As some of you know, four weeks ago I started Riggs in flyball.
We had a nasty setback last week when he grabbed a JRT on the way into the building. He was two feet ahead of me, the JRT was 2 feet behind her owner. He came around the door jamb (there is no separation between the doors) and grabbed her by her fleece coat. He had her for about two seconds while she screamed like he was gutting her. She was on her back kicking, with him holding her coat. I screamed "Riggs OUT" and amazingly he let go the instant I said it. That poor little thing was totally minding her own business (unlike most of the JRT's there) and I think he thought "FINALLY, one is in range!" and grabbed her. Obviously, he had zero interest in hurting her or he would have re-gripped and killed her in less than an instant. He prey shakes his chicken quarters, one shake of her would have been the end. Her owner was very upset (understandably) and I put him up immediately and went to speak to her. I told her that if her dog needed any vet care that she was to bring her to the emergency vet immediately and give me the bill (that would have been well over $100, it's $90 to walk through the door.) I didn't care about that of course. I asked her to check for a wound and she didn't want to, she said she would check when she got home. I told her to wait a second while I wrote down my name and phone number, her response was "I know who you are." Lovely... I walked away before I got upset right back at her.
I spoke to her last night and she said that there wasn't a mark on her dog and that their real concern was that she would be afraid of strange dogs. But she's a JRT and is fearless anyway - so she's fine. She told me "her coat saved her and that if he had gotten her spine he would have crippled her" and I responded that Riggs had no interest in really hurting her dog or he would have killed her quite easily. Yes, he was being a royal jerk, and I was very very sorry for the incident, but there is no way he had intent to kill. Her eyes got kinida big, and she said "ok." My purpose was not to scare her, but to point out that he wasn't out to kill.
When I brought him out to the car after class, there was a woman on her way in with a JRT. I cracked him one for even looking at it. She told me that she has a JRT that she would be willing to use as a training dog for him, and that she completely understood the problem. She is going to bring the dog next week so we can do some work after the club meeting. The instructor also has a JRT to use after we get past the passive one, she has a more reactive one.
Jen and I both took pictures last week, and three came out good enough to print (the lighting is horrible in the building). I printed them and gave them to the owners, they offered money and I refused because I greatly appreciate the support I have gotten from them. The Lab owner was concerned that people are being negative to me, and asked who they were. I told her it didn't really matter who, but it was interfering with our training and that it bothered me a lot. She said it is just fear and that she would stand up to me if she ever heard any comments about it.
The trainer, who really likes Riggs, was extra vigilant that night, as expected. Last night was our last class and I was asked to leave the ring twice so other dogs could work off leash. I was disappointed, but it was not mean spirited so I couldn't complain. I missed about 1/4 of the class though.
I stayed two watch the team practice, and spoke to the instructor afterwards. She said that she is more than willing to work with Riggs, but that she is worried about a loose ball in a meet. She also said that even though Ontario law states that AmStaffs can enter the province for flyball, different tournaments are not letting them register. Great.
And the final kicker - some of the people on the team don't want me there. I have some supporters, and some detractors.
Inside me is a thin woman trying to get out. I usually shut the bitch up with a martini.