Experiences of a late-comer to the agility competition scene -- our training, trials, life-style changes/challenges, RV adventures, and observations on the sport, the people, and dogs involved in it. Begun July 17, 2010.
Before meeting up with Nedra, Georgie, & Michele S at the field at 4 p.m. for an hour's practice on the FCI course set up last week, I dropped by Joy's to train Puddin a bit, and bring Joy a platter of food from our Christmas Party, and the first disk of The Tudors. Joy is getting around, and seems ever cheerful. I worked in the den with Puddin's Line-Ups, fetches, bring it to me's, post turns, pull throughs, sit/stays, downs, and so forth. He seems willing to learn, anxious to please. Joy put most of the other D's outside, which helped Puddin to focus. I quickly retreated from the treadmill as he showed some anxiety being penned in that corner and there is no space to turn around. The fence must come down and the other dogs kept outside for the treadmill training to proceed.
At the field it was about 47 degrees, nice and sunny. I tried out my new ear muffs and gloves, and they did indeed help keep me warm. Maxie ran twice, never Q'd, but we got in some nice practice. Lucky did some awesome maneuvers, by no means accurately but amazing since she has had no formal training, then refused to run the course any more. Just sat there. I tugged her over to the far corner where we chased, fetched and tugged and she showed me she had plenty of energy but was just bored running that course, or objecting to the 26" jump height. No matter. I got some very accurate, enthusiastic performances over 3 or 4 obstacles in sequence, repeatedly good a-frame and dog walk performance, nice weaves to the end without any forward motion on my part, and fantastic go-outs over a really tight jump chute set at 12". She will do anything to fetch and tug.
I got tired quickly myself, and realized I need to start sprinting the length of a Handler's course, perhaps 100 yards, 3-4 times a day, if I intend to put in 4 runs per day by next April's trials. Guess I need to go pace off 100 yards in my yard, on the field, etc., and wear my running shoes all day.
More to do. Always more to do and never get there, so upwards and onward is all I can hope for.