Ike and I got together with some fellow agility-friends yesterday to practice. Cat & I had talked about renting some ring time at Masterpeace during Katrin's break, but the reality is they don't have a ton of time available. Katrin offered us a super deal. Clean up the ring at her house, put her A-Frame together, and we can use her space for free. How could we pass it up?
Yesterday was our first practice session, the only handler/dog team Ike and I didn't know were Carol and her Belgian Terv Asa. Oh my goodness. I love her!! Carol, too!
We set up a pretty simple course: jump, dogwalk, tunnel, three jumps leading into the poles. Ike is such a great boy - he didn't hesitate with the contact obstacles AT ALL. We ran the A-Frame too. Hooray!! I am so happy. I hope this means he is beginning to generalize a little better with contact obstacles. The first run I has Ike jump 12" - which is what he jumps in CPE and if I run him at the "Skilled" level it is what he'll jump in NADAC. The next few runs I had him jump 16". The final run I could see him really have to gather himself prior to the jump. Considering his height 16" jumps shouldn't be that big a deal. I wonder if it is a conditioning issue?
I have made an appointment with the animal communicator that Katrin saw a couple of months ago. I am concerned that I am not being fair to Ike by taking him to the rehab. I know people kind of stress him out in general, but selfishly I want to have him visit as a therapy dog. My internal argument is it helps him continue to socialize with scary people. HOWEVER, I am really worried that this not a valid argument and that he's totally miserable. Sad as it is, Ike isn't going to be with us forever and there will be other dogs that might be a better fit for therapy dog work in my future. So, if Ike is miserable I need to figure out what we can do together that will make him happy. Of course, he might not be miserable, but I am preparing myself to see the reality I haven't wanted to acknowledge. Good gods, he might say he doesn't want to speak with the lady! We'll see. Our appointment is next Monday. I will let you all know how it goes.
4 days ago