Tuesday, September 17, 2002 Dear Gail,
Roland was great Sunday, and Cayenne was worse by far. Roland got his second Open Standard qualifying run (and a second place), and so he only needs one more Q for his Open title. Because I've been concentrating on Cayenne, he's only run in two Standard events in Open—one last February and one Sunday. I am very proud of the boy—and he was proud of himself. At least, he definitely knew he was doing well. His fur was shining and his body was round and beautiful. His face was wide, eyes alert, and whole self attuned to me as his team member. We were, in short, communicating, on and off the course.
Now to "tales from the Crypt"!
Saturday, Cayenne popped the A-frame contact in her otherwise fairly good Novice Standard. She did a correct dog walk contact (including waiting for the release), but did not hold the teeter as long as she should have—and I did not give her clear information about what I wanted there. I left the course with her after the teeter, and gave her quiet, definite, standing-still "wrongs" at the A-frame and dog walk, bringing her back before we went on. But she was in high stress mode—very squirrelly.
At home, I can't get her to miss two-on, two-off (or four-on for the teeter); and she waits for the release command, even if I climb the roof and throw hamburgers (well, you see what I mean). In class, she is consistent at making the contacts correctly, but will break her position before the release if I move oddly or ask her to stay too long and she is excited. In the trials, she is, at this point, almost never making the A-frame contacts at all, and she pops the dog walk about 50 percent of the time. Help!!!!
Sunday, she was simply wild—a Klingon Warrior Princess in her own world. She popped contacts all over her Standard run and had poor attention in her Jumpers event. She seemed stressed out and unresponsive, something she has done before when Roland is also there. I think I need to take her and Roland separately, at least for now.
Thanks for promising to think with me tomorrow about how we can make some headway on the contact problem.
We have a trial in Dixon this weekend. Stay tuned!
I ought to be doing my real work!
Cayenne's inconsistent trainer and your abject student, Donna
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