Friday, June 29, 2012

Back to School

Jonah, Nika and I all headed to DogStar yesterday for Jonah's class.  We're back in a group lesson after our session of doing privates.  I hadn't wanted to bring Nika.  I was hoping I'd be able to get her napping just before we left.  A work conference call went long, though, and she'd just woken up 10 minutes before we had to leave.  Bad timing.  Oh well, I thought, she can just nap in the car.  Well, it turned out it was really hot, so I actually brought her into the AC.  She and Jonah shared a crate.  It worked out fine.  She whined a little while he ran, and she had her first accident on her way in.  There was a lot going on.  Dogs were warming up, new place, etc.  She almost made it, but then it was too much and she peed, nervous.  oops.  Luckily dog places are prepared, and it didn't turn out to be a big deal.  She got to meet a bunch of new people and two new dogs.  It was good for her to just hear new sounds and all.  It took some juggling to make sure the right dog was in the right spot, but it worked out alright.  Next week I'm going to try the sleeping plan again, though.

Jonah was AWESOME.  It was SO.MUCH.FUN!  Our first run had a flip left off the A-frame to a tunnel.  He read the "left" cue beautifully had a really lovely tight turn.  The whole course he was just flying!  His dogwalk was gorgeous.  His weaves were speedy.  He raced through tight jump portions.  There was a jump right next to the peanut gallery that I didn't cue enough and he missed it, but that was totally my fault and I was good about just continuing on, not fixing it.  Then the last obstacle was a tunnel/A-frame discrimination and we missed it, but again I was good about not letting him know the mistake.

The second time through I pushed myself to try different things.  We started with a big slingshot start to the backside of a jump.  It was enough of a challenge that he slowed a step, but he figured it out, and once I gave him a big "good boy" he raced on to full speed.  This time I handled the A-frame to tunnel turn on the other side.  He got the turn again but was a little slow in the tunnel.  Not sure why.  Then we were flying again, and I pulled off the weaves to layer a jump and get a FC in after he exited.  No problem.  He was focused and fast.  This time I sufficiently cued the jump by the crowd, and we cruised quickly through to the end, where I also handled the discrimination sufficiently.  A gorgeous, fast clear round.  That's my boy!

Then we moved on to the second course.  We only ran it once in full, but I ran a few sections a couple times.  I actually tried leading out, which I rarely do anymore.  Well, it didn't work the first time (he misread my cues and had an off course), but then we got it going after that.  I handled another section as a gamble.  It worked well.  Then another gamble section.  I pushed and he went out, but then I didn't call hard enough and he went straight ahead instead of coming back to me.  Tried again, and the result was beautiful.  Then I layered the dw with a set of weaves in between me and the contact.  He didn't blink.  Beautiful jackpot contact.  He's awesome.  By layering the contact I got enough ahead that I pulled off a nice blind cross through a jump line.  It worked great, and we sailed through the finish.  He's the best.  Even if he never runs well in another trial, it's just so much fun to play with him in practice.  Such an adrenaline rush.  I kept reliving it all afternoon long.  Jonah=superstar!

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