|Shooting Boost across a jump.|
|Tika and Ellen waiting for the timer's Go signal.|
Went up to Power Paws practice for Nationals yesterday morning. Had two runs with each of Tika and Boost. Tika wasted her first and half of her second chasing the sheep, which had all gathered just outside the agility field fence to cheer everyone on. She was slow on her dogwalk contact, even when I tried revving her up and redoing it. But she held her startline stay both times--although the first time when I released her, she made a full-speed beeline for the sheep across the field. At least she waited for permission...sort of.
Boost--did her weave poles! I was so proud of her. We had only had chances to practice with the stiffened weaves at home that morning and the day before, and all day Friday I was having to use small barricades (green wire garden fencing, about 8" high) to block the places she was frequently skipping. Slowed her down and slowed her down, and I dropped the number of poles back down to 8, and then gradually (well--pretty quickly actually) she stopped skipping and started speeding up again. I wasn't sure whether just two days of stiffened weaves--and only at 8 poles at home-- would make a difference up at Power Paws with the full set of 12, but apparently it did! What a clever girl. And today, in the yard, I removed all the barriers, and she did all the 8s fine, so I added two more, and she did all the 10s fine, and she's speeding up even more towards where she was, although it looks a little uncomfortable. Wish I'd fixed those wobbly poles a long time ago. Oh, well, live and learn!
Jake is playing again just like the old Jake. --Well, almost. I still have to insist on him coming outside, and I still have to insist that he fetch the Tug-N-Treat the first time, but then the switch just flips, and he fetches and fetches and fetches. I've worked gradually up to today's extravaganza, where I just threw and threw and threw. I can even let Tika off her leash, and then Boost, and I just watch carefully to be sure that Tika's not crashing into Jake and that Jake has a clear view of where the toy lands. He didn't want to quit! What a guy! We must have gone for 15 minutes. I'd swing back my arm to throw the toy, Tika would take off running, Jake would take off like lightning as I started my forward throw, Boost would take off running on the periphery, watching the whole thing with her Border Collie Eye but staying plenty out of the way.
When we were done (I let Jake decide), everyone's tongues (except mine--poor unexercised mom) were dragging on the ground and everyone except Boost plunged into one of the Water Features or other. Boost I had to hose down, but since she's discovered how much fun playing with spraying water is, she stands patiently long enough for me to get her feet demudded and then we play a little water-chase.
Tika has very liquid diarrhea. I don't know why. In 20 hours, we'll be On the Road to Scottsdale, and she's got diarrhea. Unlike with Remington, who always seemed to have something upsetting his intenstines, this is uncommon with my other dogs. She hasn't had anything unusual to eat that I know of; she hasn't been anyplace unusual that I know of; her appetite and energy are fine. I'm just hoping that it was some random tasty piece of dirt that she dug up and ate and that she'll be fine later today.
And here are bonus photos of me and the dogs doing agility (waiting at the start line and running) from the VAST trial back in September where my knee went definitively south.