01 December 2009

The time that Laura and Team Small Dog goes to the Silvia Trkman Seminar and does some pulling up by the bootstrap character building.

This is me and my new pal Silvia Trkman. She came all the way from Slovenia to teach some seminars in the US, and I was able to do a Monday Master's Handling class. Silvia is totally my agility hero. She is super nice, has amazing dogs, is completely waify adorable, and had a lot of helpful advice for everyone taking her class. Also she talks with this super foxy European accent.

I ran Otterpop on the first and last runs of the day, and Gustavo on all the ones in the middle. Otterpop was awesome, speedy and SO MUCH FUN TO RUN. Silvia gave me a couple of really good pieces of advice about her. One had to do with those times she just ducks into tunnels before my very eyes. That maybe if I wasn't turning my head at that tunnel she wouldn't duck in. Don't look back and just GO!

Gustavo was somewhat more challenging. The seminar was aimed at "Those who are doing agility at the highest levels." Not exactly me and Gustavo. One of the themes of the seminar seemed to be, These Weave Pole Entries Are CRAZY INSANE HARD. Gustavo seemed a little worried and off his game to me, kind of stressing out and not running his usual manic self. He looked nice and fast, but not that I HAVE LOST MY MIND CHASING A BUNNY fast that makes his so exciting yet challenging to do agility with. We just felt off. I was nervous running him, and he hates making errors and I was making him make errors and do you see where this is going? Silvia was patient and helped us a lot on pole entries and Gustavo was hitting them like a champ by the end of it.

She also had me just dig in and run with him. I trained him from the beginning by watching a lot of her videos, and I realize that I've lost some of that crazy fast running at all times since I try to be more accurate and get to my position. He runs best if we are both out there basically hauling ass no matter what, everywhere. And still being accurate and getting in position. But if I do a Stop and Send, things just don't look as clear to him. This so hits his nail in the head. The thing was, he was running just fine, like a nice, fast, little dog. But I know he has the potential to be so much more. I need to combine the handling control that works with the nice, fast little dog with the super insane mayhem of GOOOSTAAAAHVOOOO!

I was really proud of his poles and his teeter totter. I'm not sure if it was my nerves that kept him from running balls out wild, but I'm glad Otterpop stepped up to the occassion for him. Silvia gave us some good things to think about. I was so happy to meet her in person and feel so lucky I was able to have this opportunity. Hopefully she didn't think I was a stalker freak. There are a bunch more photos of the seminar if you go on my Facebook. Thanks, Vici and Ellen, for taking the photos of me and Team Small Dog and to Ashley for organizing this!


Anonymous said...

Wow, you two could be sisters!

ViewFr4Inch said...

I've always admired Sylvia also, and you are so fortunate to have the chance to train with her.

I hope you share more of the things you learned. I sure could use them with my own wild child, Samurai. He is a red and white fox version of Gustavo.

I have posted some pics of him on my blog, View From 4 Inch,


It's supposed to be about running teeny, tiny agility dogs, but I tend to veer off into the philosophical, unfortunately.

Thanks for sharing your part of the small dog agility universe.