03 August 2007

John Travolta secret to success.

We had a couple training days happen and go. It went unnoticed here because I was probably driving around looking for a bathroom to use. We do have a plywood subfloor now, plumbing and an installed tub. But that's it. I'm going to venture a guess of 3 more weeks til it is actually a bathroom that you look at and say, "Now that is a bathroom. Tub! Toilet! Sink! Walls!"

Something I was noticing a lot teaching class this week was giving your dog a nice Spatial Boundary while jumping. Imagine your dog is boy in a plastic bubble. They need to be surrounded by a cushiony plastic bubble filled with air and you cannot touch them in there or they will grow up to become an overweight scientologist with an airstrip for a front yard who ruins the movie Hairspray. When you crowd and push your dog's bubble, it can cause a run around. Refusal. Turnout. Backjump. Any number of sins that depending on how you look at it, are worse or better than having your own personal baby John Travolta. Really, his career is sort of like how my dogs go. Brilliant! Look Who's Talking 3! Wow Quentin Taratino! You are so Fat! Movie Musical Star! Movie Musical Ruiner!

Crowding to a rear cross can just slam your dog right up to the bar, where they are going to jump poorly, not read a rear cross, or just plain old not be able to jump it and refuse. And you are going to think, why is my dog refusing? Not thinking about Spatial Boundaries. Let your dog get ahead, way ahead. Teach that skill with a Go On. Which is what we happened to work on in class the other night because I was so in Spatial Boundary mode.

Sometimes this happens when your dog's speed is inconsistent. My dogs all run Fast Fast Fast on Wed. nites. There is a lot of barking, it's a stressful environment, and it's on dirt. The barking and the dirt and the cool night time air are all things that get my group moving. If every trial was in the evening and under a covered arena, I would be set. When I go out to Dee's practice yard in the late morning and it's already warm and sunny and there are gophers Everywhere and everyone is kind of laid back and hanging out, they are harder to get moving. I need a frisbee for Otterpop and have to really work on Ruby. This is when I run them differently. I have room to get out there ahead of them and put in a front cross I might not have been able to do the night before. I have to adjust my pace correctly to work with what they are dishing out. When the dogs are inconsistent, you have to match up.

3 comments:

Mary Schultz said...

Thank god I found this! Because NO WONDER! I SUCK at boundaries! (Who wouldn't! coming from the Schultz Family. Not my fault!) Plus, I'm really smart except in SPATIALITY (lots of improvement in SPACIALITY since becoming middle-aged and losing track of brain cells--I think they're still there but lost, is all). And except in learning FOREIGN LANGUAGES and DOG AGILITY because I get all awkward and self-conscious. So I've gone and found something to do for fun that I totally suck at (probably genetically). You wouldn't think it would help feeling depressed, but it's so funny that I feel quite cheered up. It's like when I was a respectable dyke and rode a really big motorcyle and then I ended up with a Big and Tall Male Scientist and three sons. See what I mean about funny? I'm always cracking myself up. I am a regular crackup.

You might not know it to look at me. The one author whose books I immediately buy even if they are hardbound (Adam Phillips) I just found out (I'm not working right now and so am doing those internet behaviors) is living with a fashion person, Judith Clark (judithclarkcostume.com) which really impresses me because Adam Phillips is like a God of Writing and Brain Extending in my book, so I'm going to take seriously who he is living with. So, I read with interest Laura's USDAA Fashion Commentary. I forgot to include FASHIONING myself in the SPATIALITY, FOREIGN LANGUAGES AND DOG AGILITY list. Maybe I'll go to ROSS DRESS FOR LESS and buy an accessory, and see what that feels like. No Foreign Languages, though. I'm totally FOREVER giving up on that!

So, Ariel needs a BIG bubble, and just like Laura says, you have to be Zen if you want to float a bubble around a bunch of obstacles! I just want to point out that this is particularly hard for someone who has no bubble of her own. I'm going to get one! It will be less depressing then! I'll be safer! Maybe I'll start floating. Ariel and I will bob around the courses! We'll just float along, together, with just a soft kiss of a bubble-touch now and then. We'll be unpopped at the end!I really love my dog! No matter how uncool!

team small dog said...

I think you did very well in a nice bubble tonight in class! Fashioning in Spatiality sounds very critical theory, and do you know who is very, very good at dog agility-Donna Haraway who is the queen of critical theory and she has a fast, lean aussie so you can use her as your dog agility America's Next Top Model!

Mary Schultz said...

Thank you for telling me I did very well in class with an exclamation point. I thought you were very Team Captain when you asked Michael to make a new rule about 7 o'clock dogs and people staying out of the arena until 7 o'clock and it made me feel eighty times worse for having been a nasty annoying student getting on her high horse to complain the week before. (I thought I'd try out the Assertive Look, but it's really not me, and what's worse, I was wearing ugly pants which made the whole look downright offensive. It's good advice to not wear ugly pants to agility activities because I suspect that you have to have at least a Null Look before you go for a sound FASHION IN SPATIALITY LOOK. Sort of a backchaining thing.)

Yes, Donna is a perfect role model! I forgot to mention that I buy all her books as well and they stay in really good condition because I only get through a few pages before I give up. They are an excellent Look on my book shelf, though. Donna is also the person who I am pretty sure made everyone give me a $10,000 Dissertation Year Fellowship in 1988 which I was supposed to spend on childcare so I could write my dissertation every day for four hours, so every day I took Nat to a nice Korean woman's house (who was also stuck following her husband around the country, in her case the world, so he could do post-docs and then someday she could do her thing after he had finished his thing, unless of course he were to leave her for, by then, a younger and more charming graduate student, which happens), and then I would sit and not write until it was time to pick Nat up four hours later. It was really exhausting. But Nat did learn his first word at the Korean lady's house, "Booma," which means elephant. And that was almost $10K cute.

But you can see that that is one more reason that Donna is my perfect Next Top Model! I could just skip the next five years and go straight to choking at a Championship Match in which a now-decrepit but still lean Cayenne beats Ariel, who does not deserve to be beaten because even though she is neither as lean nor pretty as Cayenne, she's a lot younger and more charming than Cayenne by then--she just picked the wrong partner (me)! Vengeance is Mine!