a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Hotter and Contacts

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Hotter and Contacts

SUMMARY: It's hot and we had class anyway. And Booster did contacts!

It's been like this since 2:30 at least.

It is really really hot today. Don't know whether we're breaking records, but my patio thermometer says about 103 in the shade. Accuweather says it's only 98 in San Jose, but that might be taken at the airport, which is quite a bit closer to the Bay.

Boost and I had class at noon-thirty today. It was hot there, too. Before class, I had Boost do a couple of contact backchains (put her on the downramp about three feet up, then send her to the end to do her nose touch, then release her to get her toy). Each time, she grabbed her toy, ran to the shade, and lay down. Oh, she was willing to play, but not while standing out in the sun. And that wasn't even hard work!

We did several jumping drills and we did much better this week despite having not practiced--and I think that's due entirely to the fact that Boost slowed way down in the heat. I've never seen her run so slowly. OK, she was still a very fast dog, but not in overdrive like usual.

Then the rest of our teammates did actual sequences with dogwalks and Aframes in them! As Nancy said, "you guys are doing real agility now!" But, since Boost had never been over a complete dogwalk or Aframe, we finally did that with Nancy spotting the other side. We were ready for it, since I've managed to backchain her all the way at the top of the down ramp on the dogwalk, but I had never put her over the whole thing.

She was a little hesitant about the dogwalk the first couple of times, but got faster quickly (actually nancy suggested I not push it, and actually stop her partway down the downramp, get her revved up like usual to do the nose touch at the end). AND she pretty much was trotting down to do the nose touch just beautifully.

She bailed on the first Aframe we tried, at 5'6", so we lowered it to maybe 5 feet (maybe even lower, not sure), and then she was fine. So now we can actually work on these as complete obstacles from time to time, although really I need to just keep backchaining further and further along the dogwalk, and probably I ought to get the Aframe set up in my yard again. Sigh. Such a big mother.

There's only one person (at least who was there at the end of class) who's doing full-height teeters in a sequence now, so we're not all that far behind other people. And probably are doing better than the lady whose dog attacks teeters! She's been trying to desensitize him to the noise they make, and one of her tricks this week was to tape it and play it in the house, and he apparently attacked the tape and tried to chew it up. So, back to the drawing board. At least we don't have that problem.

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