Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday Funday

I have officially cut back at the shelter (not quit), and today was one of those rare days (although hopefully less so in the future!) that I actually got to stay home with the dogs and do NOTHING. Much to their dismay, we literally did NOTHING for most of the day. Thankfully they do a good job of entertaining themselves and let me be good and lazy. It was pretty similar to yesterday morning, as I didn't have to go into the shelter until noon.

I knew my goal was to take advantage of being home during actual daylight (something that is going out the window with the time change today) and set an agility drill -- so unfortunately the dogs didn't get to play ball or frisbee earlier in the day because I wanted to save them for agility playtime. It must have been almost 3:00 by the time I got off my butt and went outside to clean up the yard and set a drill. I settled on the Backyard Dogs drills from the August 2012 issue of Clean Run. I'm surprised I never got around to setting this drill before now!

I picked this to work on mostly because it was handy, but I figured it never hurts to have Secret work on tightly-curved tunnels. In general, she tends to find them extremely unmotivating. You'll see in the video that she tends to slow down as we go on, but overall I was pretty happy with how nicely she was driving out of the tunnels today.

I decided to try something new today with our Backyard Dogs drills. Typically I commit three drills to memory and then bring each dog out for one turn running through the three drills. My brain was not functioning today, however, after being in zombie mode all day -- So I tried something different and I think it actually turned out really well!

I decided to work through one course at a time with each dog, learn the next one and do it all again. This meant shorter work sessions (sometimes only two minutes!) and getting Secret to turn it "on" after frequent breaks. I think working this way kept her energy up better than we typically see when doing three drills in a row. In addition, it gave ME just enough of a rest period that I wasn't wilting at the end, which I think is usually the cause of our waning energy issues.

Secret was a fuss-butt about her toys -- We used her Woolie Tug for her first two sessions, but the third time she came out she completely turned her nose up at it. So we used her coon tail tug for that session -- which, by the way, did not get on video because apparently I screwed up with Luke's video and actually turned the camera OFF when it was Secret's next turn. So she had to go run the exercises again. I thought she'd be just blah, but she turned it on and had another two good runs. I didn't even push it to use the same toy for the fourth and final drill and let her play with her Wubba.

Yes, we made it through FOUR drills today instead of the usual three! So I guess this new format works out pretty well. We finished putting everything away around 4:30 and sadly it was already getting dark outside. I really hate the time change; things get so depressing. Now it will be dark when I get home from work and we won't be able to go hiking anymore.  :o(  That was also on my list of things to do today, but, well.... Yeah.

I *did* get my entries in for our NADAC trial next weekend, though, so we're set there! Kaiser STILL needs his one Chances run for NATCH. Secret needs three, so if we're lucky we'll get at least one of those out of the way. How cool would it be for her to get that done by the end of the year? She only started competing in February of last year (2011) -- It would be pretty awesome to NATCH in less than two years, especially considering our limited trial schedule.

Speaking of trial schedule, I have to figure out what we're doing for USDAA this month. Unfortunately the class list at Think Pawsitive over Thanksgiving just isn't the best for just hitting up one day this time. Well, it's fine, except that there is no Snooker on Saturday and now I'm eager to get Secret's title in that class to move her up. I may try to justify doing two days, but I have to think about that first.... And probably skip the tournament classes this time.


  1. I hate this time of year when it gets dark so early and you cant do anything outside after work.

  2. Wow-less than two years would be amazing! I also hate all the darkness this time of year. So pointless.