Today Bug, Carmen, and I attended the Addicted to Agility NADAC Trial in Wrentham, MA. I have already filled you'all in on Carmie - here's the Bug update.
I entered Bug in Jumpers and Tunnelers. I was very nervous because we have not been in an agility class in a couple of months. We have been working on our relationship, foundations skills, and herding. Well, I think all of that has helped us a lot in agility.
We had a very nice Jumpers run. I feel like we started the run the right way. In NADAC you may not remove your slip lead until the judge says, "Good Luck." The judge said "Good Luck" and Bug was watching something other than me - perhaps the judge. There was a time when I would have removed his lead anyway and then wondered why we weren't that connected. Well, today patience and training won out. I waited until I had solid eye contact before releasing him. You wouldn't think this would be such a hard lesson to learn, but you'd be surprised at how dense I can be sometimes!
About 6 jumps into the course I almost lost him when he saw his very cute niece Bette being walked outside the ring BUT he came right back to me and worked. When I say I almost lost him, he didn't literally leave me, but it was as though a magnet was pulling him off-course and to Bette. The fact that he so quickly righted himself and tuned back into me was very impressive.
I ended up missing where I intended to do a front cross (between jumps 11 and 12) because the wee little corgi was moving faster than I expected. I should have done a rear cross, but I just didn't feel competent/confident, so....I ran it UGLY (i.e. the long way). I REALLY need to work on my confidence level when it comes to rear crosses - I will need them with Bug. Bug earned his first jumpers Q and a placement (3rd).
After the class, I stretched the boy and gave him lots of cookies for being so brilliant.
Later in the day Bug ran in Tunnelers. I think it is safe to say he had a blast. We stayed connected and had a very nice run. Q/2nd place. After this class we did some serious stretching and massage.
It is interesting, Bug has now been with me for one year and 5 months. It truly feels like he has always been with us. However, it is only in the past three months that I feel like we are developing a really nice working relationship. I am not sure what changed. I don't know if it is just the length of time, if it is the herding and herding seminars we did/are doing, the Beyond Basics class......what am I saying? I know the answer - it is a combination of ALL these things! Dogs are not like instant pudding, regardless of how badly we wish it were so sometimes. :-)
5 days ago