7am.  No cars in the parking lot , so I didnt think anyone was there. I had let Miley off leash after getting down the path a ways.  There are several entries onto the path from the woods. You cant see the person until you are right there because of the dense forest.  All of a sudden there was a big black dog. I wont say the breed because someone will be offended.  I called Miley, and the dog went after her. He slammed her to the ground. She got away and she slammed her again and got a mouth full of hair.  Miley is screaming and the guy just laughed.  Miley gets away and I tell her "go". I pretty sure she can out run this big dog because he looks out of shape and over weight.  She takes off and out runs the big dog.  The man never said sorry.  I couldnt deal with him, Im just thinking of Miley. She is still running for her life down the path. She cant hear me calling her. She is in flight mode. Im thinking, great I just lost my dog.  She finally stops. I call her but she wont come.  I decided to just wait her out.  I wait and wait. She finally comes to me. Thank goodness.  I dont see an wounds on her. She physically seems fine.  Now I start debating if I should even go to the trial. My mind isnt in the right place.  Plus, what if she is freaked out, I dont want that to transfer to the ring. I decided to go, and see how she is around all the dogs. Any sign of stress and we wont go in the ring, we'll just work on being relaxed.

We ge to the trial and its packed.  No crating room anywhere. They even put up these extra platforms for people to set up crates.  I found some friends and they made room for me.  Miley seemed ok. I walked her around and around. I didnt see any signs of stress. She went up to a couple of bigger shelites that I know and she didnt even raise her lips to them like she usually does.  Wow, maybe she was ok.
Our first run is ISC jumpers.  Tough course but I feel like we can do it.

 We started out nice. I didnt even see the triple coming out of the tunnel as an off course. Well, she went off course, and the stressed.  I couldnt get her back, no matter what. I finally had to leave the ring. My poor dog. I felt terrible for her. I dont want her being stressed out.

I had to go straight from that ring to Open standard.  It didnt even cross my mind that I shouldnt attempt the table. What the heck is wrong with me.  Why didnt it cross my mind?  Well, I guess you can figure out what happened.  She wouldnt get on the table, and stressed about it.

Now I have another run. All my runs were right together.  Im thinking maybe I shouldnt run her at all. I just dont know what to do. I talk to a couple of people. Everyone has a different opinion.  I decided Im just going to do #1-5 and then take the final jump. Run out and reward.
 I didnt walk anything but my plan. But after watching people run it, I decided it was easy enough and we could do it. So without walking it, we ran it.  She did great except she pulled out of the weaves. I think I decelerated to much and she thought I stopped. She stressed circled a couple of time and then went back into the weaves and finished great.  At least I got her back. (no video)

We had a little break.  An hour or so.  Now it was time for Exc Fast.  I just wanted to keep it fun and fast.
She ran great and got the send.  She took 1st place. At least it ended well

The next morning I felt mentally much better.  I decided to go up early and bring my table. I stopped at a park. We walked , played ball and did some tables.  We then went to the trail site.  Usually I can run her in the barns before our runs at this site. But there were all these horse things going on so you werent allowed to go anywhere because of the horses.  But I finally did find an empty barn with no signs about the dogs and no horses. We ran and played ball several times before our first run.  It was hot as heck and the site wasnt air conditioned. 
Open standard was first.  I really, really thought she was going to get on the table.  She didnt.  I just moved on. So still no table. I screwed up for good this time. I have no idea how to fix it.  I dont know why she feels the table is stressful. I started thinking. You know how with kids, you have to have rules and boundaries.  And even though they get mad and fight you about things, the rules and boundaries make them feel secure. They know someone is in charge and in control of things. Maybe this table thing is like that. She pushes her startline, jumps off the teeter,  and sometimes self releases  on the a-frame.  I never correct it at a trial becasue Im afraid of causing her stress. Maybe thats was is causing her stress. She doesnt think Im in control. The rules are different here and she doesnt understand.  Hmm, something to think about.
Next up was exc jumpers.  Man what a tough course. Even people who are good at running their dogs had trouble. That was un-nerving. There was that stupid off course triple after the tunnel again. Off courses were everywhere.  So now Im stressed.  I dont want to make a mistake and cause my dog to go off course and then stress circle.  Man, was I not feeling good about this.

We made it though but I did make some mistakes.

But she didnt stress circle. I was sooooo happy.  Even though we still haven't Qed in exc jumpers in 40 runs, its ok because she didnt stress out at my mistakes.  WhooHoo
Last up was Exc FAST.  They already had the walk-thur. I missed it because I was running my dog.  By the time I got my walk-thur, me an another person,  almost everyone was gone except for the people in the club running the trial. The other ring was already broken down.  We ran, didnt get the send bonus. She ran great, and no stress.  But when we left the ring, she wouldnt take any treats.  Then we walked up the steps, made it to the half-way point where their is a platform. She had diarrhea all on the platform. Poor dog.  When we got home, 2 hours later, she vomited a large amount of undigested food.  Poor dog.  Weird, she ran well for a dog not feeling good. Today she seems fine. Im not fine. I kept wondering what I should do about everything.  And I have to go teach an agility class tonight and I feel like I suck and shouldnt be teaching anyone anything.


Ricky the Sheltie said...

Tough week and weekend! Sorry parents are so mean to you at work - totally uncalled for and ridiculous behavior on the part of the parents!

The dog attacking Miley was horrible and I am so relieved that she was not physically hurt but it set the tone for the day for you. Hard not to feel stressed after all that and Miley must've known you were stressed. Please don't give up yet. The table will probably always be Miley's Achilles heel (like spread jumps and the chute are for Ricky). BUT you had some great moments in the runs - I especially loved the opening of the ISC run! You and Miley are really running well together on the whole and all that hard work with her has made you a great teacher and you should be teaching your agility class with confidence!!! Hope this week is way better!

Sara said...

You don't suck.

I hope this week goes better for you. You certainly had to endure a lot this week!

I like your idea about "structure". Makes sense.

Berts Blog said...

First of all. Give me the humans name and address who owns the big black dog. I am gonna take him down for hurting my Miley.

I don't blame the dog, us dogs are only as responsible as our humans teach us to be.

Secondly, you wanna let My Vickie take care of those un-appreciative parents for you.

she worked in mental health for a long time and she knows just how upsetting some humans can be to the more sensitive dog loving ones.

Third.....I think Miley looked just beautiful as she ran through her sets.

Just BEAUTIFUL. Who makes the rules anyway. If humans could really understand what she had been through the last few days, they would have given you both a trophie just for showing up.

Love and Patience
(well maybe I don't have that much patience)


Dawn said...

Aw man. What a stressful couple of days for both of you. Poor puppy...maybe it was pent up stress from being attacked on the trail. The guy should be reported.

Maybe you need a break, just have a happy summer and work on fun stuff without stress for a few weeks. When does school get out? That should lessen the stress right there!

manymuddypaws said...

You don't suck.

Some people are just mean. Best to not think about it much and just go on with your day.

I've probably said this before but Miley is awesome and you are doing a good job with her.

Take a deep breath. :) it always gets better eventually.

Anonymous said...

that was so awful about the dog attacking Miley. How scary for both of you. Sounds like a really tough week for you as well.

Hope this week goes better!


Sam said...

I feel for you. I could NEVER work a job like yours. However, if I was in the same position as you, I would have acted completely the same way. People loooove to take advantage of others and the line has to be drawn. I can't imagine what would have happened to that girl if you didn't call an ambulance for her. Her parents probably wouldn't have gotten her the medical attention that she needed.

The dog attack sounds scary and the owner sounds like he needs to be smacked several times. I am glad that Miley is physically uninjured and hoping her psyche is OK, too. Except for the table, it sounds like you had a pretty good trial, since the both of you were likely stressed from the events that unfolded in the days before.

Kathy said...

wow, that just sounds like such a rough week....there were some great things and I hope you are keeping trackof the really nice things in all those runs, like the isc the first part of the course was soooo awesome and after that table when Miley snapped right back and was totally on for the last of the course, there were some really nice places for sure and esp considering all the other things that went on, they say when a dog has a big stress it takes four or five days to get the stress hormones out of their system, so running for your life must have given her huge amounts of stress hormones that were circulating around, they will not be there next time, and considering wht you both had been through you guys did fantastic!

Ludo van Doggy said...

Sorry you had a tough week. I think the stress is bound to carry over. I don't think you suck. If anything the opposite, I think the missteps make you a better teacher for the experience. I'd hate a teacher (in fact, I've had one, lol) who had an amazing, say, border collie that hardly ever puts a foot wrong or gets stressed or over excited. She wouldn't be much help for me and my less than perfect dog.

Sarah Duke said...

not sure if you want more random advice hehe... one of my dogs, no wait make that two ;) have a hard time with the table. Java has convinced me she doesn't need to stop on contacts, ok running contacts, or the start line, ok jump starts, now stop on the table? ha! So I think you're onto something about the rules. Stress is tough though so deal with it appropriately. For Java I about turned myself inside out to slow her down before the table so she is at a walk getting on, it helped. Also she eats 3-4 meals a week on the table but it sounds like you are doing similar stuff in that regard. Hang in there. I watch Miley run and think oh man, when you all get it together! (and you will!) You don't suck, not anymore than anyone else anyway ;) we all suck sometimes.

Amy Wood said...

Sorry to hear you had a tough week. Hope things get better sooner.

Morganne said...

Sounds like a very rough week and the dog attack would be so upsetting. You had some very nice runs with Miley. Soleil will begin to sniff whenever she thinks she is wrong. This is different for me as my BC's don't care. These sensitive dogs can be challenging.

Cynthia said...

I'm so sorry you were treated poorly by those parents. :( You have to do what you have to do! Stress can definitely affect trials!

Marie said...

I still am amazed that both of you were able to recover and run a trial with all the stress you had going on.

I for one Diana, would sign for a class that you were teaching if you were close enough to train with. I definitely don't think you suck. I think you have a lot of experience and skills to share with people.

Nicki said...

Rough weekend. Happens to all of us. It will get better. And working with the public sucks.

Cedarfield said...

A very wise woman (and dog trainer/agility competitor/instructor)once told me something that changed the way I approached agility trialing forever: every dog stresses in the ring. It may be the contacts, the table, strange sights and sounds, whatever. They all have stress and we have to take a big, deep breath and relax about it. Once I did that, my dog got a lot better and we stopped having trouble with the table (he had been refusing it, refusing to sit or lie down, jumping up and biting at me, etc).

Good luck! I know things will just keep getting better as you go along.