This past weekend was crazy busy. Success Just Clicks, Tugs by Tena, and Steel City Disc Dogs–AKA my three different identities–all went up to a fundraiser event about an hour away. Thankfully my mom volunteered to help me out since I could not fit the dogs and the table in my car. We brought up an ez-up tent, table, tugs, banner, signs, frisbee gear, training information, frisbee information, chairs, crates, snacks, water… oh and all three dogs.
The weather was not ideal–it was rainy, cool, and thunderstorms were predicted. The weather put a damper on the day but we didn’t get the storms and the rain was light and sporadic for the most part, so not a washout but still not nearly the crowd expected. The weather definitely kept people away from the event, which is a little sad BUT the rescue still made some money and I think there were a few adoptions as a result of the event. So while it was a little disappointing to the event sponsors, it was not a failure considering the weather (or I don’t think so).
It really was a great event for me though. I got to mingle with some frisbee dog folks whom I haven’t seen for a year, I got to meet a few new contacts which I’m excited about, I got to see a bunch of the cute little pups available for adoption, and have a fun day with the dogs. The disc club performed two demonstrations which is always lots of fun. Rio rocked it during both demos …. Shayne, well, let’s just say I should have run her before the first demo. She was so jazzed up and drivey that she forgot the concept of CATCHING the frisbee. She was over running and running through the discs and so rushed with her mouth that she actually hit the discs out of her mouth a few times. She came back on demo two to have a really great time… pretty good catch ratio and landed a reverse hip vault and a big back vault.
The best part of the day, however, was the down time manning the booth and when I made the rounds to the other booths with Shayne. Before writing about this year, let’s just revisit last year.
Last year Shayne spent a large portion of the event chill’n in the car (which was right by our tent and it wasn’t hot out) because she was too stressed out at the event. She was barking, was getting snarky with approaching dogs, was barking in her crate, was not happy about the fellow disc-dogs who were hanging out near our tent–just generally being a little unruly. It wasn’t until after the second demo that she was able to be out of the car and hanging out with us. I’m pretty sure that I took Rio on a walk around to the other vendors because Shayne was just not having a good day.
This year was the complete opposite for Shayne. It was truly incredible. She was out the entire time hanging with me and representing positive training. We were set up right next to a Great Dane rescue that did not have the best control of their dogs and who had some pretty barky/reactive dogs. Last year this would have been awful… this year Shayne didn’t even bat an eye! Quite a few dogs tried to stick their heads into our tent and Shayne wasn’t bothered at all–she quite literally just relaxed on the rug I had for her.
Now, I set up our booth so that dogs couldn’t try to come under the table into our space (a problem last year) and so she couldn’t see all the dogs right in front of the booth (which caused some stare-downs last year). I created the most secluded space as possible for the pups to reduce potential stress from nosey dogs. Shayne could see the dogs approaching the tent from either side, and had a few dogs who made a bee-line towards her but she was cool as a cucumber as I stepped in and said something to the handler to get their pup.
Probably the coolest moments came when I took Shayne out for a walk around to the various vendors. Shayne was rushed by two dogs while walking and didn’t do anything other than give a stare before looking away. Probably most impressive was when I was talking to a rescue worker to whom I dropped off a bunch of Kitty Kick-Bags. A woman let her young Cocker come up behind Shayne and put his/her nose right up Shayne’s butt (which would have been BAD news previously)! Shayne whipped her head around then whipped it right back to me like WTH!!! I fed her the whole time the dog was sniffing and she was totally relaxed, no hard mouth or nothing. This happened one other time and again Shayne just looked at the dog and looked to me!
The only reactive moment Shayne had the entire day was when two dogs started to scuffle right in front of our booth. She has about 3 seconds of barking and hypervigilance but then calmed right down–even Rio joined in on the barking.
I was so proud of her! She really is pretty much normal nowadays. I still handle her carefully and am very aware of our surroundings but y’know… even when she was surprised she did very well! It was so great to be able to relax since my dogs were relaxing. I wasn’t concerned about potential problems between dogs… I was confident Shayne would be alright and that confidence allowed me to relax and enjoy myself!
Awesome and exhausting day.