So today, my mom and I ventured off to the FREEZING venue of Circle G Arena in Dayton - flashback to Nat's description of the horse barn where Naomi takes riding lessons and there you have it. I had never been there before and set up shop near a door where people took their dogs out. Suffice to say, we moved about 20 min after getting there.
I was a little out of practice in packing for agility - and have never done it for 2 dogs. All went well until we were well over halfway to Dayton when I realized I forgot the chairs. As I had never been to this venue, I had no idea what the seating availability was. We had plenty of time and stopped at a Target and picked up a couple of chairs - thank god, because all they had was wooden bleachers. But I managed to remember everything else...tarp, crates, blankets for the crates (X 4 - one to cover the crate to keep the edge of the cold air out and one for each of them to lay on) 2 water bowls, water, cookies, training treats, leashes...quite the production.
Chelsie LOVED her day out...was gushed over and loved on by all her agility peeps. She was not exactly thrilled when she was "zipped and clipped" in her house - her portable crate has a zipper you can clip so they can't nose the zipper undone...little Houdini has done this more than once, so when we leave her in her crate, it has to be zipped and clipped. Being zipped and clipped meant mom and gramme took the BC (border collie) to run agility and she had to stay in her crate...NOT COOL. I had her out for an hour, and she was very focused on watching the dogs in the std ring. She got to work for food when we came home and was a good girl. She is napping on the bed now, all worn out. She of course, has to rest up for her special day tomorrow...
Now, on to me and the BC. Our std run - obstacles 1-8, terrific. 9-13 - disaster. 14-18 - terrific. I was very encouraged by our start, but misjudged a sequence of A-Frame-jump-tunnel. I took my eye off him long enough for him to run off course - he came back to me, but then the little brat ran behind me into the wrong end of the tunnel - in agility, it is a VERY bad thing to have your dog behind you. We got back on track, then he missed the weave entrance - which he has had trouble with since I started working him. But we went on and finished nice - he became unhappy with me at some point during the run and was very vocal about it. I am not used to having a dog that barks during his run. :) I asked him if I was really that bad or if there was something that kicked his little BC brain out of whack for a few seconds.
On to jumpers...at that point, I just did not want to embarass myself. Now, I must say...this BC and I have been living and training together for only 4 weeks. Agility is team sport, and timing is very critical - and is developed over the time the handler and the dog train and play together. He is a lot faster than Chelsie - I work in front of Chelsie because I can stay ahead of her, but I cannot outrun RIP and work behind him. I watched the other dogs from the class before, walked it according to what I thought best, and just went out and ran. We nailed it. 24.88 seconds - I was where I needed to be at every turn...he was focused on me and kept all the bars up. I was amazed - I actually looked like I knew what I was doing. He wants to please and works so hard for me. His reward was getting to stare at the cat in the basement.
As I type this, a first is going on...both RIP and Chelsie are on the bed, laying down, in harmony, quiet. I have no issue having both of them on the bed..but RIP is usually too hyper to settle, then Chel gets irritated and jumps down. But it has been a long day for both of them, and we get to do it all over again tomorrow.
And finally....tomorrow is a very special day. Tomorrow is Chelsie's birthday...8 years young. I can't believe it...my little puppy is going to be 8 years old. Words cannot express what a wonderful companion my girl is. I am so proud of her and all her accomplishments, and there is no better greeting than a wagging tail and lab laps when I get home from work. To celebrate the impending occassion, she and RIP got empty ice cream cones from Graeter's.
I hope this finds everyone well and staying warm. :)