Saturday, August 29, 2009

All By Ourselves

I suppose the title is somewhat misleading, as we did have my mom, grandma, and sister there too, but for all intents and purposes, we had the training hall all to ourselves for one hour last night.

Following a mostly unproductive agility class this week, last night was both refreshing and challenging.  Unfortunately, I made the mistake of originally jumping Marge at 24" instead of our usual 20", which led to her tiring all the more quickly.  Because these uprights don't have labels for the heights, I honestly get confused sometimes. Realizing my mistake, I lowered the bars and we plugged on through the rest of the night.

Here's our best run:

Here's my makeshift course map, if you're interested. I originally thought we weren't going to be able to do a darn thing with this course.  When I ran Marge through it the first few times, she was totally not listening and I was screwing up. She was undoubtedly feeding off the laughter coming from my family members as she barreled through the chute over and over again even when not asked to. Thankfully, we pieced it together, though I do see some things I could have done better.

For one, my first cue to send her into the tunnel came late.  I think the reason for this is that I was afraid she'd flip back around (how you'd practice a back cross on the flat) and ignore the tunnel.

Also, that weird cross in between the jumps at the far end of the room.  I think there are a number of ways I could have handled that without having switched hands so abruptly.  I was trying to do a front cross in that spot, but, due to the lack of space, that's how it came out. Ha!

All in all, though, I think we did well.  Fortunately, I know we won't see anything as tight or turn-filled on any Novice course, so if we were able to do this appreciably, I think we're okay.

Oh, by the way, this was a melatonin-free outing.  I intended on giving her 1.5 mg because thunderstorms were in the forecast, but I didn't remember until we were in the car on the way there.  Fortunately, she had no qualms about working in the hall, and the thunderstorms escaped us.

(She did let out a nice hefty growl at my dad later that evening when he came home.. guess you can't have everything.)

Last but not least, I'll leave you with this endearing picture of Marge on the mini-teeter.  Though probably best for smaller dogs, every time I drag it out Marge gets this look of determination and wants to go across it, even if she doesn't like the sound it makes.  She looks like she's trying so hard to be brave!


Natalie August 29, 2009 at 11:47 AM  

Nice job, looks like you and Marge are going to be ready really soon. I also love that look of determination on her face in the teeter picture. That's the kind of confidence she needs =) Good luck, can't wait to hear more about your training.

Bijou August 29, 2009 at 1:30 PM  

Wow Marge! I am so impressed with your ability to do agility. Hey! I'm a poet and didn't know it. BOL

Keep up the good work!

Wags & wiggles,

Ms. ~K August 29, 2009 at 4:32 PM  

Look at you go Marge...
Very impressive!
Wrooo wrooo,
Zack, Sassy and Buddy

bordergirlsmom kathy August 29, 2009 at 6:19 PM  

YOU GUYS GO!!! That looked awesome and it looked like you both had a great time. The picture of Marge on the mini teeter was so cute. do you throw the toy for Marge when you practice agility to encourage her to drive forward? It looks like she is going to be ready for really driving around the course and I predict she is about to start building up a lot of speed. I have found throwing a toy is really helpful with my border collies for getting them wanting to drive ahead and getting very excited, with the sheltie who is not into chasing toys....I use a little tube with treats in it

Anna the GSD August 29, 2009 at 8:34 PM  

Wow Marge, you are SO brave! That teeter would scare me! You are going to be my agility hero! I can't wait to be a little bit like you one day!

Oh, and the bottle crunchers ROCK! Once you smoosh it down your mom can put a NEW bottle in it to crunch!! Plus it's a great way to get their attention when they're watching TV cause it's SO noisy!

Cinnamon and Mint August 29, 2009 at 8:42 PM  

That course layout looks very complicated! I wonder if Cinnamon could run the course as well as Marge did. Marge is very brave! Cinnamon would be frightend by the sound, if she gets to have a chance to try it (She has never been on it before).

Dexter August 30, 2009 at 6:24 AM  

A perfect run! You jump at 20"? I am only doing 18"

Momma says that I knock the jumps down less at 18" than at 16" but I guess I could go higher. You must be lovin agilities because you didn't need your scary medicine. That's a good thing. Best of luck with the teeter totter. My teacher promised to help me with that next week. It is very difficult.


BRUTUS August 30, 2009 at 7:14 PM  

That was one compact course!! Very creative to do that much with so little space.
Most of our practice is in my unfinished basement - fairly big, but poles in all the wrong places.... Sooner or later I'm going to knock myself out by running into one & I something tells me Brutus will just sit there & laugh when I do :)

Michelle & Brutus
P.S. Good idea about combining our dogs - I think Brutus could benefit from the energy boost he's get from Marge!!

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