I didn't have a whole lot planned for today's post. Mostly I'm starting to get REALLY antsy to head of to the national specialty!! I always feel bad leaving the dogs behind for anything, but they'll be at home with their dad getting lots of treats and getting to be lazy dogs (which doesn't last long for them!). Which means that I'll come home to some super pent up pooches!LOL
Last night was our first night back with our agility instructor since her husband passed away two weeks ago. That woman is so strong! Thinking back, I just don't know how she was going through everything that she was going through and still keeping it all together. Especially since there's another woman in our class who's husband has been going through chemo and they've had a bumpy road of it. And even through all of that, no signs of anything amiss. She even got a card and some flowers together to be from our class to this woman when the woman's sister suddenly passed away. She thinking and caring about another person while she had her own worries at home.
Anyhow, there was one change to the barn last night. Kathy had some sandy substrate added to the bark mulch that was already there. I didn't think too much of it until I tried running on it! After that first run, I made sure to lead out PLENTY with Heffner because he was just zipping right on past me. And plenty happy to do so! He LOVES the new substrate. He was so excited to run on it. And man, was he ever really digging in! He actually started to get a little squirly like he was getting the zoomies at the end of one run. He was just so excited! And we seriously had some fantastic runs! Even when I was screwing up, he was still nailing the course that was set! Now if we can just do that during the AKC trial at the end of the month!
And speaking of the agility trial at the end of the month, I also learned that AKC does not in fact ding you for missing your up contacts on the A-Frame!!! Wa-hooo!!!!! You can't even imagine how happy that makes me feel! I was seriously thinking that it would take us FOREVER to get out of novice if we had to nail those every time. What I have heard is that people are thinking that it's especially unfair to the larger breed dogs who are capable of taking such large strides and completely leaping over the up contact. Forcing them to check their strides so that they hit the contact zone reduces their momentum and makes the A-Frame more difficult and potentially dangerous for them. I am so freaking happy that we don't have to worry about that any more!:)
I'm also going to be changing up my running routines with the dogs. Mostly because I'm the one who's getting really worked over and the dogs aren't getting nearly enough exercise between the two of them. I'm still going to go running with Heffner at least twice a week, but I'll be bikejoring with Bess on those nights instead of also running her. It really should work out the best for all three of us. Heffner really enjoys going running and he's a freaking power house when we set out and I really need to be fresh to run with him. He's plenty capable of doing more miles, but since I'm still having to gradually increase MY mileage between the two dogs, both dogs end up getting shafted. So now I can increase his mileage much more without stressing my foot. And it works out great for Bess because she really is only excited about doing about one lap around the soccer field before she's totally bored and isn't thrilled about the experience. By taking her out bikejoring, I can do more miles with her, she won't get bored, she'll get in better condition for our skijoring season coming up, and I can also tire her out! And it works out great for me because I can focus all of my running energy on Heffner and then get pulled along by Bess and not get totally wrung out as I increase my mileage!!:)
Hmmmmm.....this hasn't been a terribly interesting post! Sorry about that! Just my random musings! I promise that at least Fri. and Sat. will be more interesting! Fri. we're heading out to my parents' property out in Pine Grove. They've got 40 acres of bare land that butts up against the Mt. Hood National Forest, which essentially extends their property into infinity. The dogs LOVE it! So we'll spend several hours out there so that they can run around like the wild beasts that they are. Then Sat. we're starting into a new sport for us that should be quite interesting. It's going to require a different mind set for me than I'm used to. But that's all I'm going to say.:) Hope I haven't bored those of you who've made it this far, too much!