I was thinking when I entered the trials last weekend that this was a 'do or die' weekend for Jackson - as far as our goal of pursuing the UDX was concerned. I was not optimistic due to his performances in new training locations lately, so I was starting to have second thoughts about our goal for 2010. For those who may not know about AKC obedience, to earn the UDX title a dog must qualify in both Open B and Utility B classes at the same trial on the same day 10 times! Now, it took Jackson one year and 14 trials to earn the three legs needed for the Utility Dog (UD) title, so you can see why I thought it might be a stretch for us to pursue the UDX title.
But then Friday morning before we left for the weekend, I read Susan Garrett's post - Making Dreams Come True. Her point was, "Whatever your dreams are, start to see yourself as that person or it will never happen. See yourself as already having accomplished it." So I spent the hours driving up to Minnesota visualizing how I wanted the exercises to go - the perfect performances.
I didn't know what to expect though, so I was surprised - to say the least - when Jackson qualified in both classes both days and earned two UDX legs this weekend! Now, we just need to do this eight more times : ) It was not especially pretty (not exactly how I visualized it) - there was some lagging, some really slow sits, some no sits on go outs, some crooked finishes - but there was also some trotting out and back instead of walking, some good scent discrimination work, really good drop on recalls and he completed all the basic exercises. Our scores for Open were in the high 180s and our scores for Utility were in the low 180s. Certainly not scores to brag about, but because we were the only qualifier in Utility both days, we got the trophies for High Combined. (It was a small trial : )
I was relieved and really happy because it means we can continue training with the hope of earning our UDX title this year. I was also reminded of another post on Susan Garrett's blog about rehearsing success - The way you get better at anything is to create opportunities to repeat those successful events over and over.
The more you rehearse - the more likely it is that you will be able to do it again and again. So, that's what we're going to try to do in these next few months - rehearse success!