Thursday, January 21, 2010

Agility Class, We Hate Ice, and Blog Address

Tuesday night the boys and I had agility class. Walking Bug back to the training room two daycare dogs came barreling out of a side room in the small hallway and pinned Bug against the wall. I held my bag in front of Bug’s face to try and avoid a snarky response from him.

When I brought Bug out on course and he was very distracted at the “start-line.” I say start-line but I rarely ask for a start-line behavior – especially since I am trying to get both my dogs MORE amped up. In hindsight I am not sure if the incident with the daycare dogs distracted him or upset him. He isn’t typically that sensitive, but you never know.

The course incorporated two boxes and looked quite fun.

Bug was not keen on jumping, refused the tire and refused the A-frame. Kathleen asked if he was sore. I mentioned he had knocked his pelvis out two weeks ago slipping down stairs on ice. I opted not to try and run him again. Bug has been super-drivey in class lately – really committed to obstacles and LUVIN’ the a-frame. The fact that he was behaving the EXACT opposite told me something was going on. I do not want him to associate agility with pain, nor did I want to hurt him more if he was out of alignment. Kathleen did comment that depending upon his sensitivity it could have been the incident with the daycare dogs.

I put Bug up and called Cheryl to see if she could somehow fit him in on Wednesday if John could bring him. She said yes and said that it sounded like his sacrum might be out. Poor Bug!!

I sat through the rest of Bug’s class and then went to get the Ike. Ike is having a blast with agility. What is nice about running Ike is that we focus a lot on my handling and by that I mean how my actions slow my dog down! When I hesitate, Ike slows down.

At one point we were meant to come off the A-frame and do a pinwheel. Half-way through the pinwheel Kathleen said, “Stop.” Essentially she said Ike came off the a-frame slowly and instead of revving him up I clicked at him with my mouth to try and urge him on (might as well say ‘C’mon!’) and matched my speed to his. She said I was cuing him to run slow. She absolutely does NOT want me running Ike like that. She had me do some “go’s” with him to get him happy and revved up and then run the sequence again. She suggested I crouch a bit at the end of the a-frame and take off with Ike. Ike really likes the phrase “Ready” so we used that too. We got a LOT more speed and a much happier schnauzer.

This week Alison was there with her two Vizlas. When Alison is there the Vizlas take the crates and I tie Ike to a loop on the wall. He has been a bit barky in the past while I am walking the course. Tuesday night he was quiet as a mouse. I also got lots of very clear visual signs that he is really enjoying himself. I am so happy!

John took Bug to see Cheryl last night and Bug’s pelvis was out again. I can only assume he slipped on all the ice because I doubt the daycare dogs knocked him out. Poor Bug. All three of us have an appointment scheduled Saturday and hopefully Bug will hold his adjustments and be ready for next Tuesday.

On a side not, I am thinking about moving my blog. I haven’t looked into how to do it or anything, but I think the address slowasmolasses is no longer appropriate. Even though I have changed the title the address is still there. If you believe in the power of positive thought it seems like it might be wise to change it.


Katrin said...

I think changing the name to something more fitting and positive is a great idea! Good luck figuring it out! :-)

Holly said...

I am all for positive thinking! I say go for the change, and maybe even start new and keep a link to the old one for reference.

Sam said...

Your agility class sounds awesome - your teacher is REALLY in tune to what you do and how your dogs respond.

Poor Bug! I hope his injuries stop here.

Blue said...

Poor Bug! I hope his pelvis feels better soon. Glad to hear that Ike is having so much fun!

I think a positive name change is a great idea. I don't think it will be too hard to do. You'll have to create a whole new blog and then import the posts from the old blog.

If you go to the blog settings (it's the page where you can change the title of the blog), there's an option at the top of the page to "export blog." It exports the blog as an xml. You should be able to export this blog, create a new blog with a new address, and then import the old blog. I looked at the xml quickly, and it looks like it should contain all the old posts AND comments. The only downside is I don't think it contains the info from the sidebar, so you'd have to re-do the list of links etc.

Actually, I might start exporting my blog to my hard drive regularly anyway just in case anything ever happens to blogger!

Sara said...

Poor Bug, but I'm glad Ike is having fun in class.

I love the idea of changing the name of your blog! Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Jenn said...

OK - the dogs running at me and pinning Steeler into a corner would have been enough to send me into a tail spin! :-) I can't wait for all the snow and ice to be gone - apparently Bug feels the same way!

Can't wait to see some suggestions for your new blog. I am just so not creative with names.

At agility class last night we were working on speeding up the dogs .... now all of us feel the need for a handler training program!

Nancy and Stewie JRT said...

I think positive thoughts are Very important. Yes, you should have a new name, go for it!
Hope Bug is feeling better soon. Are you going to Addicted's trial in Feb?

Jules said...

Okay folks - please help me with the new names! I am stumped.

@ Jenn: Fortunately Bug wasn't that phased by it.

@ Nancy: Yes, we are going to the Addicted Trial and I can't wait. How about you? I think the new facility sounds REALLY nice; 12" of rubber pellets UNDER the turf. Pretty sweet!

Nancy and Stewie JRT said...

I can't wait to trial either. Haven't trialed since Nov. or gone much of anything else agility wise either so it should be fun. Stewie will probably be wild!