...so leading up to the AAC (Agility Association of Canada) Trial this weekend I overheard our teacher talking to my mum. She was getting advice about how to prepare and what to expect. Since it was my VERY FIRST OFFICIAL TRIAL ever ***gasp*** they thought it best to plan for my usual ground sniffing, treat-honing radar that typifies my approach to life. In a nutshell, the expectations were low 🙂 (and quite in line with the impish spaniel that I am). Words like "fun" "new" "taking off" and "who cares!" were all used in the same sentence.
So my mum didn't really do anything special to prepare. Except for probably talk to every other supportive dog agility person at the trial that weekend, all of who were so friendly and willing to impart some wonderful knowledge. I hung out in my crate and caught a few naps. I'm laid back at the best of times, but the air was buzzing with some really neat scents and new doggie friends to meet. My mum kept taking me outside to do my business. I think she had panicky visions of me peeing on a tunnel or something worse that would have required a plastic bag and some deodorizer on the course. She was being more persistent than a 30 day cabbage cleanse. I honestly didn't have any more to give!
So she entered us in two events. A point based game called Gamblers Starters and then a long swoopy course called Standard Starters. There is a judge in the ring during both events, but other than that it's just me and my mum with EVERYBODY watching. No pressure, right?! And to top it off, both Standards and Gamblers have weaves. Now if you've read some of my previous blogs, you'll already know about my mental block in that department, but since we were out there to have FUN and SNIFF THE GROUND, we were just going to pretend those weaves didn't exist. That's also how my mum deals with dust bunnies under the bed, dirty walls in the house, and calories in chocolate. They just don't exist.
So anyhow, with expectations near the floor, we went out on our first run and whadda you know? After a completely empty GI and a lot of napping, I was RARING to go. It was so FUN. I raced around the course, following my mum's lead. Well, "racing" is used lightly (I am a spaniel with big feet) but I stayed on track. The last jump in Gamblers was too far away, so I didn't do that one. I didn't quite get why she was in the prayer position at that moment pleading with me to go "OVER" (didn't she see it was too far away??), but whatever, the time buzzer went off and I forgave her anyhow 🙂
The Standard Starters was even more fun cuz I actually knew what I was doing and there were no crazy turns or cross overs that usually confuse the heck out of me. So I ran the course with my little springer tail wagging the whole time. I got a great big kiss on the head when we were done and you would have thought we had just won a world title. It was great to hear all the people clapping and my mum so excited that we had done so much more than expected.
When we got home, I crashed in my bed. A thunderous herd of cats could have come storming by and I wouldn't have even noticed.
So the funny thing about expectations is that great things can happen when you prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Not a bad approach to life sometimes.