Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November Goals (Not so good)

I'm embarrassed to even write this post, but I might as well get on with it and have a fresh start for November.  Here's what I was hoping to do this month:

1.  Our first trial this month is this Friday at a new-for-us venue in CT.  My goal is for Jonah to be able to go in and focus without being too nervous.  Also, I'd REALLY like to get the Jackpot Q.  It's been way too long and I need to do everything I can to help him get it.
     Ok, I guess we actually did this quite well.  We got all our Qs and had three pretty nice runs, especially the Jackpot.  We got a 51 point Snooker, too!  So, maybe I shouldn't actually be complaining about our bad month.

2.  Things can always go wrong, but we have shots this month at (all CPE):  finishing our level 3 standard title, finishing our level 3 jackpots, finishing level 4 fullhouse and finishing level 4 snooker.  My goal is to do at least two of those four milestones this month.  
     Nope.  We blew our Standard, Jackpot AND Snooker runs at Bo-Gee, so we only finished the Level 4 Fullhouse. Granted the Jackpot was not Jonah's fault, as it was my misunderstanding of the rules that resulted in our NQ, but I'm still upset that we did so poorly at that trial.

3.  I want to take Jonah on some sort of socialization outing at least once each week.
     Nope.  We went to Beaver Brook once, but that was it.  It's just getting dark so early and it's been rainy or I haven't had the car, and then I was teaching a middle school ultimate frisbee clinic two days a week after school...all bad excuses I know.  Jonah did come running with us at a few different places (Quechee, Landlocked Forest, Promised Land, Mill Pond), but we saw few other dogs and they weren't intentional socialization trips.  We'll have to get to Willards a few times soon.

4.  Be able to do the DW, weaves and teeter with 15' lateral distance, being both directly lateral and 5-10' ahead and behind.
     Mmm...not really.  Jonah really struggles with being ahead of me for these things.  We can do the lateral distance with me directly beside or ahead, but still not behind.  I don't know how to work on it because it slows him down so much it becomes demotivating.  I try to bait things out ahead of him but he doesn't drive out for them.  I'll have to be patient/more creative.  I also want to keep working on his distance weave entries.  His teeter at distance is greatly improving.

5.  Begin to fade A-frame box, ideally get top piece gone by the end of the month.
     Yep!  Jonah is doing fantastic with his A-frame contacts.  He's gotten quite consistent with the box, with a faded box and with no box.  Good boy.  He's even maintaining his criteria at home, in class and at trials.  That's a good boy.

Ok, so what will November look like?  We'll have to see how long the weather will cooperate with us doing work outside at home.  Here are some things I'd like to do:
1.  Put the A-frame up to USDAA height with the box to get some good muscle memory at that height.  

2.  Practice the 24" table.

3.  I want to keep myself calm and in a good mood for the USDAA tournaments this weekend.  I was really stressed the last time we ran Steeplechase and I think it impacted Jonah.  I want to handle the courses fairly conservatively and make sure Jonah has as much fun as possible.  I don't want to fix mistakes--I want to keep running if he misses something (but I want to do everything I can to make sure he doesn't miss anything).  It would be really exciting if we could get a tournament Q (we'll need 5 if we ever get to an ADCH), but I'm not really counting on it this time.

4.  Our other trial this month has some potentially big runs which could allow us to:  1)  finish level 3 standard and get our CL3-R title, 2) get our first level 3 colors Q!  3)  finish level 3 jackpot and earn the CL3-S title, 4) finish level 4 snooker.  I'm going to be really ambitious again and hope for 2/4 Qs, like I did in October.  I think that should be reasonable, but we'll see.  

5.  Develop a long-term plan for 'stepping up our game.'  I'll let you know the thinking behind that one soon, but we have big things ahead of us, and I want to make sure we're ready!

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