SUMMARY: strengths and flaws and fun.
Some things I noticed from last weekend:
- Both dogs left the start line early once last weekend. I don't remember which course(s). I didn't even write it down afterwards. I don't know why I kept running--well, maybe I do: It has been ages and ages since either left before I released them, and I think (a) I was surprised and already starting to move, and (b) I chalked it up to, as Bartholomew Cubbins said, one of those things that "just happened to happen and was not very likely to happen again." It's random, I guess. I hope.
- Both dogs had awesome downs on the table. Why last weekend? Who knows. I have been practicing a bit with Tika doing quick downs while running or repeatedly on the table at home--but I've done that before with no apparent help in the actual competition. It's random, I guess.
- Boost had some weave pole issues. It's another thing that she hasn't really missed or popped out of in a while, but I think we had 3 different cases--hit the entry and skipped, popped out early, and ran past them completely. Why now? Who knows? I hope this isn't the start of another "I don't know how to do weave poles" era. It's random, I guess.
- Boost actually handles well at a distance but from the side, not behind. Like, it seems to be no trouble to do a huge distant arc of jumps where I'm twenty feet inside the arc but parallel. More trouble if I'm closer to her and parallel, or if I'm behind her. And I think knocks more bars if I'm ahead of her. I'm not sure what this all means. Not sure whether it's random.
- Tika is less comfortable now with me crossing behind her. Need to try to find ways to stay ahead of her and always in her sight. This is challenging, because she can still move pretty darned fast. Dang, now I have TWO dogs that I have to manage more.
- Boost's contacts were lovely. I think she left only one early. Why now? Who knows; we haven't been practicing these the last couple of weeks. It's random, I guess.
This weekend: CPE locally. Only about 25 minutes from my house. I go because it's close, because it's a fun relaxing weekend for me, and because I want to support any trial that's close to my house. Unfortunately we don't seem to get many entries for this trial. I don't get it--we used to get lots of entries for the CPEs at Twin Creeks, which is only about 30 miles away. Oh, well.
So we might not ever have agility really close to my house again. The challenge of living in a dense suburban/urban area, I guess. Lots of conveniences--like I had several choices of which theater to go to tonight for a 3-movie Batman extravaganza--but nowhere to do huge USDAA trials.
Maybe I'll go practice some agility stuff with the dogs. Randomly.