Worried Wall-e is no longer. As of Friday, Worried Wall-e is now Unworried Wall-e.
I brought Wall-e into the trial building right soon after we arrived. I popped him over the two practice jumps and led him walk around a bit in the crating area, seeing the dogs we knew. He noticeably perked up, and mostly forgot about all of the trial noises, when he was doing the practice jumps and visiting other dogs. It really helps to keep him occupied when he's in a potentially stressful situation.
My plan for his Starters Jumpers run (the only run I had entered him in) was to just do the four jumps closest to the ring, then leave and jackpot. But I realized that the practice jumps were actually right under the heating fan (or at least, I think they were; the loudest fan noise was coming from that area), and Wall-e was fine. The ring was actually a lot quieter than the practice jump area. So I figured that Wall-e would be fine running the whole course.
And he was!!! I started with him instead of leading out, to give him that emotional support before our run. As I was saying our start-line revving-up cue, "Ready...Set..." he was wagging his tail but was looking around him a bit (slightly stressed), but when I finished by saying "...GO!" and let him go, he TOOK OFF for the first jump! He whizzed across the first line of jumps like a rocket. A green-dog moment happened at the first tunnel as I tried to rear cross and he didn't see the tunnel until he was almost right beside it, but he made it in and we continued on the course. Our only fault was a knocked bar in the middle of the course, when I RC'd too late and Wall-e had to turn his body in the right direction as he landed, causing him to knock a bar. But we finished the course with a time of 19.19 seconds -- I think it was the second fastest time out of all of the dogs in the class! -- and WALL-E HAD FUN!!!
From the dog who wouldn't even step in this arena a year ago, to a dog who can run like the best of 'em. I am so proud of my little boy, the Unworried Wall-e!
(Will talk about Mika's run later :)
P.S. I said I would explain the April 1 thing. It's just that on April 1, 2007, Mika and I had our first fun match and Mika ran out of the ring -- the beginning of our big battle with the teeter and stress. And then this trial, Wall-e's first time running indoors (HUGE deal for him!), happened on April 1. I thought something else happened on April 1 another year, but nope. Every year when April 1 arrives, I always thing of that first fun match, and now I will be able to think of this trial as well :)