Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Magical Monday

Ahh yes, a return to looking forward to Mondays. It's a strange feeling. I'm sure agility Mondays have some special magic that non-agility Mondays are lacking!

Stop bothering us. This Monday sucks, there is no agility today!

With his leg issues still unresolved Spencer was benched this Monday, so I had to pull in my backup-alternate-Chihuahua. Well, I didn't "have to" but I thought it would be a decent opportunity to see what she does.

After her recent bout of attentiveness practicing at Wet Noses, and then at Wet Creek I was curious how Penny'd do in a class with even more distractions. Other dogs to bark at, people to wiggle at, a whole new environment. PLUS horse poop!

The idea is if she will actually work with me in a class I might think about training her enough to trial sometime (she has no weaves and not a whole lot of ground work foundation.) Especially if Spencer is eternally gimpy but isn't doing anymore damage to himself - I'll drop him to 6" so its easier on his leg. Then I could have "Team 6 Inch Specials" and we'd be pretty much the whole 6" class in a trial!

Chihuahua's (or at least Penny) aren't going to set any speed records, but it's pretty darn cute to watch those tiny dogs scramble up the A-frame and do agility like the "real" dogs. I like to think that if I can teach these guys to do agility I could do a really good job with a high drive agility breed, different challenges though, that's for sure.

Penny did pretty darn good in class for the amount of work I've put in with her (ie: not much since the foundation classes over a year ago ...) No chute bobbles. Mostly good on the jumps - she likes AAC's 6" MUCH better than CKC's 8" She had some troubles with the Aframe which is sanded. I don't think she's ever been on a sanded one before so she didn't get enough momentum and the slats are pretty far apart for a toy dog to get much traction. She was doing it after a couple of tries though!

Baxter was lovely again as well. Beautiful weaves in deep sand. Some start line issues, but then again in a trial I hardly ever ask him to hold a start line. We have been doing running starts for over a year. I started with them for enthusiasm and just kept it since I don't need much lead out to stay ahead of him. Good to practice them though, easier to do a LOP (lead out pivot) instead of doing it on the fly and risk sending them over the wrong obstacle. More a issue with larger dogs with a bigger stride, but still.

I am such a good, fluffy dog!
Our class is relatively small, which means lots of time to work on stuff. The other dogs in class are young/new as well, so I don't feel so out of place with Penny or Spencer. Sometimes it's hard feeling like you should still be in something with your unusual size or breed, especially if you're struggling.

They make me appreciate Baxter a whole lot for all the things he does right (and wrong even, since the wrong is pointing out my failings not his!) He should be fairly good at what we're practicing! We've been training in agility for over 3 years now and trialing for 1. We're still learning to work together, and I make noobie handler mistakes with him, but we're finally starting to click as a good team. I think I've finally got my mind wrapped around not being stressed, still running the course as best I can "competitively" It's fun to run, I don't worry what will motivate him or stress him out because we've kinda been there and done that. It's nice and fun, and sort of comfortable.

He's just a good dog who tries for me. I absolutely adore him, especially on cold days like to day when I'm home sick and he is snuggled up leaning against me.

I am a good dog laying on my bed hiding with the blankets.
Sometimes you have to hide somewhere else, but I am still a good dog!

Tomorrow is Spencer's vet appt and then this weekend is the CAA Remembrance Day trial, hopefully both go well. Our Flyball team has some other people who will be there on Sunday, so that is cool too! I might even bring my camera to the trial and get some pictures that don't suck.

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