a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Crazy Driven WEAVING Border Collies

Friday, September 21, 2007

Crazy Driven WEAVING Border Collies

SUMMARY: Boost's weaves are SO much better! Plus she loves watching those Border Collies!

Boost's weaves in class last night were fannnnnnntastic! She missed only a couple of entries when turning to the left, but this time they were barely missed--went in early (wrong side) instead of just running past them on the far side. And she didn't pop out EVEN ONCE, even when I was bearing away from her, running ahead to make a turn, lagging behind for a pull. What an awesome weaving dog!

These are the weaves that I thought I had a year ago. Perhaps they'll stay fixed, if the good lord's willin' and the tide don't rise.

Our midday Wednesday "puppy class" is on indefinite hiatus, since attrition had us down to only four members (one injury and three off to other classes). That's OK; an evening class is better for my schedule, anyway.

For the last 3 weeks, and probably for the long haul, Boost is now in a class with all Border Collies. You could not have a happier dog. And it was fun for me, too. These are all Masters dogs (well--OK, Boost is one Standard leg from being a Masters dog, too; and frankly the people in our "puppy class" were working at the masters level even if they weren't competing much yet), and includes two current and former World Cup team members. (Silvina Bruera and Maja, representing Argentina for the 4th (?) year in row, and our instructor, many-time competitor and current world team coach, Nancy Gyes with her dog Ace aka Mace.) (And that's compared to a mere one world-team-type dog in Tika's Wednesday night class. ;-) (Luka.))

The point more being that, in this class, Boost, who seems to me like the world's fastest, most driven, most spectacular Border Collie, is nothing special. In this class, there are nothing BUT super driven, super fast, spectaclar BCs. Every time I blew something, I felt like such a doofus. But then--everyone was blowing stuff. And these two same world-cup-type people both had experience handling Boost's mom when she was young, whom Boost so greatly resembles, and had challenges with her. Which makes me feel less like a doofus...when I take time to remember that.

We ran a lot of short, fast drills last night along with the usual longer courses. So we ran a lot. My knee felt great (unlike the night before with Tika, where it grieved me), my body felt great, Boost ran fabulously, and I was near exhaustion by the end of the class. But that high-endurance Border Collie thing sure showed up. Not only did Boost do all the drills at top intensity, but sometimes parts of them several times while I figured out my handling. Between runs, she stood up and lunged eagerly at the end of her leash, quiet except for the loud gleaming of her bright, wide eyes, all the time that thos other really exciting dogs were running. For almost 2 hours. When we got home, she leaped on a toy and begged me to play.

"I'm a Border Collie, mom; GIVE ME STUFF TO DO!"

This weekend will be the test of the weaves--and everything else. It seems like, in just a very few short weeks, she's stopped refusing jumps, she's figured out serpentines and turns and taking jumps at an angle, weave poles... AND still maintains really lovely contacts and start lines. I feel like I'm living on the edge-- Maybe she did need more time to mature. Maybe I did, too. :-)

Today's bonus: A machine-translated version of an older Argentinian article about Silvina and her dogs Trompita, Aira the doberman (note translation of name, too),and Maja the BC (name also translated). I love machine translations. Almost as good as some of those badly translated instructions on commercial products.

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