Saturday, December 18, 2010

December CR Central

With my clean yard and a cool, sunny day, and me VERY SURPRISINGLY no more sore than usual from yesterday's raking, today I set up the CR Central course from the December issue of Clean Run Magazine -- practice with Tunnel/Contact Obstacle Discrimination.  My dog walk being unmovable (hard to move by myself), I had to position the other obstacles in relation to it.  No big problem.  It was nearly in the right place.  Because my yard is 10 feet shorter than the course setup required, and there are a few saplings and a bush in the middle that I don't want to cut down, I had to make some other adjustments as well.  Whatever.  It will still give lots of handling practice. 

A few days back, John had spotted a crack in the underside of the dog walk, so I flipped the board over and sure enough,
the pine has a crack 1/8 of the way thru and all the way across the board, about a foot from the top edge.  That must be fixed before I let any dog go over it again.  John went to Home Depot and bought a 2" wide strip of steel, 4' long, and we're going to cut that up and screw strips in under the wood.  I'll also rig up a 2" x 6" prop right under that spot, which won't be in the way.  That should extend the life of that board a few more years.  I sure don't want to go thru building/painting another 12' x 12" x 2" board with all those slats, any time soon.

I also noticed a little rotton spot on the lower contact surface of the A-Frame where Lucky has scratched off the paint.  I need to slap some paint on that.  Shelf mushrooms delight in growing along the sides of these boards.  I am always tearing them off before they take strong root. I'll slap some paint over those spots too, if I have any yellow left.

So we practiced the weaves close to the fence, and I assessed how I might build more wings more easily.  Not much actual practice.  Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance.  Comes with property ownership of any kind, in my experience.

Audrey dropped by and raved about the yard.  I can always count on her for compliments.  Then I showed her Lucky's and Maxie's progress on the treadmill, which amazed her.  She had never heard of any such thing! 
  • Lucky got up up to 2.5 mph, with me going round the corner out of sight for a moment, and her staying on with minimal verbal encouragement.  She just plodded along. 
  • Maxie walked along if I sat right beside him but hopped off any time I tried to move and hopped back on if he thought a treat was about to be dispensed.  He never got "in the zone", which Lucky almost did.  In all honesty, I don't think Maxie will ever "love" the treadmill.  He's so tiny, the machine so big and noisy, and he doesn't seem to "need" the exercise like Lucky does, who races around the yard spontaneously several times a day to release pent up energy. 
  • FoohFooh could barely do a Line Up on the belt.  He's so frantic for treats, his brain seems so scrambled, he was going every which way.  I'd say Line Up and he'd do 3 spins.  He'd line up, then lay down and roll over between my legs, then hop up and jump off the belt.  If he lined up and I reached for another treat, his tail would wag so hard and his feet prance so fast, he'd get out of position.  He's going to be a tough nut to crack.
Audrey offered to do our family Christmas Party at her house this year, which takes a lot of pressure off of me to clean and decorate.  I am so relieved.  All I have to do is bring the spiral ham, pecan pies and a salad.  I might just bake some of my Whole Wheat Bread, too, now that I'll have the time.  I can't do more.  My head is filled with dogs.

So, another day with no practice but lots of progress (if you call maintenance progress), and looking forward to tomorrow.  Sheryl and I are going to visit Joy at noon, then I'm supposed to meet with Cheryl W. at her house to discuss strategy for teaching our Beginner's Agility Classes in January.

Upwards and onward!

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