Friday, August 11, 2006

Return of the Jedi

So we’re getting back into the agility swing of things, and enjoying it. But there’s still not enough time to do everything, not enough free hours to train for both agility and sheepdog work, not enough free weekends to trial in both, or even one, thanks to Sucky-3-Weekends-In-Four-Job.  In town, where the Sucky-Job resides, agility is definitely the easier option, so Jack has trimmed down, Muddy has bulked up, and we’re starting to train as if we might actually enter a trial one day soon.

Jack- the new see-saw-dogwalk dilemma. His loathing for the seesaw has now mutated into a slowing of his lovely fast dogwalk, and unless I’m right there letting him know what he’s doing, he’s liable to fly the seesaw. Otherwise, he’s loving it. He’s slow, but he’s 10, so he’s allowed to be, but we’re in there for fun. Things to work on- obstacle discrimination, weave entries (obviously a skill that needs constant maintenance), dogwalk confidence, and distance work. Otherwise he’s a dream.

Muddy- WEAVES!!! ARRRGH! He just insists on bouncing, even though it looks so uncomfortable, and he keeps losing rhythm at about the 6th pole, and popping out for a step. He could singletrack so much more naturally, but he just doesn’t seem to get it, no matter what method I try. And if I try too much, he shuts down. Other things we’ve never gotten around to- contacts (at all!), tight turns without losing speed, and going on in a straight line.

Bill- stop laughing, he will actually make an agility dog one day. Jumping- not hurling himself over from 15 feet away, legs either stretched forward (back legs too) or dangling straight beneath him. Sequencing- ie doing more than one obstacle without turning back to throw himself joyfully at me. Weaving- starting from scratch.

And then the pups… an overwhelmingly huge job… will I ever get around to it?

Dog stuff

I dunno where all our dog toys and collars and leads go… I know a good many toys get munched and chewed beyond salvation, and some retire under the furniture or into the garage for a much needed rest, but we should be able to fill a room with the toys and dog gear we’ve bought over the years. Yet somehow I am still struggling to find a tuggy to take to training 3 times a week, and the dogs’ collars sorely need a wash, but I don’t seem to have any spares. How bizarre.

If I were going to buy new ones, I’d probably go here:

For Fly, either Blackwatch (because I just didn’t get enough of that in 5 years of highschool) or Flower of Scotland… because they don’t seem to have the more appropriate Biting Hell-Pig of Scotland:

And perhaps these for Pinky, Ziggy and Connor:

I think Jack would look nice in this:
although perhaps too girly, so maybe this (its rugged, natural):

And Muddy would be something bubblegum:

He needs something classic, manly, that won’t make his neck hot and sweaty (eww!): (I like the black flames!)

New toys would include the classic ball-on-a-rope, tuggable Frisbees, and anything squeaky yet durable:

With current finances, it’s a good thing my dogs just as excited by a leash for tugging, or a fragment of tennis ball to fetch, and it will be a while before we’re out wasting money on toys and posh collars again. But we have Connor instead, and that’s a much better deal.