Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Getting Closer

Well I managed to get my Gold spot for the "I'm Just Little" course!  It felt like I was buying tickets for a rock concert.  Course registration opened at 10am Pacific Standard Time which was 1am our time.  Rather than wait up I went to bed and set the alarm for 12.45am.  So up I got bleary eyed and half asleep.  As it got close to 1am I started hitting the refresh button.  I'd heard that Denise Fenzi courses sell out in about one minute so it was serious stuff going on.  Luck was with me and within seconds of it hitting 1am the Gold spot came up for purchase.  I can't believe how excited I was that I got one!  Unfortunately so excited that when I went back to bed I couldn't sleep...lol

Fizzy Bear
We are three weeks in and I'm really enjoying it.  The stuff I worked on in the Bridging the Gap course has certainly put us in good stead to be progressing really well.  I love some of the little games we are doing including a game called "doggy toss" that Cassie really loves.  Not sure a lot of the other little dogs are very impressed but it's right up her alley!  Cassie has come such a long way in the last few months and I'm so pleased with where she is at.

On the weekend I took her to a Show and Go held at the Dogs West grounds just to see what might happen in a simulated trial environment.  Unfortunately the weather was crap so not as many people there but with four rings set up it at least looked like the real deal.  It's challenging that her interest in personal play really lowers we are in a trial situation.  Things that would arc her right up at home don't get her engaged at all.  Movement works well though so I was able to get her chasing me and then tugging on her lead.  But, as soon as I go up to the start line you can see her arousal take a serious nose dive back to terra firma. 
A distinguished older gent...Riot
The first couple of runs I honestly thought she wasn't going to come with me, but she did.  I couldn't get her to nose touch at all on the start line.  Looking back at the video I probably shouldn't have bothered because then I was faffing around with her for ages and it didn't help at all.  Good lesson learned there.  No problems with her speed when she did take off, she was flying.  I rewarded her mid course on the first one and then second time around did the course and rewarded her at the end like we would at a trial.  To finish off I worked on a jumping course.  I decided to focus on the first couple of obstacles rather than the course.  Again she started off a bit hesitantly.  We did two obstacle to her tuggy.  Second start line again a bit of avoidance creeping in so I did the first two obstacles and then let her jump into my arms.  The third one was the by far the best take off.  I just put her down gave her a pat and we were off.  No hesitation from her at all.  Yay!

The many faces of a pappy
So although my work isn't finished just yet, the show and go did give me an idea of where she is at and where to from here.  I've entered her in a trial in about three weeks.  One class is NFC and one normal.  I was in two minds earlier today but after watching the runs back I think we'll give it a go.  I have a better idea of how to manage her and even if she is not happy in the normal class I'm prepared to blow it off and get her to jump in my arms if I think it will help her.  I feel like a have a lot of tools in the toolbox now to deal with whatever comes up.

This week is pretty exciting with the Justine Davenport and Jessica Patterson seminar here in Perth.  These girls are at the top of their game in world agility at the moment.  I love their handling style and it's the direction I want to take as I move forward in agility.  I haven't done nearly as much work on handling for a while as I would like to have.  Working through Cassie's issues has taken priority and Sonic isn't up to a huge amount of training.  The seminar is three full days.  I have no idea how Cassie is going to handle it and the weather forecast keeps changing.  But no matter what hopefully we will learn heaps, have a lot of fun and get through it!