Tuesday, March 13, 2012

It's Crunch Time, Team.

So for our friend who told me we needed a countdown to The Pup’s agility debut…

18 days.


It seems so soon when I look at the calendar.  I haven’t had this many ants in the pants since I was going to bring her home.

Most of the ants are crawling with excitement.  I am confident in her education- the girl knows her stuff.  She tries really hard to do the right thing.  There are even runs now that feel effortless and comfortable and I know what to do and, you know, don’t panic, and just do it.

Some of the ants are writhing with anxiety though.  Oh, the imagination on this dog.  What will she come up with? Endless possibilities. Many horrible.

Only one way to find out though!  Show time.

Believe me though, we are working hard during our countdown.  I want to set up the best chance for success so it’s a fair test. I stole an idea from a fellow blogger to make a training log with Google Docs (thank you, blogging event!) and now I can track progress on my iPhone and easily remind myself what to do session to session.  Last night it reminded me to work on show quality distractions and weave pole proofing. Weaves galore, all excellent! Pushing her for speed, racing ahead, crossing her path, icky entries with zero help: All Good.

Then we had a generous (daredevil, thrill seeking?) friend ‘be the judge.’  Big test for focus. The Pup was intrigued. Who was that person walking about in her ring? But she held her stay. And she held her teeter too, though the wiggles started in. (Must…make…friend! NO! Must finish exercise!)  She tore herself away from the urge to go visit and kept working.  We practiced walking into the ring, taking the leash off, and setting up while the ‘ring steward’ moved her leash.  She stared at the ‘steward’ the entire time I did a lead out, but she held that stay and refocused on me when I got to position.  And focused enough to release AND take the jumps on her way to me.

And even though her brain melted a little and she had to go check out what was going on next door once  (to be fair, it was an extremely difficult challenge- next door held a BC working with their own Marvin) , she listened to me and recalled to front instead of breaking into their ring. I don’t expect we will run into that at the show.  I call it progress anyways.
The Dog is giving me her own ants. We have a show this weekend- USDAA.  I’m not feeling too anxious, except that I can’t wait to see how it goes. Practice has been so awesome.  She’s been much more amenable to doing things the *right way* (without orbiting or neglecting to watch me or fussing the redos).  We’ve been doing start line stays and she isn’t melting.  And we are handling 26”. Handling, not just scraping by.  She seems more confident on gauging her jumps. We’re ready for another test before we go live. And it’s a giant 26” class so we will get a lot of feedback.

Funny to think of USDAA as a test run and AKC as the ‘real thing.’
Another exciting thing- mother and I are giving a seminar! Oooo!

Our friend’s friend has a lovely new facility up north.  We are coming to bring in some funky fun foundation and new age ideals to supplement her budding agility and standing obedience/rally programs. Or something like that. It should be fun. And challenging.  But I’m glad for the opportunity!

I do like to be the Foundation Fairy now, spreading click/treats as I go.
That’s it. All the excitement. Whew. Maybe the ants can go back in the ant farm now that it’s all out!

1 comment:

  1. It's so exciting starting a new dog. You will do great with Dyna. The great thing is that the ring is a place that she is used to running on and it will be only one ring, anyway. With a few runs under your belt, she will start figuring in all out. Should be lots of fun watching the two of you develop into a lovely team.