Time flies inexorably. The fall has come with rains, colors changing from green to yellow and red and lots of mushrooms in the forest. Days are getting shorter.
I do not panic yet. It is the very best training season of the year. The temperature is just right both for me and the dogs and there are a lot of activities at the dog clubs after the summer break.
Some exciting things have taken place. First av all Ruda completed her mental test and did not show fear for gunshot. I knew she was "shot proof" but it is always more complicated in real as the shots come in the end of the test. Belgians have rather reactive nervous system which gets really aroused during the whole test. And then, after a lot of scary experiences the four shots come from a very short distance. I myself jumped up though I knew they were coming. I think I must have the nerves of a Belgian Shepherd. Ruda looked at the man shooting wondering why he did so much fuss. She was rather puzzled.
But the test was also the last thing we needed for breeding. And now it´s done! And the breeding plans are made for next year!
Next exciting event was a very first competition with Prima. I was fed up with training for the lowest class. My worst nightmare was retieving of the object. Not because Prima has any problems with retrieving but the way it is carried out. In the lowest class the wooden dumbbell is placed on the ground between the handler and the dog. The dog is supposed to run quickly, pick it up and continue running to bring it to the handler. I have been training hundreds of times. If I focused on speed she wouldn´t be able to pick up the dumbbell properly, risking dropping it, if I trained the clean gripping she would be slow. That´s why my only ambition was to get enough points to move to the next class where retrieving is much, much easier for my dog. And so we did! Prima got 180,5 points ( of 200 possible) which was more than enough. I am very proud of her!
But I am not proud of myself and I did not feel happy with the result. Actually I was completely drained of all feelings. I was so nervous during the trial I thought I would faint. And this is such a pity! My dogs are so well prepared before I enter any competition that I just should walk in there and enjoy the moment! But I cannot! The only thing I feel is death anxiety with my legs shaking and my heart beating hard and my brain totally absent. I am more ballast than a help to them! And yes, I have been trying to work on it for a long time now and some competition were better than others and I thought I was over it, but now I do not know anything anymore and I just want to quit!
Of course I know I will continue because training dogs is the best part of my life and I do not give up so easily but I just have to find a way to skip this terrible anxiety that poison the competitions for me. I train for the results and the only way of knowing how good we are is to compete...
With Prima being quite ready for class 1 and Ruda for class 2 I suppose I will have to enter another competition soon. I can wait until spring though...
Maybe my state of mind has something to do with being extremely worn out. I need to rest from my demanding work so next week we are leaving to Poland for 2,5 weeks long vacation. The dogs are going with us and the first thing being planned is the 5 days herding course for both Prima and Ruda.
Whatever it will bring it will be a new experience for all of us and a wonderful relief from every day distress for me!