a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Another Agility Day. Or Two.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Another Agility Day. Or Two.

SUMMARY: Boost's weaves, class(es), not enough hours, sore.

Boost's weaves

I must be feeling slightly motivated this week, because once again we went out to the yard and practiced weaving poles. Boost's disaster from the previous day did not reappear [making me wonder whether it'll be like this in competition, too--weaves brilliant one day, disaster the next] but she did still miss a veer left into the weaves.

Whereupon I reverted to another old strategy of placing a small piece of green wire garden fence blocking the wrong entry. On her next approach, she stuttered when she saw it (in the old days, sometimes she'd hop over it), then >>whew!<< made the correct entry. We did it like that two more times, then I snuck the wire away, and she was fine the rest of practice. Gads.

The Night of Class

Last night was class night. This is different. We've been in Tuesday night class ever since we were bumped out of Thursday night class (because first it became World Team Night and then was abandoned altogether) which is where we'd been ever since we left Wednesday Night 8:15 Class (tearfully because I loved that group of people but had to switch nights for various reasons).

I've been wanting back into Thursday night because Tuesday nights are ALSO: My monthly Master Composter meetings, my neighborhood's monthly community meetings, and my every-6-weeks-or-so San Jose Repertory Theater season ticket nights.

Tuesday morning, Power Paws sent email asking whether anyone would be interested in a Thursday 8:00 class. Boom, a bunch of us swooped right in. (I think several of us who'd recently been in the Tuesday class for some period of time, after being in the previous thursday night class, who'd previous been in the Wednesday Night 8:15 Class, who... well, ok, sometimes we move around a lot, not always by our own choice.)

So I never even went to a Tuesday night class to say goodbye. Probably just as well. Always sad leaving a group that you've grown accustomed to.

Not Enough Hours

But another agility friend's post about another nosework class starting up on Sundays got me thinking: I've been very curious about the nosework stuff. Lots of people around here are involved in that, and it sounds like tons of fun. Plus something I can practice easily at home. Buuutttt... started thinking about my schedule and everything I'd LIKE to do:
  • Monday: Boot camp
  • Tuesday: See above
  • Wed: Hiking w/sierra club singles
  • Thurs: Agility class, boot camp (obviously not both)
  • Fri: I don't schedule anything recurring on friday night
  • Weekends: Agility about 1 out of 4 weekends currently. Boot camp Sunday mornings otherwise. Could be nosework on Sundays, instead.
I'm not thinkin' I'm ready for that additional commitment and conflict.

Class Revelations

So last night in class, the focus was on discrimination (we had no trouble doing the correct choice of tunnel or contact) and on getting to the back side of jumps. My dogs did OK on the latter if *I* was in the right place. Which was a problem--more in a moment.

But Boost: Knocks bars like crazy! Who'd have ever thought it! Sigh.

And can't follow me around a circle of four jumps! (Hate it when the instructor says in kind of a stunned voice, "Wow.")

And easily pushes off of jumps when I'm trying to rear cross!

And we're competing this weekend?! Why do I not work on these issues, whyyyyyyyyyy???

Did have a discussion with a friend there about how you can't really work on this stuff at home--the yard isn't big enough to get the kind of drive and obstacle distraction that you can get in a big field filled with agility equipment. And just finding the extra two hours here and there to go up to power paws to use their field...[see "Not Enough Hours"].

My back yard via Google Maps (weird--when did they take this, that there's no visible agility equipment?!):

Power Paws field, same zoom scale:

Sore Revelations

I have been using acetaminophen the last 10 days instead of my prescription indomethacin. Annnnnnd that is so not working for me. I could barely move around the course last night. Lower back sore. Hip sore. Knee sore. Legs felt like they weighed 100 pounds, with big vises screwed onto all the joints. I don't realize what a difference it makes. Doesn't affect me just walking, or even hiking, even briskly. But trying to sprint into position for a good serp or front cross--gah. Might have to slip in a trip to the pharmacy today. Either way, could be an interesting weekend of competition.

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