greatest day ever

09.19.2011

almost. I didn’t get any pictures/ videos/ proof of any kind except I’m twenty dollars short of what I was an hour ago, but totally worth it, more than worth it.
So today was a great day in general. Then after school, layout, got work done. So then, George and I attended our first agility class ever. Megan (thank you times a million, you’re the best!!!) brought us along for a drop-in class. I walked in, with no expectations, my heart soaring and my actions cautious. So we walk around, George gets all foamy and excited, I sort-of expect this behavior by now, new place with dogs = tons of drool. but his drool bubbles when he drools too much. Typical George.
So after some relaxing, much sniffing and peeing, we go inside and set up our soft crates. George beats the shelties in being the most vocal dog there, a few dogs reply his excited barks and whines, but that’s it. He’s all alone, enjoying his own voice. I kind-of chuckle to myself, he really does love the sound of his own voice… but then I hope also that he’s not driving anyone crazy. I introduce myself, and warn them of his love for his own voice. They smile. A good sign. I always have my back up plan, keep him on his leash and hopefully he’ll calm down a bit… hopefully. So I brought pancakes for treats, he favors them over his ball. (surprising, but true)
We go over the first mini course, George knows his weaves but I’m debating in my  head telling Kathi. I do, So I walk the with-weaves course,  (sorry, my course is pretty off, scale wise..)

So when the 16 jump height came around I got George out. No criteria, I told myself. I’ll just reward him like crazy if he responds. But he seemed to be responding, so I thought, maybe, just maybe.
So I put him at a sit-stay (which, he broke, okay, now I know it’s normal George talking) So I put him back in sit-stay and he breaks it, so I just go with it. and bam, he misses the second jump and shoots for the tunnel. Right now my mind is going crazy- I kind of want to jump up and down, like “hey guys, did  you see that?! He shot for the tunnel?!!!!” but then Kathi backed me up (whew, and put me in a decent mindset. Criteria, this is class, not a match/ trial, Nicole) So I put him back in a sit stay behind jump two (see diagram) sent him towards the tunnel, pulled off a decent front cross and sent him through the weaves. I honestly didn’t expect anything. So when he didn’t hit his entry, I wasn’t worried. I pulled him back, one more time and he got it, I didn’t push him so he didn’t pop. Over jump six and I’m pull a rear cross. Nice cross, but are you trusting that he’ll be reliable in a new setting like this? I even pushed him. He popped. So I re set, gave him some space, and pushed him again. Pop! So I re set him and laughed at myself. No pushing. Don’t be pushy. I let him weave, shot him through the tunnel, for a front cross and over! YES!!! Major rewards. And George’s brain was going haywire “PANCAKES” I laughed and don’t think anyone could have wiped that smile on my face. I didn’t expect anything. And here he goes, being a rockstar. AHH GEORGE.
So moving on to course two…. We didn’t work on the more challenging weave course this time, which was good. But I wanted to sort of show the proximity of how close the tunnel, dogwalk and teeter were thought hey were sort of irrelevant for us, as George hadn’t learned a full dogwalk or teeter yet (the teeter was facing the opposite way anyways…)

So I walked it. I hesitated a million times. Front cross while he’s in the tunnel or rear cross over the jump (4)… I couldn’t make up my mind by the time it was our turn. So I grabbed a pancake and excitedly jogged over with George barking like a madman towards the jumps. Megan (and Kathi) both talked about not always doing a sit stay, and since he breaks it anyways, I decided to just let him have a running start! And it turned out beautifully, over the first jump he had tons of drive and pushed in front of me (those words are usually rare) to the tunnel. He gave me distance. I stood by #2 when he rushed through the tunnel. Still in shock, I had no time to make up my mind so I front-crossed, called him over #4 jump and called him through the #5 tunnel and onto #6. Perfect. A clean, fast run. I wanted to faint. Huge reward for George. Tons and Tons and Tons of pancakes. haha.
So then we worked the A-Frame. I really really hoped he’d generalize it like he did at the field. I pulled him up in a stand stay at the second slat above the contact zone where he stayed brilliantly. Then I slipped up and said “okay” his release word. Like always, “okay” means you can stop doing whatever your doing. So he lept from the a-frame. Okay. I have to stop using that word when it comes to A-Frames. I put him back up, stand back and say hit it. YES. Win. he does it! So he gets too enthusiastic at this point and refuses to stand-stay (which is okay, I never really trained a stand stay, whoops……… ) and did a couple more awesome reps.
So I need to go back and work some more groundwork. I need to work distance and the points on the box…. Thanks so much to Megan & Kathi!!!
I hope to go back soon. That was an amazing day.

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2 Responses to “greatest day ever”

  1. Megan and Kai Says:

    You and George were amazing! We're really glad you two had fun :D

  2. Nicole Says:

    Thank you!!!! we had a blast!!! it was the greatest day ever ;)


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