10 March 2011

A dull little agility update without photos or nothing.

Gustavo did agility for 3 days in a row this week. We practiced on Monday by our lonesomes, he ran in our class with Nancy on Tuesday night and ran again at Dirt Nite. Every time he ran this week he worked hard and stayed focused.

I've been working hard on his serpentine and threadles. I think my more careful attention to handling and constant revisiting of basics on easy drills is helping him. Maybe he feels more confident. Maybe I'm rewarding more. Maybe it's only now, at age 4, that he's actually teaching him how to turn. Maybe it's now me, at my advanced age where I have to wear glasses to read small writing that I'm learning to turn. I'm not sure what it is, but I know he's been running some very hard sequences feeling more like he understands what we're doing.

Gustavo is always game to run around a course fast. If it were made of just nice straight lines and no turns, he'd be in agility heaven. He's a straight guy. Even when he plays with the other dogs, running at the beach, he usually just runs straight until Otterpop herds him around. She does nothing but turn when she runs, and he does pretty much nothing but run in a straight line until she makes him turn around.

Otterpop has been on an awesome roll. She is running consistently at her fastest, and turning her tightest. It is nothing but fun to run with Otterpop and we both try to beat each other with our fast running. She is also awesomely unraveling her dogwalk contact every time I run all out and don't have her frisbee down at the end. I have created a major dogwalk monster with her. If I am not actively practicing dogwalks multiple times every week, which I haven't been because of the horror of having a busy day and trying to leave That Much Earlier For Work to go do some dogwalks has been the thing that might push me over the edge this month.

Something to fix. Always something to fix.

We sure do have fun practicing agility. It sure would be nice to practice it at home. We sure do drive a lot in the car to far away places just to do this. When it's an extra busy week at work, I sure would like to go outside and take a nice nap underneath my own backyard a-frame.

I would probably never mow the lawn though. Then I'd complain about how hard it is to do agility with waist high weeds. And I'd lose the dogs. So really, it's a plus to have no backyard. I have never once lost a dog to ill maintained practice fields. Because all my agility pals impeccably maintain theirs.

And I just looked at the clock, and the window of time I needed if I was going to leave That Much Earlier For Work, vanished. No dogwalk today. I think at least I can make another coffee though.


Ruby Rose and the Big Little Angels 3 said...

Keep up the good work Gustavo

Anonymous said...

Dear Gustavo (LOVE your name, by the way)
Do you have this flavor of agility where you live? The ASCA flavor?
We have recently tried the ASCA flavor and we like! In that turning is not valued as much and straight lines are the norm. We are kicking butt at this flavor (or at least we're trying).
The ASCA flavor says "aussie" in the name, but you can be ANY type/breed of dog and play.
One warning tho... your handler will be confused by the straightness and fastness and the no refusalsness of this flavor and it might make her grumpy. YOU, however, might love it.
Hope they serve ASCA in your neck of the woods. It's pretty rare.

team small dog said...

I have heard of this ASCA, and they do have it sometimes around here. It's all the rage with the Aussie people, although they keep telling everybody "Not just for Aussies, Not just for Aussies."

I suspect only Aussies show up. I think I went once with Ruby a long, long time ago.

Maybe Gustavo will have to try an ASCA. He sure does like running in straight lines.

Anonymous said...

I do admit, when I go to ASCA, it's 99.5% aussies. But last time i went there was a Great Dane! A Dobie and two doxies. (maybe Aussies and dogs with D in the name, that might be the ticket) So yeah, we don't discriminate, but we're also not that diverse.

I do have two Aussies. Not sure if they like this better than anything else, but with Nationals coming in 2012 to lovely Bakersfield! I feel the need to set us up to go. That's driving distance (sort of). We can't miss it.