Friday, February 18, 2011

It's Melting!!

Oh happy day! After being on the receiving end of over 40" of snow this winter, we are finally starting to see the grass again!

Isn't it a beautiful thing to see? Can't you just imagine agility equipment set up out there again? It's all I'm thinking of these days, I can tell you that much!

Granted, the left side of the yard is a lake. A very cold, frozen lake. Secret decided to demonstrate its depth for everyone. And FYI, no, Secret doesn't mind the cold. On our walk yesterday she actually decided to jump in the (very high) creek and go for a swim. In February. With all the melting run-off from the cow fields. Oh Secret....

The glacier of solid ice right outside the door is super fun. The dogs don't seem bothered by it, but I've come close to falling on my butt several times now. While I obviously look forward to it melting and going away, I don't look forward to the mud that inevitably appears in the most high traffic volume area of the yard.

Secret shows off her slim figure -- And the brown spots in the yard.

Thank you, pediatric spay, for making her limbs OH SO LONG.

But she's still cute! :o)

Today the entries go in the mail for Secret's FIRST TRIAL! Yay! I sat for the longest time, struggling to decide how many classes to enter her in each day. I've thought for quite a while that three runs per day would be a good start. Jumpers each day is a given for a baby dog, in my opinion. Fast, fun & pretty basic. I also felt that Tunnelers would probably be fun for her, and an entirely new experience since she's never seen more than two tunnels in a row in the past. Weavers is the one I struggled with, as I know she loves to weave -- But so did Kaiser, and he ended up not weaving in trials for nearly 6 months because he was so stressed out. I decided to chance it, though, and see what she does. So because I opted to run a game each day, I ended up only entering her in one round of Regular each day. That was SO hard for me for some reason. I have never entered only one round of Regular. From the start, though, I have said that I will NOT overload her at her first trial. So..... We'll see how it goes! Just two more weeks!

And since it is only two weeks away, I decided it was time to introduce Secret to her agility leash. I bought this thing way back in July for heaven sake -- Think I was a little eager? lol And of course it's pink, duh.

Basically, I want her to view the leash as a fun toy and tug it when offered. So far so good, she took to it immediately. The first couple of times we just made it a toy and tugged. Yesterday I put it on her, took it off and then tugged. Then I tugged with it on her. She had no problem accepting the leash as a fun new toy! We'll keep having a couple of short play sessions per day with the tug leash leading up to the trial to keep building the toy association.

Yes, NADAC has strict rules against tugging in the ring. I understand that, and for that reason I'm making sure she knows to only grab the leash when it is offered to her and she is given the cue ("get it!"). I like having a way to rev/warm them up before going into the ring and it's always nice to have an immediate reward following a run, if she chooses that as a reward. Luke is odd in that respect -- He will tug like a mad man before going into the ring, but when we are done he's all about getting back to the crate for food. It will be interesting to see what Secret does.

They are threatening a "big winter storm" on Sunday. The weather guessers do not yet know if it will be snow, rain or some sort of freezing mixture. It sure would be cruel of Mother Nature to melt all of our snow just to dump on us again. Granted, I'm sure any new snow would melt much faster -- Everything we had was packed so solidly that it seems like it is taking forever to melt. We have had a solid week of well above freezing temps and yesterday was the first time I actually saw the ground. We had a LOT of snow!!

It sure would be nice to be able to set a Jumpers course outside before our trial.....

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