I apologize in advance for this scattered post, as it has little organizational structure.
TOY. I spent a few hours the other day playing around with how to make Jonah a new toy. I really like what I came up with in the end, after a few versions with other materials that he broke within minutes. I took a tennis ball and poked a hole through the middle of it. Then I took a rope toy, unbraided half of it, threaded one of the rope pieces through the tennis ball, and then braided it back up. Then I put some pieces of dog food inside the tennis ball so it rattles and smells good. It's great because I can throw it and it flies well like a tennis ball, but once it lands it stays put. Also it's a better tug toy than just a rope or just a tennis ball. Now I've been keeping it on the shelf and it only comes out at special times (play and agility), so it's an added treat and not just one of many toys.
SWIM. Jonah went swimming this weekend. We were up in Vermont and went for a walk along the river. He'd been running around a lot so I showed him an easy way to get up to the water so he could get a drink. He happily lapped up the water, but when he put one paw in he realized it was very cold and quickly pulled back. Then we played stick for a little bit and he got so excited he raced back to the water and went right in! As soon as he was swimming he turned around and came back out. Then he got crazy and ran around like silly. There was still about a foot of snow on the ground in Vermont, although it was 40 degrees and melting, but swimming must have been quite chilling! Fortunately the running and the bright sun had him dry before too long, and he got a nice toweling off once we got back to the car.
PICTURES. I ordered a few pictures from our last trials. We got one of us at the start line where we're both just starting to race forward, one on the A-frame and one on the teeter. Eventually I'd like to have a picture of every obstacle posted on the website, but my standard for a quality picture is rising. It has to be a pretty good picture for me to order it now :). It will be fun to watch the pictures evolve as we keep trialing.
PRACTICE. I've been able to do a bunch of practice with Jonah out in the yard. It snowed another inch or so yesterday and Jonah ran right up the dogwalk before I could blink an eye, but unfortunately the down ramp was slippery and when he tried to go into his 2o2o he slid right off. I'll have to be careful of that. I do think his weave poles are getting faster, but he's struggling with finding the entry when he's coming in on the near side and has to curl around, turning about 100 degrees to the right. He keeps going in at the second pole. If I support him he does fine but it's not as independent as I'd like. I may move the jump to make it easier and keep working on the independence. He's doing great with off-side entries, but I haven't had the angles too tough. We've got lots to work on, and now my biggest challenge is not overworking him so agility stays really fun and is a treat rather than work he has to do.
We have our lesson tomorrow, so I'll have more news soon.