No-Good, Very Bad evening at class

Ever have one of those classes where you are convinced you are the worst dog handler in the history of ever, and your dogs are the most poorly behaved animals in the world, and you leave the building with the absolute certainty that you should never darken a ring gate again, and should in fact give up on owning dogs altogether and just drop out of life and become a smelly hermit and live in a yurt somewhere spinning wild conspiracy theories?

Yeah.  It was like that.

With the Spring Fling shows and the National right around the corner, I took both Whiskey and Magnum to handling class last night.  Whiskey got the first half hour.  At two days shy of 6 months, she moves like a dream, and does a serviceable job free-stacking.  Let me try to stack her on the table or hard-stack on the ground, though, and it’s Meltdown Time.  She’ll A-frame, roach up, swing her butt away from me, hunch her neck down… anything to make me pull the bait back out and get my hands off of her.  And it’s kinda hard to present a nice silhouette when your dog is chomping at bait.  At this point the whole thing stresses me out so much that I’m sure I’m only feeding into the problem, and I am thiiiiiiiiiis close to throwing my hands in the air and cancelling my cell phone and my cable and maybe living without heat or hot water just so I can pay someone else to handle her.  Which is pissing me off, because having put all the points on my dogs myself, it’s become a point of pride to be strictly an owner-handler.  Basically, this is me right now:

So after the first half hour, I took Whiskey to the car and got Magnum out.  He’s been showing for a year and a half, has his championship and two Grand majors, so surely this would be like a soothing balm to my nerves after working with the baby, right?

Um, have you met Magnum?

Mag:  “Oh my god!  You left in the car for a whole half hour!  Where ith thith?  I don’t know thith plathe!  It thmellth weird!  Who’th that dog there?!  Why are you gethturing at me like that?  Hey, ith that a GIRL?  You want me to thtand how?!  What’th a table? MEHHHHHH!”

Me:  “O.M.F.G!”

So here I am, 3 weeks away from Spring Fling, 6 weeks away from the National, and I’m apparently going to be heading into the ring looking like a mentally-challenged, fat, frazzled, badly-dressed, and wholly incompetent hick from Po-Dunk, USA.

Jesus.  Someone just shoot me now.

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Posted on March 14, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. oh jeez!! Does not sound fun at all. It sounds like Whiskey has a big personal space bubble. Do you think TTouch would help and transfer to the table?

    • Dayna Dawn Small (AKA Dayna Barter)

      I really don’t think it’s that, because around the house she’s fine with me touching her and picking her up and smooshing on her. I think it’s more of a tantrum because I’m asking her to do something on my agenda, not hers. And also my own stress over it feeding down into her. Which means i need to figure out how to just freaking chill.

      Or, you know, take up drinking.

      • Gotcha. I should have asked if it was situational. Bummer!! Have you tried having Kate handle her? Is she any different for her?

  2. Dayna Dawn Small (AKA Dayna Barter)

    I’m going to set the grooming table up in the kitchen and leave it there and just start putting her on it several times a day with lots of treats and praise. I’ll also have Kate do a little and see if that helps. The whole thing is totally, 100% my fault. I should have been doing this for months. But I dread it, so I don’t do it, so when I DO do it I dread it even more, and then she’s bad because I dread it and because I haven’t practiced enough, and on and on the cycle goes. I just need to break that cycle and not have a 5-alarm freakout all the time. :-/

  3. donna cassista

    Well looks like you will fit right in with all your friends esp me d

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