Saturday, January 30, 2010

First Agility Trial with the BC...

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 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 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. :)


Carrie and Waffle said...

Hey Chelsie
happy birthday! 8 years young hope you get lots of fun things. I'm partial to liver treats and jolly balls. Currently my bestest new toy is the squish yellow puppy. It turns out she really doesn't want to eat my brains. She is a little yappy and leaky, but she is good for a game of chase. I used to think it was a cannibal but we've come to an understanding about ears and feet. As long as I can express by superior bean-ness I'm ok. We'll see.

Carrie thinks us black labbies are still the best. Especially because all her clothes are set up for us, the yappy one hasn't started shedding, but we are sweeping up the fur from when Zebbie was here a month ago. the funny thing is she wanted a blondie, so that she could tell us apart quickly (like she could mistake me for anyone else! I'm ME) but now we can't tell who they are calling because Tuffle and Waffle sound so much alike. (o'fff paw to the forhead)

But I'm with you we 1st pets need to stick together, why would our peeps even be thinking about someone else. I've been sure to let them know that I am the most important one at home, but be-careful a few of my shenanigans ended me up in jail--sadness. But I've scored two new toys and some frosty paw - so having a sister has it's good and bad points and I'll still claim the right to change my mind. Good luck with yours
waggs and kisses

Becky said...

Chels Happy 8th Birthday! What a great way to start with an 'empty' ice cream cone. Enjoy your day!

Mimi and CC Cabana said...

Hooray for Chels getting to go back to agility! What a great birthday present, to do what she loves and get gushed over by people. Sounds like agility is good for Rip and Chelsie's relationship, too. Hope today's meet is as enjoyable!