Friday, May 25, 2012

Graduated but Still Learning

Yesterday I graduated.  I don't usually like graduations--there's a lot of waiting, pomp and circumstance, and listening to boring things.  Yesterday was almost fun, though.  I got to spend time with some friends, the weather was lovely, and the speeches were quite good (although quirky.  in true Harvard style, one speech was fully in Latin.  Oh, and my diploma is in Latin, too.  ::shakes head::).  I got to wear a sweet gown with a big hood.  Generally I'm kind of embarrassed to tell people I go to Harvard, but for the day it was kind of fun.  Afterwards we went out to a nice lunch with my family at the Top of the Hub, a restaurant at the top of the Prudential tower in Boston.  The view was fantastic, and one of my dad's employees works there on the weekends and he tipped them off that we were coming, so we got VIP treatment.  As silly as it was, it was enjoyable and a special time to remember.

Then I came home to my wagging happy dog.  He's the best.

This morning our dw session was very good.  We were working on pushes and pulls, straight ahead, long approaches and short approaches.  Some of the angles were quite tough, but he did very well.  I'm so pleased.

This afternoon we went to DogStar.  Grace didn't have the dw up so we got to help set it up.  It's kind of complicated with all the pins, but very light.  Cool.  Then we practiced.  Jonah was great.  One random leap, but we think he did get his toes in--it just wasn't the nice striding we like.  A few other times were one foot or high in the yellow, but overall I'm pretty sure he was 100% in the contact zone.  Yay!  I did some hard stuff, too.  Rear crosses, front crosses, blind crosses, hard entrances, hard exits, staying behind him, getting in front of him, and being next to him.  He's not always doing the same striding.  Typically he's 5 strides, hitting with the back feet in the yellow.  Sometimes he adds a half stride and hits with his front feet.  Occasionally if he has a tough entrance or something he'll add a full 6th stride.  He's very good at doing what he needs to do to get his job done, whatever that means.  What a smart bugger.

After our lesson we set the ring back up for runthrus and then we ran a course.  It had a tough weave entry which Jonah missed the first time.  I am going to make a point of working weave entries a little bit in the coming weeks.  I can almost always help him in trials, but it would be good if I could trust him a little more, or at least if it were more engrained so we could miss incidents like last weekend.  Siigh.  Grace suggested walking him around the outside of the ring before running if I have a chance, and letting him meet photographers so he realizes they're not evil monsters.  Good ideas.  She doesn't think I'm making him do things he hates by taking him to trials, as she noted how much more confident and happy he is about the whole agility thing.  That's good to hear from someone else.  He's come a long way, and we'll give him some more chances.  If he continues to be super stressed, maybe we'll take a break.  For now, we'll hope it was just a blip.

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