30 August 2011

Gustavo and his pal, the right side of the tunnel.

I am not kidding. Gustavo right now, he's like a different dog. Maybe this will change, and maybe it won't last, but he seems a lot sharper, and clearer. Like the ammonia has been swept clear of his brain.

He used to seem fuzzy and panicky a lot of the time at agility trials. Got stressed out and like his brain just shorted circuited. This whole past weekend, I never felt like he was off in some other world, one that could end up in endless loops of tunnels or other cuckoo wacko routines.

One place we did have trouble with always involved the right side of the tunnel. Literally. Resulting in a couple off courses. This though, is just a training and handling issue and I am absolutely certain has nothing to do with brain and liver function.

I can say that because I'm a doctor.

Training and handling issues, I can deal with! Brain disorders, not so much. Poor fella, it can't feel nice to try and think about various sides of tunnels or weave poles when your brain feels funny.

This weekend, one right side when right side was the wrong side, was a late front cross on my part. Handling error. One right side, when again, right side was the wrong side, was a naughty blind cross on his part. Training error. Easy peasy things to set up and recreate in some drills.

I set up one straight speed line straight to a right side, and Kathleen had set up already a couple of beautiful crookedy lines that were perfect for my plan.

Just a lot of fast, running off the lines together where he had to watch ME and not the right side wrong side of that tunnel. Then he got to do that side a bunch then again, watch me. We ran these with all kinds of handling options, with a lot of frisbee breaks. Highly reinforcing every single time he picked MY side.

Training with little drills, so much fun. I made them harder by throwing in some teeter totters and poles. Made some harder handling choices, pushing his thinking and watching envelope a little bit. He did everything with style and grace and speed and thinking.

I know he might go backwards, I'm trying to have no expectations for the upcoming Regional or trials in his future. He is staying on Agility Lite until further notice, until I'm really conviced that, for real, he feels so much better. Whatever he can do is good with me. But today I have this feeling that maybe there really is agility in his future.


Anonymous said...

So happy to hear that Gustavo is doing well!


Elf said...

Yay, Gustavo! Keeping my fingers crossed that the Normal Brain and not the Abby Normal one stays in place.

But, dang, you're actually practicing things you had issues with this weekend, which means, crap, I should probably go haul the teeter out into the yard and practice practice practice contacts. I hate peer pressure.

Anonymous said...

WOOOOOT to Gustavo!

Terry A said...

this kind of stuff brings tears to my eyes. wonderful little brave guy.