Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It's hot

Perhaps we were just exceptionally spoiled last summer (we were), but good heavens, it just seems miserable this year. This summer has been warm & humid, almost without relief. It's a darn good thing we have the creek to cool us off on our walk!

In one direction of our walk on the bike trail (at work), there are two bridges that go over a couple of smaller creeks. One in particular has fairly easy access for the dogs and I can actually manage to get down there, myself, if I wish. Usually I just let them go cool off and wait for them on the bridge. It's amazing how refreshed they all are after a quick dip! It makes all the world of difference on our return trip and a spring always returns to their step afterwords. Sometimes I feel bad that there isn't water in both directions of our walk!

Secret has been doing great in her training this week, despite the heat. I'd like to wait to do all of our training until about 8:00 p.m. when things start to cool off, but she will have none of it. Our MO is typically to set up the day's exercise immediately upon getting home from work, then we go in the house to cool off. Generally this lasts about 5 minutes before Secret is bouncing off objects and driving everyone nuts, so then we go out to work.

The name of the game this week is speed. Nothing but speed. On Monday I set up a speed circle that consisted of five jumps and a straight tunnel. I started with just one jump before the tunnel and kept building on to that. As I added jumps, we occasionally had issues with her cutting in and skipping jumps on the corners, but she figured it out and did very well. She really is getting so much faster! Working the circle had the additional benefit of allowing me to start to add a little more distance between us -- which was fine for the straighter sections, but this is where I found she would tend to cut in on the corners. In time it will come together.

Last night I set up a straight line of four jumps into a C-shaped tunnel =


All spaced @ 20' apart to allow for a nice, even two strides between obstacles. I mixed it up with regard to where we started and finished. My main goal was to be able to send her into the tunnel without having to escort her to the entrance, so as to allow me a bit more of a head-start back down the line. She did pretty well with this. Secret was easily moving out enough to make the two-stride line pretty much every time. She's starting to open up nicely! All jumps last night were set at 16".

I got an e-mail from Melissa at the Border Collie Rescue of Minnesota this morning and have exciting news! Melissa is coordinating a BCRMN herding fun day!! She knows how badly I want to get Secret on sheep, so she let me know about it so that I could be sure to get my name on the list before it fills. I am so excited! So now we finally have a date for Secret's first "date" with sheep -- Sunday, August 8th!

It will be her birthday present. I hope she likes it. :o) It really couldn't have worked out better. I was planning to attend a UKC agility trial in Iowa with the boys that weekend, but I canceled that idea just yesterday due to the crazy amount of $$ it was adding up to (Seriously, it was going to be a $500 weekend and for what? We can't do UKC agility with enough regularity to chase the big titles.). So the timing for the herding day was just perfect and now I don't have to feel bad for canceling the UKC trial. :o)

I'm excited, can't you tell? Let's hope Secret shares that enthusiasm when we get there.

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