09 March 2009

Top Ten Lessons Learned At Sunday's Fun Match

When Team Small Dog is in a crappy mood and writes gray stories about dead racoons, all the Friends of Team Small Dog also go in crappy moods and no one is happy. Therefore we have a responsibility to figure out how to carry on teaching Gustavo 12 genuine weave poles and keep all our readers happy and free from dead racoons everywhere. Sorry my friends I saw and met at the Fun Match. Did not realize I was screwing up so many people's days! No more navel gazey blah blah blah sad stories. Keep calm and carry on! Ship Shape! Put that Fun back in Funk! Fun back in Fungus! Fun back in Malfunction! Fun back in Superfund!

Gustavo's weave poles, a work in progress. Which may be working it's progress backwards and sideways rather than consistently forward. In his gazillion runs, we varied from hitting the entrance the second time attempting, third time attempting, having complete drive-bys and finally progressing to a late entrance, having total and complete drive-bys on the poles with the chunky funny base in one ring that never resulted in completed poles, to one random totally nice set of poles with a correct entrance the first time through.

The cheese and spinach croissant from Emily's bakery, really good. I quit my boycott of her place, bakery owning Mayor of Santa Cruz who threw down the secret, evil deal with the State Parks over the whole Lighthouse Field thing. Because it was on my way and I'm trying to get over it.

Otterpop still has startline weirdness issues at fun matches that involve frisbees out on the field with her. This was her main thing to work on and while she certainly put the Fun back in her Fun Match, boy is that an uphill climb to make the agility trial startline as fun as practicing agility and walking out to that startline.

Ruby is just not sound. Even though she seemed ok the other day, one jump at the Fun Match and land and hinky hinky. She did not have extreme Fun except during napping in the car and walking around and stealing treats from people.

Kathleen certainly built forest agility paradise at her house. You guys should all go there. Heart Dog Agility. She teaches lessons, has fun matches, and holds seminars at her forest field.

Most people do not reward their dogs enough, even at a Fun Match. If there can be Fun in a Funeral, then for godsakes, put some Fun in agility. Agilfunty. Whatever. Just give your dog a prize! Some of my students there, so hard for them to realize that at a new place, their dog might be, let's just say, not so fresh. Somewhat stinkier than what you were dreaming of. Dreaming of, they march out on that field, and ka-BLAM! Instant perfect dog. What you get, maybe not so much. Hi! Me too! Reward the behaviors you want and you know. If we were all Susan Garrett, we'd all be Canandian Christian Vegans and wouldn't that be, somewhat, not so diverse?

Super top competitors, still come to Fun Matches. Moe was there. Everyone should buy her DVD because she is awesome. And there are super great competitors who still have issues, working them out at the Fun Match. The amazing corgi who has been competing for years, has blazing speed but has yet to hit a contact in a standard class. The superfast little sheltie, always on the mark, yet needs 4 Gambler's Q's still for an ADCh. My smooth handling border collie friend who doesn't always have contacts, still after all these years. All of us, hard workers but still chipping away at getting it together.

Otterpop only does an out so far to a teeter totter. She spent the parts of the fun match not practicing running full speed off startline practicing gambler's type sequences at a distance. Which went pretty good. But not great. But maybe good enough to get some of those pesky Gambler's Q's at the trials coming up the next few months. Unless the teeter is involved and it is far, far, away.

Gustavo, so cute even when totally screwing up. He did improve and settle in, each run. So first run, self releasing the dogwalk contact and all he did was dogwalks until contacts good. Next run, contacts! However, no weave poles. Next run, sort of weave poles! Sort of went on like that until he'd done maybe 8 or so runs and just started melting down back to border collie screaming and random running around and was time to go home. But wait! Not dead racoon! Perfect startlines, smashing a-frames and no running away into the forest for the most part and a few sequences, dyn-o-mite. A nice feature with Gustavo, if I say, "Hey, can someone hold my dog?" and it's Gustavo, EVERYONE comes running over. If I say this, and it's Otterpop, people quiet and sort of avert eyes as if noticing brand new worms, down in there in the dirt. It's OK.


Agility Foot said...

I so totally agree with #4. What happened to celebrating your dog after a good or crappy run? I was at a CPE match this weekend and noticed the same behavior. Dogs really working, wrong or right, and no celebrating after the last obstacle. Folks slipping on the leash just walking off the course completely ignoring their dogs. Breaks my heart.

vici whisner said...

Sad, happy, indifferent, edgy, moody, whatever...your blog is the bomb.

I do believe in finding the "inner" fun with agility. There is no place for stress in agility(although I'm a victim of the ring jitters myself).

Feel the love and find the joy!

But, come on...we all have bad days and that's what a blog is for...get the ho hums out on the internet for all to see that everything isn't just sunshine and roses.

Elf said...

Right, what Vici said, we don't want any Stepford Agility Bloggers around here.

Agility Foot: I always let my dog bite my shoes at the end of a run. Ha ha! "Let" meaning "I tried to stop it for 4 years and finally gave up." Then she gets the riot tug. Then she gets treaties. But I am an Experienced Dog Trainer. I notice it's usually the newer trainers who are lax.

Agility Foot said...

Elf, I did see some nipppin' going on with your shoes. :-) Thanks!

Kathy said...

"If we were all Susan Garrett, we'd all be Canandian Christian Vegans and wouldn't that be, somewhat, not so diverse?"

True dat!