Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Fast and Flustered

Fast would be Ike, and I would be Flustered! The status quo has changed and I am having a hard time adjusting. Ike is showing more speed and joy playing agility than I have ever seen from him and right now it is leaving me flustered. I don’t know how to run him! What a problem, huh? I need to be more thoughtful about both walking the course and running the course with him.

Last night I got “lost” multiple times. The upside to that is I remembered to treat my dog more quickly than I have in the past and he didn’t seem to read my body language as though he had done something wrong. That is progress.

Other than me getting completely lost, I think I might have been pulling off tunnels a bit early last night. Tunnels have never been Ike’s favorite, but last night he questioned whether I wanted him to take them a couple of times.

Below is the first course we ran.

I had a lot of trouble going from 4 - 5 and 6 – for some reason it did not flow for me which then left me struggling to remember what to do after 6. Toss treats for Ike ‘cause he is brilliant. I believe the first time I forgot which direction I was going and did not put a fx after 6 in at all.

Looking at the course today it doesn’t look that bad at all, but I am pretty sure I fouled up 11 through 16, too. At least once! But the real trouble for me was 4, 5, 6 and then 8, 9, 10 – I just could not feel the flow in these pieces of the course.

Part of the problem really is this status quo change – as I said earlier in the post I really need to be more thoughtful. When Ike was running slowly I had plenty of time to think on course – now I don’t. Just writing that makes me smile. I never imagined having this problem with Ike – it didn’t seem in the realm of possibility!

The second course of the night seemed to have more flow to me, although it did have a very tricky sequence from 9 - 13.

Ike and I did a front cross after the a-frame and between 11 and 12 (I believe). The first run through Ike handled this sequence nicer than I expected. Second time around our SS friend Darcy was a bit excited by Ike moving so fast and was barking. Ike slowed down significantly. The seating is right beside where the a-frame is and Ike found Darcy's noise stressful.
Again, it is huge progress that I noticed by the third jump of the pinwheel that Ike wasn't in the same mental space he had been and stopped to try and re-engage him with some "go's." Next week Darcy's mum said she would put him in the bathroom when Ike runs so as not to stress the boy out.
In both courses Ike skipped poles while weaving. Ike’s poles have always been really solid (once he learned them) and Kathleen commented she thinks he needs to learn how to do them at speed. I think she’s right. I’ll admit that is an exciting problem to have. I also imagine once I get the go ahead from Cheryl (chiro) to do 2 x 2s with Bug I will also do them with Ike. Knowing Ike he will likely think 2 x 2s are the best thing since a peanut butter stuffed Kong!

I am pleased with myself that I never say “oops” anymore to Ike when he misses a pole – I just bring him back and start again. I think “oops” was stressful and confusing to Ike. It makes more sense if he fouls up to just start over with no fuss – at least with Ike.

Other than Ike getting a bit stressed by Darcy (who he adores when he isn't running)  the class went really well, even though my brain was absent. Ike stayed up and happy the entire class. I think this is the first class he has really maintained his drive the entire time. I think I was better about not letting getting "lost" bother me and therefore he wasn't bothered. Hmmm...Sometimes it takes a long time for something you understand intellectually to translate to action.


Sara said...

Yea..happy Ike! What progress! How cool to have a whole new set of problems due to your dog being happy!

Taryn said...

I totally understand the problem of "Fast and Flustered". I call my two guys the Tortoise and the Hare. I learned agility with the tortoise, Wilson. Slow, steady, accurate, I could always get there for a front cross.

Then along came the hare, Jimmy. He is SO fast, I can almost never do a front cross, he beats me to the end of the dog walk and over the AFrame. The faster I run, he just goes faster. He also get very frustrated with me and any late direction and devolves into a herding dog frenzy. He's only 2, so hopefully we can put the speed to good use once he is finished growing a brain!

Diana said...

Lol, Now your going to have to change to blog name to, "Run fast, Jump , herd, heal" . Diana

Nancy said...

What a great problem to have :)

101mutts said...

This reminds me of horse back riding actually. Rubic, the horse I pretty much always ride is usually slow and hard to get moving. Have finally in the last six months been able to get some speed and motivation but then it takes a new skill to be able to think and control him at the higher speeds. Keep up the good work!