Posted by: Adrienne | February 9, 2010

Bleah. I mean it, really. Bleah.

I never thought I would be glad to get a snow day from agility training.  But boy did I do a happy dance this morning!

In thinking back over the past month all I can say is this is the result of an accumulation of too much being too much. 

I started Zoey in a Foundations agility class.  I was really looking forward to starting to teach her the basic skills.  In a good logistical move my instructor scheduled two classes I am in back to back.  So I would bring both dogs with me, work one, then the other in the next class.  And so began the trouble.

You see, neither of my dogs will stay quietly in a crate while they are within earshot of me.  And the training space has no sound-proofed rooms, being a section of warehouse decked out in colors and office partitions.  The first weeks my girls were banished to the bathroom.  Where they continued to make a stink but at least the volume was muffled.  But for the past three weeks I have been working on managing crate behaviour while trying to train the opposite dog.  Whose brain won’t function as her pack-mate is in “obvious” distress in the crate.

Then there was our last trial.  Due to a church fundraiser the night before running fairly late (awesome and very successful fudraiser) by the time I got to sleep I had to get up in four hours.  All I can say is that we had couple of good runs and then the lack of sleep kicked in.  Just in time for the Elite Jumpers classes.  I ended up walking off the last course, just fried.  I most definitely let my teammate down!  Note to self: when you cannot figure out what you are going to do on the walk thru — scratch the run.  At least then I won’t be setting Emma up to lose confidence!

I had been moved into an Advanced Handling class with Emma.  I was barely coming to grips with this when I decided to start a second dog.  Hmm… Maybe not such a brilliant move.

So now I need to re-group.  When agility stops being fun to train and run, well, then something is majorly wrong.

I have been granted a transfer into a slightly lower level class.  This should help me to break down those tricky sequences and get smoother on them.  Then I can just think about moving Emma through a course smoothly and fast.  Something that I have lost due to having to think too hard about my handling.

The schedule change will allow me to drive home between classes. Thus avoiding the crating nightmare.  I will have to work on crating extensively before I attempt both dogs with me at once again. 

Lastly, I will see how Zoey does when actually given my full attention and no (or at least only the usual) distractions.  I may or may not keep her in class.  I very well may pull her and just do work at home on all the things I learned in the last month and haven’t had a chance to really practice.

But for this week, I think we are all grateful for the snow day!

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