a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Demo, Bars, Boot Camp Results

Monday, October 15, 2007

Demo, Bars, Boot Camp Results

SUMMARY: Filling in some updates.

Demo and possible agility site

Saturday's demo was well-received by the horsey set. They burst into delighted laughter and cheers and applause when a dog did the weaves or the teeter. Cheering and applause for every run. A good group to demo for.

On the down side, the arena was a bowl of mush after rain the night before. So now we know that these arenas won't do after rain. And that was only one day of not-too-awful rain, too.

Took us a while to find someone who could tell us where we were supposed to be. After we found someone who could send for the correct someone who was responible for us, we had much discussion and exploration about where the footing was good enough to do agility, so wasted more time. Our trailer ended up in the wrong area of the horsepark, blocked in among horse trailers, trucks, and so on (thinking he'd be staying there for a while) and, once we finally found where we were supposed to be, he took 10 minutes to figure out how to turn around and get to the proper spot. As a result, instead of doing an hour demo, we did about 25 minutes. And about 30 dogs showed up, so we each got exactly one run.

We trashed our plans for a full course and came up with something on the fly that was interesting but that fit into the only usable, reasonably firm footing (among gooshy areas), about 60 feet long by 15 feet wide. We didn't use the A-frame, dogwalk, or chute.

Both my dogs went into the weaves at full speed and then pulled out and dashed in front of me to tell me in an excited way that they didn't understand the footing. I made them try again and both did fine the 2nd time.

I had said that I'd come if there weren't enough dogs, and the organizer said that they always need more dogs. Huh. To me, 6-8 dogs, maybe 10, is a good demo group. So I drove 45 minutes, spent an hour futzing around, waiting, and setting up, got in one run with each dog, packed up for the next half hour, then drove home 45 minutes. I'd have never taken the dogs for one run. Oh, well. And they insisted that we finish up at 6:30 as planned, although there was nothing after that. Probably issues with closing the park at sunset or the equivalent.

Boost weaves

But I did make them leave the weaves and one tunnel set up just long enough for me to put Boost through the weaves twice more, and sure enough, the 2nd time she popped out early as per last weekend. So I grabbed her under the chest, raised her front feet off the ground (she was coated with horse-arena sand so I didn't want to pick her up), told her that she shouldn't do that, and redid the weaves, which she then did correctly.

OK, so if that fixes THAT problem again, then the trip was worth it. But the dogs were both rarin' to go when I got home instead of having any steam worked off, having been in crates for the better part of 3 hours.

Boot Camp

I filled out an evaluation for the first week of Boot Camp, giving it 10 out of 10 on pretty much everything. Drill instructor is good, workout is good and pushes my comfort level, we keep moving in a variety of things, so just when you think you can't take another ab exercise, we move into something else. And the final few minutes, lying under the open sky and doing cool-down stretches, feels like heaven.

On the down side, all my weak parts are taking notice. Bursitis in my shoulders, which hasn't bothered me in a year, flared up Friday. I wasn't aware of doing anything in Friday's session that aggravated it, but both Friday night and Saturday night I had trouble sleeping from the pain in the left shoulder. Today I discovered that it's apparently the push-ups that did it--as soon as I tried one, it hurt immediately. That's disappointing, as upper-body strength was one of my reasons for wanting Boot Camp. Plus pushups are one of the two measures they use for your progress during camp. He had me do other types of exercises while the others pushed up.

I guess I need to do more work at home with resistance bands at a lower intensity. Sigh. That's what they had me do for physical therapy when I first hurt the shoulders--using crutches improperly about 10 years ago. Of course I stop doing the exercises when the pain finally goes away. Duh. But it's just BORRRRINNNNG--

Knee tells me that it doesn't want to jog first thing in the session, but after I'm well warmed up, it doesn't bother me much and I can jog fairly well; it's still the knee and not the cardio that's keeping me from pushing myself on the running.

I don't feel nearly as tired today as I did last Friday. In fact, after my usual nap, I was thinking about walking with the dogs, but it has started raining again and I'm a wimp. Hmm, wait, maybe it has let up.

Knocking bars

We did get in a couple of good agility practice sessions today, once after Boot Camp and again midafternoon. Boost knocked bars like crazy again. Last week we got in a couple of bar-knocking drill sessions... have done quite a few lately and The Booster didn't seem to be getting it; then at the last session, again, something seemed to click, and I couldn't get her to knock a bar fer nuthin'. But, today, we were back to the beginning. It's always something.

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