I feel like I’ve dropped off the face of this blog lately. I think I’m so busy with school, then training, then walking with the dogs that when I get a minute on my computer I just want to veg out. Does anyone say that any more? Veg out?
Ok this is a long one so you can just click below if you want to read it. 🙂
The 50-minute-long drives to work have been irritating me this last week. I can usually deal with them ok because I love my school, but there were a couple of mornings there where it took me an hour and 15 to get in, which meant I was late and flustered. And I can’t plan for that. I can leave at 7.40 assuming that if it takes an hour to get to work I’ll be fine, if it takes 50 minutes, I’ll be awesome. But see if I leave at 7.20 assuming it’ll take an hour and 10 minutes, but it only takes 50 minutes, I’ll be there at 8.10 and that’s just stupid. Only a couple more weeks of term left and then 2 weeks off and since the weather is cooling down we’ll hopefully get some good hikes in then.
The other day I put the dogwalk up to full height, 1.2m on both sides, just to see what would happen. Frankly I get a bit sick of messing around on lower heights, waiting for him to figure it out, only to go and mess him up when the height goes up. So we played GTCG and because of the added height he’d slowed down heaps so even did some wrap starts and he was adjusting every time. He did have two crashes (nothing serious) so he was probably a little less gung-ho than normal but he’s showing more and more understanding all the time. Hopefully we can just stay on full height and start adding speed gradually.
We’ve also begun training weaves. The channel is probably at 35cm. I didn’t stay on super wide for long because I don’t see the point. I tested heaps of entries today and he was rocking it so I’ll bump it in again next session. He’s a very good boy.
We’ve also begun to get private online lessons with a woman based in Sydney. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this yet but if I have, sorry for repeating myself. She recently went to Finland to complete the OneMind Dogs Coaches program so is an official coach. For a very reasonable monthly fee, she sends me a sequence, we discuss handling options, I run it, send her the video, she critiques it, I run it again, etc. I can also hassle her any time on any issues or course-related things and she has plenty of advice which is really cool. Here’s a video of our first little sequence. Today we went out and played with some of the problem areas and he was already doing them way better. He’s SO much fun to run. Just to be able to go fast and smoothly from place to place, not having to wait for him to catch up, not having awkward lines because he can’t wrap a jump or turns too wide, being able to send to a tunnel and just go… he’s so, so much fun. I ran Lu on this same sequence and went through ‘clear’ aside from a bar- she’s certainly more familiar and easier to run but nowhere near as fun.
We also finally managed to join an agility club. They’re an hour from home which is problematic because I work an hour from home, and they’re also an hour from work. Luckily I can take a dog to work, but not really two. I took Loki the other day – it was his first time training with other dogs around and he was so over aroused, he was totally wired. He actually did really, really well given how exciting it was for him but he’d do a jump and then tackle me for a toy… do a tunnel, where’s my toy? So my dog with usually exceptional obstacle focus looked like he couldn’t put together more than two obstacles at a time. Poor boy. He was more settled by the end though so it’s certainly something I want to do more of just the timing of his class makes it way more difficult. Lumen’s class starts at 6.45 so I can leave school at 5, cross the city and get there earlyish… but Loki’s starts at 8.15 so I’d either hang around at school for HOURS… or drive the hour home, then the hour out to the club, then the hour home again… So, not sure what to do there. There’s still the training club on Saturday mornings so I might just have to get my butt into gear and take him there every not and then.
Other than all that, Loki has been my main ‘school dog’. He’s just brilliant at school, he settles easily and sleeps deeply in or out of his crate (I don’t shut him in there now, he just takes himself in to sleep). He’s gentle and calm with the kids and sits for pats with his ears back. The kids always ask where Lumen is and I have to explain that Loki is better behaved than her so he gets to come in. She’s still the original in their eyes.
I need to build up Lumen’s fitness again – all her on-lead walks and living on our land have meant we don’t do the park visits with chase games and ball throwing that we used to do and a quick sequence will see her puffing. She plays chase with Loki outside every other day and they come in heaving, and sure, she can drag us along trails for a few hours but obviously her capacity for sprinting is way down right now. So, plenty of 500 ball game for her coming up. 🙂
Unrelated I guess, but sometimes Loki just makes me laugh. He sits himself somewhere, by himself, very matter of factly, just to ponder the world. This morning he was outside all alone just sitting in his sandpit. Not looking at anything, not doing anything, just sitting there, feeling the breeze in his face, contemplating life.