Monday was quite a full day, with two trips to the training hall in one afternoon.
First, we went for Rally run-thrus. It was stressful. There were a lot of strange dogs and people for Marge to contend with - and for ME to contend with. I don't want to elaborate too much, but I extremely dislike being spoken down to, especially by someone who doesn't know anything about me or my dog. I extremely dislike when someone tells me that they're a "professional" and that they know what they're doing with my fearful dog when I'm obviously not interested in their methods. If I wanted advice, I would ask for it, and, if I did ask for it, I would hope to receive a helpful and polite response rather than a condescending one.
The Rally itself was alright - nothing stellar. Her heeling wasn't bad, and perhaps my biggest complaint would be crooked fronts and finishes. It's AKC Rally, so, if I dare say, it was easier than its APDT cousin. Her attentiveness wasn't bad considering the number of people around. I used treats, but sparingly.
Despite the commotion, she was able to settle in a corner and even get pets from another (very nice) club member, who happens to share her name!
We went home for a few hours and then headed back out for agility class. What an awesome class in every single respect. There were 5 other teams - all either classmates or Excellent level dogs. Not one dog or person made Marge feel scared. Not one bark or one snark out of her. It was unbelievable! She even got to run around with a Border Terrier friend of hers when we were moving equipment.
No photos or video, but here is the course map:
This course was loads of fun.
- The opening was tough. I had to send Marge into the tunnel and then get into position for the next jump. Finding that position was tricky - the best thing to do was to stand so that Marge would come out of the tunnel and approach me, fully facing her, and then send her on to the second jump.
- Her weaves were a little funky tonight but not terrible. She missed the entry once and then skipped a pole another time. They got better as the night went on, so I think maybe we were both rushing a bit in the beginning.
- Her A-Frame was beautiful. I think we did it 3 or 4 times and she hit her contact every single time. I had the post-it target there for her to mark, but I think we're going to make it smaller next time we train.
- I front crossed the A-Frame and used to wall to help me guide Marge straight to the table. No issues there.
- Her teeter was a little slow, but she did it. She actually went off course at one point to go do it. Teeter suck, if you will.
- After tunnel 8 it was a back cross over 9, and then another back from 11 to 12, and then a back into the tunnel.
- No problems with 14 and 15 - I tried having her come around 15 both ways, and it seemed like pulling her through the middle was the better option.
- I HAD to front cross after jump 17 to get her into the correct tunnel entrance. I tried pushing and it just didn't work.
It was a very quick course - a lot of twists and turns, but we managed pretty well.
At the very end, Marisa, Karen and I took out the wicket. Turns out I did set it up right last time and just didn't know how to read it. By using treats, we were able to measure Marge with no problem. She's right around 21", so she's at least an inch under the 22" cut off for agility jump heights. Marisa's only concern is that some wickets are more squeaky than this one - so I should really try to clank this one around and make sure she's solid with it. She also told me that treats can be used when she's measured. If that's the case, we're likely not going to have a big problem with measuring.
Over all, Marge and I have been doing a lot lately and having a lot of fun. At the end of the day, it's nice to have a cuddle buddy.. I can think of no one better suited to the job.
(I know I was MIA this weekend. I've begun catching up, but have a lot more blogs to read!)