19 January 2012

Team Small Dog Public Service Announcement-Do not abandon your running dogwalk maintenance ever, ever ever.

In the fancy team training facility, otherwise known as my very short and very skinny driveway, I have room for one plank. Not a whole dogwalk. A single plank. It sits next to the garbage cans and slopes down towards the street. Cats sit on the fence next to it and mock us when we practice.

When I taught Gustavo a genuine running dogwalk, I was very methodical and obsessed. Would get up very early in the morning to go visit an entire dogwalk at a friend's field in the mornings before work. Over and over again.

He eventually developed a great running dogwalk contact. It took a long time. I was drinking a lot of coffee. It became very consistent and I was very proud of it. Running dogwalks are super cool and super fast. We might have 27 other things go wrong in a run, but Gustavo always had an awesome and fast dogwalk contact.

This was a hard thing to train. Mostly because of the not having a dogwalk part of it. To make it consistent, I found I needed approximately 40 million repetitons over time. To practice it right, frequently I 'd set up my camera to take a video to make sure I wasn't hallucinating either a good contact or a crappy one or a miss. Lots of camera fiddling. I used my robot. Lots of robot fiddling. A quick practice was like freaking mission control project. I am sure I wrote about it here. A lot. It's all a blur. Those were a lot of early mornings. I'm wondering, did I really do that?

Who does that? Who is weirdo enough to drive a box of mission control items around with them and get up super early to stop at a wet field and set up a box of crap and fiddle around and this and that and it's cold and the camera has no battery and the robot is acting weird and the dog just ran after some birds and it is late for work already and gotta look at the video and catch the dog again and the phone is ringing and I hafta go to the bathroom and the dog just peed on something and the robot is beeping out of control and I forgot my lunch and pack up mission control and the dog is all wet and my shoes are all wet and we are late for work.

Every single morning.

So my maintenance of it has been pretty haphazard. Less and less practice, just assuming that we now have a great running dogwalk contact forevermore. Using it nonchalantly in class. Recently noticing occassional misses and high hits, and shrugging these off as flukes.

This was an erroneous assumption. A grand fallacy along the lines of I am America's Next Top Model.

The occasional high hit morphed into out and out leapers at Dirt Nite last night.

Righty-o and onward, mission control.


Agility Foot said...

Something always falls apart, something always needs to be trained and retrained for something else to fall apart. It's why we do agility.
chin up!

Elf said...

Amen. Nancy said, keep using your nose touch; I said, but boost's contacts have always been perfect and she doesn't even need that now. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Look at us now. So--amen.