Hello all! I hope this blog entry finds you all well and your dogs healthy, happy and non-reactive!
First of all I’d like to say thank you to Embrace Pet Insurance for featuring Inara as part of their Therapy Pet Week newsletter. It was so kind of them to contact me and ask to use her story! So check out their newsletter, leave them a kind comment thanking them for being pit bull friendly and then order some insurance for your pet through them!
Secondly, I’ve been getting some kind comments recently from readers who stumbled upon this blog and I want to say thank you. I know I don’t keep it updated like I should, but your comments really brighten my day (and make me want to just hug some of you who are struggling!). I’m so glad that you guys are realizing you’re not alone. Sometimes you feel like the only one with a crazy dog, don’t you? I know I do, even now. But trust me when I say there are a TON of us with reactive dogs. If you’re looking for someplace to get training assistance or just find a sympathetic ear, feel free to pop over to PitBullTalk. You don’t have to have a pit bull – we welcome all breeds of dog owners. 😉
Now, onto the brags! Inara and I had been training for a regional competition called C-WAGS. We were entered in the obedience portion of things (HA! I know, right???). Well I was pretty nervous but we got there this past Sunday morning and things could not have gone better. It was at the center I train at, so I think that helped Inara a lot. Also, it was CRAZY hot so there weren’t many dogs out. Most were crated in their cars with the AC running. So Inara was actually content to lie in her crate in the air-conditioned car, napping, with the occasional foray out to stretch her legs and pee. She barked at a couple dogs but it was half-hearted. She was announcing her presence, not threatening them.
Finally it was our turn for our first run-through. We were second to last, and the woman competing behind me knew Inara was reactive and had agreed to not bring her dog into the building until we were out. So there were no other dogs in there, which was great. I had a little trouble getting her focused when we walked in, but I waited until I had some eye contact before we entered the ring. So we entered and went through the routine – and not only qualified but got FOURTH PLACE!!!!! There had been probably 15 dogs competing and we got 4th place!!! I nearly cried with joy. I never thought my crazy little pit bull would compete, in OBEDIENCE, of all things, and actually beat other dogs. It was pretty amazing.
Our second run-through we NQ’ed because she was hot and tired and couldn’t focus on the heeling portion. It’s too bad because the rest of our routine was nearly perfect so we would have ended up pretty high in the rankings again. 🙂 But I didn’t care. I had gone there with the intention of having fun, seeing how Inara did, and not even qualifying. But we came home with ribbons.
So please, I know it’s easier said than done, but don’t underestimate yourself and/or your dog. Believe other people when they say that you can do it. And above all, make sure you AND YOUR DOG always have fun while training/competing.
Thanks for reading!