03 December 2014

Continuing Ed Norton and having zero of unhelpful unlearning.

Hola. This is Laura speaking. Here's what I look like in the rain and without my wrinkles photoshopped out.

Here's my puppy. She's 9 months old and like many, many people who are super irritating but I just smile anyways because, that's what I do, like to remind me, I am one of those people who goes-to-the-dark-side-had-a-little-slow-dog-wants-to-do-better-in-agility-she's-so-clueless-gets-a-border collie.

If I was to hashtag that, it would look like this:


Now I'm really tweeting. Fly away, little birdies.

Judgers, judge away. Haters, hate away. Because a number one thing in my continuing ed, special ed, muthaflicking Ed Norton Education of dog agility is first of all, I don't care what you think.

Like Ed Norton told us in Fight Club, "What happens in dog agility, stays in dog agility, because stays come from crate games and this is the foundation of dog agility."

Michael Keaton could have done this in Birdman but instead he did something else. That's cool.

I might for a minute think I care what you think, then I don't anymore. This was a really good lesson that helped me learn more. And then we go work on some more stays.

You used to know me as teamsmalldog. That's what a teamsmalldog looks like.

If I was to hashtag, #teamsmalldog.

Done hashtagging. That was plenty.

Now teamsmalldog looks like this. I don't know if you know me anymore as teamsmalldog. But still teamsmalldog. With addition of a border collie puppy. She's pretty small as border collies go. I don't know how small. I am asked this a lot. Sometimes by people who tell me I am one of those people who goes-to-the-dark-side-had-a-little-slow-dog-wants-to-do-better-in-agility-so-clueless-so-gets-a-border-collie.

Before I got a border collie puppy, I spent about 2 years deciding should I get a puppy. My brain looked like this all the time.

Get a puppy. Don't get a puppy. Get a puppy. Don't get a puppy. Get a puppy. Don't get a puppy. Get a puppy. Don't get a puppy. Get a puppy. Don't get a puppy. Get a puppy. Don't get a puppy. Get a puppy. Don't get a puppy. Get a puppy. Don't get a puppy. Get a puppy. Don't get a puppy. Get a puppy. Don't get a puppy. Get a puppy. Don't get a puppy. Get a puppy. Don't get a puppy. Get a puppy. Don't get a puppy. Get a puppy. Don't get a puppy.

Good thing I'm not doing hashtags anymore. That would clog up the hashtag part of the internet. Like going tweettweettweettweettweettweettweettweettweettweettweettweettweet. Then I would break the internet.

Because I am good at breaking things! Especially in dog training! Because all the dogs I've had for agility, namely and exactly, teamsmalldog, came to me as rescues with some weird problems and in my fixing of the weird problems and teaching of the agilities, I ended up breaking a lot of things good for agility. Because I started with weird problems, alrighty, this is confusing to know if this stuff was stuff I taught them.

For example, Ruby started out weird and feral and chased all things that moved and hated being on a leash. That got fixed but in agility she had weird jumping problems and always got hurt and sometimes would shut down and other times go too fast and zoom around and then her eyes didn't work and then she retired. I think I am demonstrating a non teeter fly-off here. She did have a VERY FAST teeter totter.

For example, Otterpop started out chasing trucks, hating all people except for 6 of them, hating all dogs except for 6 of them, getting really good at agility, then having bad legs, then starting to shut down in the ring, then becoming a superstar of gamblers, then becoming a number one top ten dog, then having sore legs, then shutting down in the ring, then she retired. Here I am demonstrating some weave pole proofing via hulahoop gamblers.

For example Gustavo started out being super cute but sort of a weirdo and hard to train, then doing pretty good in agility except having problems with complex things such as agility and hallucinating and seizures, then he felt better, then I changed how we did our agility, then he got better at agility if I pretended to be Slovenian and never, ever let him have meat. He isn't retired. Here is us demonstrating some nice fast running.

I got better at teaching my dogs the more I did agility, but many times agility got the better of me. Darn you, agilities! I have had a lot of help along the ways for improvement. For some reason, I am pretty much obsessed with getting better and better at agility. I have had the opportunity to run some amazing dogs that were way better at agility than I was and have had a lot of amazing instruction.

Um, so where was I?

So long story short and many future puppies of many breeds later, I got a puppy. A border collie puppy.

And now I'm training my puppy. She came to me as a puppy! Not a weird dog with weird problems! She is completely awesome and she has some challenging problems, maybe due to lady who just had little slow dogs going to the darkside and getting a border collie because she wants to do better in agility and starting out by breaking things! Or else she's just a border collie and I keep getting used to things they do. Here we are demonstrating some turn and burn.

She has not eaten a couch!

We are working on all the challenges! We are trying to learn! We love to be around people who help us learn, not people who unhelp us unlearn! I have NO TIME anymore for unhelpful unlearning. I have no time for hardly anything so unhelpful unlearning is the last thing I have time for.

I have some of the best teachers in the world helping us, too. Nancy Gyes helps us with USA type things. Silvia Trkman helps us with Slovenian type things. Sometimes Susan Garrett helps us with Canadian things and Jaako and Janita help us with Finnish things and they don't even know it! I have Oregonian and Washingtonian and Floridan and all kinds of other state-ians helping me with all kinds of stuff in the internet.

Plus I have a long list of California practice buddies and friends and classmates who are some of the best agility champs around who are secretly teaching me Californian things by just being good friends and sometimes mentioning things like, Um, Don't You Think You Should Just Start Again Because You Just Rewarded That Huge Gigantic Error You Just Made? Or just because they did it right and I saw what they did or they did it wrong and I saw what they did.

Or they casually throw out, Use Your Other Hand. It's sometimes as easy as that.

So my education is continuing. With a puppy, many days it still feels like it's just starting and I do feel clueless a lot of the time. Although anyone other than me mentioning this or tsk tsk tsking it on the sidelines just has bad manners. I don't actually think I'm clueless, by the way. I think it's just that wanting to do better thing. My puppy loves agility and she loves hiking and she loves the beach and she loves playing and she loves doing tricks so we're probably doing ok.

We can do better. I am always trying to do better. So when you see something we're doing that looks like a trainwreck, Yep. I know. And we're working on it. I am really trying not to untrain my puppy with unhelpful unlearning. I want to get this right!

Here's a photo direct from my brain of how I learn agility. I am a continuing ed and I probably always will be. I think some of us  are never gonna be super champs. But you know what? We might still be trying. Yeah, we have not perfected crate games, Susan Garrett! And while I'm writing this my puppy is staring at the dust again, unhelpful unlearning DARN YOU! Some things I'll never learn. So yes. Continuing Education. And now I gotta go train my puppy.

For more agility blogs on continuing education, find 'em here, thanks Steve!
http://dogagilityblogevents. wordpress.com/continuing- education/


Alaska said...

It's all about the love.

Also, if your border collie has not eaten a couch, you are doing better than we are. Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

Since you love agility and want to continue to grow and get better at agility there is nothing more understandable than getting a dog that will help you do those things. Its as simple as that.

Haters gonna hate on those of us for "going to the dark side", and that's fine. they can expend that energy, we'll just shake it off. And keep turning and burning.

Mufaasa's Mum said...

I love this post so much right now. And the conversation you had in your head for the last two years is still happening in my head and the answer seems to be GET A MALINIOS ALREADY so we'll see how that goes.