Thursday, January 20, 2011
"Why yes, I *am* awesome!"
Oh happy day! I was able to finagle a way to attend the agility run-throughs at Family Dog Center yesterday!! I've been moping around ever since I got the e-mail reminding me about the required first aid training at the shelter that was to take place from 5:00 - 8:30 last night, effectively giving me no time to do agility (which started at 4:00) and be done in time to take the dogs home. It's a wee bit cold to consider leaving them in the car for 3 1/2 hours right now, unfortunately.
Well, my parents came to the rescue and agreed to come pick up the "grandkids" from the dog center and deliver them to my house for me. Happy dance! Even still, it ended up being a time crunch because more people showed up early than I expected and I had to beg my way up in the line to get out in time (I was only 7 minutes late....).
I'm not sure if those beautifully shorn feet are to thank (I should have done a "before" picture), or perhaps finally remembering to use the traction spray, or who KNOWS what, but Secret was awesome last night!
Secret is oddly well behaved for having her feet shaved. I think she likes it....
At any rate, Kaiser did his 10 minutes first to give Secret time to "settle in" and get over herself. She was good this week and didn't bark and carry on while it was Kaiser's turn.
I got Secret out of the pen towards the start of the session of the person prior to us. I sprayed her feet (she didn't seem too bothered by it, unlike Kaiser who acts like you are spraying acid on him) and just futzed around with her a bit. I tried to get her to engage with a toy to see what she wanted to play with, but she was more interested in digging through the bag to see what toys I brought.
Her tail was up and she looked pretty confident and happy when we made our way into the ring. I used the beginning of our time to move the bars up to 16" and threw Secret's tuggy rope for her to play with while I did so. I just wanted her to feel comfortable and relaxed. Also, by allowing her to play & interact solo with her toy, I think she revved herself up a little bit (I think it helps to remove the pressure to play JUST with me).
Secret was HAPPY and SPEEDY and FOCUSED! <3 <3 <3 It was so nice to see that dog again, I've missed her. We focused primarily on jumps & weaves for the first part of our session, as I worried that if I messed too much with contacts that she might start thinking, "Where's my food?" (I did have treats on me just in case.)
But even once we started in with the contact work, she kept the same upbeat attitude. I was pleased as punch with her -- Nailing her contacts, super awesome rear crosses, fast & accurate weaves, etc. She even got both types of discrimination with the a-frame tunnel combination and I didn't have to practically shove her into the tunnel as I have occasionally had to do in the past. lol
I kept telling myself, "Hey, maybe you should just stop now while you're ahead." That's a lesson I should have learned by now, right? But I got greedy.
The teeter was out. It wasn't part of the course, but it was set up down on the far end of the arena. I thought it might be a good way to end our session, as we still had a few minutes left.
Secret immediately offered her touch on the bottom. Yay! Good girl! She went up the plank when asked -- Not too fast, which I would prefer at this point, but then she totally freaked out when it slammed. It was loud. Very loud.
Now, the good news is that I did get her back over it a few times while holding her collar (not dragging her, just not giving her another option). It really sucks when you know you are pressed for time, but have to end on a good note. So that's what we tried to do, and I think it's okay. We might be doing some more rehab teeter work at home, though.
Classes are starting up at the dog center, which means no more agility run-through nights. Boo. So now I guess I just wait to hear from Debbie to see how soon we can start back up in Eau Claire, otherwise we'll just be playing at home for a while!