So anyhow, I got up at the time I normally would to go work the dogs in the ball studio, but I didn't finish cleaning it up from all the meat packing this weekend and the floor still needs a mopping. I find myself sitting in front of the computer just staring at Bess watching her breathe and I figured that I needed to do something to keep me from worrying endlessly about something that at the moment I can't do anything about. Then I start feeling guilty that so much of my attention has been focused on Bess and Heff has just been on the sidelines. Not that he lets me ignore him!;o) It's just that my primary focus and anxiety is about Bess right now. Since I have this extra time before I head off to work, I think it's time that I give Heffner's agility update from Sunday.
But first, I have one more video from Bess' novice FAST run on Saturday:
As you can see from the above picture, it rained over night. It rained and rained and rained. Pretty much a torrential downpour. When I got up that morning and took the dogs out to potty, it was raining and our back yard was already flooded. That wasn't a good sign, but I was hoping that Canby would be better and the clouds would get the rain out of their system in the morning, leaving the rest of the day rain free. That wasn't the case.
Heffner's first class of the day was novice JWW. While the ground may look pretty slick, I can happily say that it held a lot more traction than it looked like. Of course, I don't have a super fast dog, so that may have also been in my favor. As you'll see from the video, Heffner had a lovely start to his run. Full of pep and he just dove into that first tunnel. We don't do many tunnels in class with him for obvious reasons and I wasn't sure if he was going to go for it or not and I was pleased that he did! He was really with me until he skidded a bit on the landing after the third jump. Then the Distractacon came out! And yet again, we had a fail on the weaves. That was probably the most frustrating thing about this weekend is that neither of my dogs were nailing their weaves. It's the one agility skill that we consistently practice at home and they have been NAILING it! Not so this weekend. The rest of the course went fine, I was just disappointed.
Next up was novice Standard. It had started raining again at this point, but I decided to ditch the rain coat. Kennedy was using my camera to video us and that's why the picture is blurry. My camera is kind of hit or miss when videoing. After looking at things through Kennedy's video recorder, I have to admit that I want one!
Anyhow, we started off our standard run with some problems at the start. Normally Heffner is great at holding his start line stays. Not really the case this time around. I had wanted to lead out more and get in a better position, but once he started moving I just went with it. Unfortunately that meant some dropped bars. Ug! Our weaves were pretty awful and I was getting pretty exasperated by that point. It's really hard not to expect more out of your dog when they've been doing so well in class and at matches. While he wasn't quite as distracted as he was at our last trial way back in October, it's still a bit of a problem.
I left the trial just feeling so frustrated. I had expected more out of Heffner. And while I know that the last trial that we went left a LOT of room for improvement, we didn't really show much out there on Sunday. I had been hoping that the time off would have allowed us to really hone things better, but I kind of felt like we were still stuck in the same rut. This is one of those times where it's really helpful to have a friend there with you to just listen to you vent your frustrations. Kennedy was the lucky one on Sunday.;o)
We have many things to work on and improve. Mostly we need more practice. I do have a "dirty little secret." Due to time conflicts, distance to drive to instructor, and the expense of doing everything that I've been doing with two dogs, I attempted some cost cutting. I have both dogs going to the same agility instructor, but we only have class once a week. I've been alternating each dog each week. Bess goes one week and Heffner goes the next. So I guess that I really can't be surprised that we haven't made a whole lot of progress. I'm kind of shooting my self in the foot. I've ordered some DVDs on various different skills and once our back yard dries out enough that the dogs can actually move around on it (and Bess is back up to par), we'll doing more at home work. I'm also going to start renting some barn time through our agility club. There are some other potential changes coming up, but I'll wait until we get there to post about that.
And thank you everyone for the well wishes on Bess!! It means a lot! It's so hard to see them lying there not feeling good and yet there's not a whole lot that I can do about it.:(