Thursday, February 5, 2009

Lesson & Chiro

Last night Carmie, Bug, and I split a lesson with Erin. Unfortunately even though I left work early traffic conspired to make us late! Drat!

The town where I live has had some downtown revitalization project going on for a while. They have added two stop lights in places there were stop signs before. As a pedestrian I so appreciate this. I cannot tell you the amount of times the boys and I have stood waiting patiently for some jerk in a car to recognize there is a pedestrian at the crosswalk.

As a driver attempting to get to a lesson with her dogs…not so much. There was also a gargantuan wake last night, so traffic was a disaster and we were about 15 minutes late for our lesson.

In the past we have only been able to snag a 3pm lesson slot. I thought the 5pm slot was an upgrade in terms of my work schedule. Well, let me tell you how loud and exciting the facility is at that hour! Carmen was PANTING with stress and Buggie thought it was a PARTY just for him. The good news?

Carmen was stressed but VERY willing and able to work with me. Yay, Carmie. My dh jokes that she has laser focus, and it is so true. The course last night involved 12 weaves, the dog walk, two tunnels and LOTS of jumping requiring many crosses and some wraps. In general Carmen and I both worked well together. There was one instance going into the tunnel where I needed to do a front cross that I had a terrible time with, but in general I feel like we did well together.

I have to admit that the din and being late made me a bit less consistent than I would like. I need to remember to center myself regardless of what is going on.

I let Erin know that Carmie was diagnosed with PRA just so she would be aware. Erin’s first dog ( An American Eskimo, I think) had PRA, so she understood completely. It is a shame because Carmie is really coming along so well, but we will just make the most of it.

In terms of weaves, I meant to bring my cages and forgot because I was running late. Erin and I mickey-moused two x-pens to act as cages for the first six poles (Carmie’s down to two). At first Carmie blew by the weaves (stress), but I was patient. I also realized that I was saying “weaves” and I mostly say “poles.” As soon as I changed to “poles,” in she went. She successfully weaved 10 poles and I took that – she hasn’t been practicing with 12 lately and we didn’t have enough cages. The fact that she weaved 10 was actually impressive to me. She was trying very hard.

I need to try VERY hard to be consistent with my cues. As Carmie’s sight degrades I need to give her the most complete info possible. That means I need to stick with ONE cue. Poles, it is.

Then Mister Bug had an opportunity to strut his stuff before Erin. I told Erin that we were taking Katrin’s Equipment Foundation class again and how excited I was with Bug. This was the first time she met Bug and she couldn’t believe he was the dog I described to her over the summer. Me either! I explained that we have only been doing three obstacle - maybe four obstacle sequences and that he hasn’t seen the dogwalk since the fall.

We started with tire, tunnel, jump, jump and Bug was pretty good when he wasn’t running off to investigate! He was VERY happy and excited about all the commotion, so we had a bit of a hard time keeping him focused on me. We worked on it and he was a very good boy.

Then we put him on the dog walk. The first time he creeped over it. The next time he ran his little heart out. At which point Erin suggested I better start working on him working away from me! Yay, I have a fast little doggie!

After class we met with Cheryl for adjustments. Both dogs held all their adjustments so they hopefully won’t see Cheryl again for about 6 weeks. Cheryl was super impressed that Bug’s back is in such good shape. So am I. This is AWESOME news. It quells my endless paranoia about his back and hip.

I was talking to Katrin last Thursday about the dramatic change in Buggie’s confidence. I do think that in addition to the chiropractic adjustments, some of it is that he has more muscle than he did when he came to me in May. At a minimum he walks just about one and a half hours daily. So, I feel like the fact that he has more muscles and endurance PLUS the confidence has helped his agility performance.

We are seeing Erin again next week and I hope both dogs will benefit from the distracting environment.

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