June 20, 2013

Still Flying High.......followed by a crash and catch up

I found this post in the archives just waiting, waiting, but never shared. Now the time has passed and it feels so very long ago. Summer is almost here. The solstice only one day away, longest day of the year and then the progression towards short cold days begins again boo hoo. The kids in the High School halls that I work at are screaming FREEDOM FREEDOM! Only two more half days to go and we are all FREE! I have beaches to visit, books to read, house projects to complete, and my two best and most wonderful kids to hang with this summer. Oh and as many trials as I can fit in between camping. We are in the hunt.....hunting for Q's and points to qualify for our very first AKC Nationals. I set this goal way back in Nov and I'm happy to say we are almost there. We continue to need more speed or to start Q'ing in standard where we accumulate the most points but we are almost there.

We try a new indoor venue the first weekend in July. Can't wait to see how Surf handles it. He is not a fan of indoor venues (well at least not big loud Dream Park) AKC Nationals will be close to home for the first time. Harrisburg, PA!! I have family that has attended there for race car events and they have spoken about how very BIG it is! Surf will most likely sit in the middle of the ring staring at all the people but I really won't care. Really, really I won't. I will be so very overwhelmed myself I'm sure. We are just babes trying to get into the big sand box so if it doesn't go so well at first we will just keep trying.
I wanted to share the post that never was because I want Jeri to know how much she really has impacted Surf and I as a team. So here it is....

Wow, I can't believe that October is over! It has just flown by. Surf and I are back to trialing, all out doors thank goodness! I was excited to get back to trialing since our practices have been going so well but I have to admit I was a little nervous/afraid also. I worried that he wouldn't run at the trial like he has been in practice. Class has been such a learning experience this summer! Big thank you to Jeri Prekop for sharing all of your wisdom, I am having so much fun in your class! I have learned a whole new way of handling and feel like I could be running a big dog the way he has been ripping up a course! Some of the things we have been working on:
  1. Stop stopping to fix a wrong course (weaves, yes/ contacts, yes/ other boo boos, NO keep going)
  2. he turns after a jump like a 18 wheeler, he is only 11 3/4 inches tall we need to tighten up
  3. timing timing timing of cues
  4. stop telling him he is a good boy every time I mess up :-) its a pattern/habit
  5. Table really means stop and lay down. Not keep going, play bow, or bark madly at me.
  6. How to analyze a course (my biggest weakness!) This blog isn't named running on instincts by accident!
  7. Work EVERY inch of EVERY obstacle!!! (Jeri ism!)
Right now I am smiling every time he works five miles away from me to find that off course jump! It is so so so very nice to finally see him really enjoy the game and look for the equipment. It has been 3 1/2 years but I think this summer Surf finally found his big boy pants! He is so much more relaxed and confident. He even has taken to screaming (and I mean high pitched screech) at the border collies when on course. I think he has decided they are just big black and white papillons ;-)
Oh, the crash part.....The kids and I were in a car accident in Oct. A little concussion for me, kids not a scratch, but my less than a year old Kia was out of commission for over two months. (Hurricane Sandy didn't help either!)

We have added a new goal of formally training running contacts. Thank you Daisy Peel for putting all our your agility wiseness out into the big web for us far away people to learn. It is a work in progress but Surf continues to amaze me with how fast he can learn a new behavior. Even when I don't think I'm being very clear about what I want, he seems to understand. I know he could be such an amazing agility dog, but my learning continues to slow us down.

July and August will have some break time scheduled in trying to gear up for a hectic fall showing season. Lots of points still to get (just a mere 298) Kayaking and camping with friends and start running again. It has been to long and at my age the muscles go south quickly lol!

The new lap top that I got last year is already giving me a hard time. I knew I should have just gotten a Mac. So pictures have not been let off the camera in a while and the videos remain trapped as well. I will attempt again soon but this evening I am off to a BBQ. The kids are in FLA with my mom visiting my sister. I miss them terribly! The house is way to quiet (even with 4 dogs still in residence ;-) They will be home Sat thank goodness. A body gets used to doing everything at full speed and has trouble slowing down sometimes. Of course, just as I start to adjust they will be back and it will be back to full speed ahead again lol.