We were running behind even before we left the house for agility this week. I had left work a little later than usual, and then when it was time to put Rain in the car a man walking down our street decided that I was talking to him when I was clearly not, and Rain’s barks were all in good fun instead of a sign to keep moving. It took several minutes after that to get Rain loaded back up to get on the road.
Arriving at the park before class, a group of people stood socializing in the field. Their dogs, which included a couple of Aussies, were running around and kept Rain and I from maximizing the few minutes we had before it would be time to proceed to class. One Aussie, a black tri named Dancer (as in “Dancer, NOOOO!”) ran right for Rain who was fetching a ball, and body slammed her. Nobody was hurt, but I suspect Dancer didn’t realize she’d bounce off Rain quite that soundly.
At any rate, it was a bit of a gauntlet getting to class.
Once we were at class, Rain and I walked around and got acclimated. Molly had realized that our class had been incorporating rear crosses without actually having done more basic rear cross work.
In other words…it was rear cross day at agility!
What’s a Rear Cross?
In its basic form, it means you cross your dog’s line of motion behind them.
We started with sending our dog into a tunnel and traveling in a diagonal behind them so we’d be on their opposite side when they re-emerged from the other end. The dogs can hear where we are, so they are aware of our movement even when their sight may be impaired a bit from being inside the tunnel.
Of course we practiced both sides, switching from left to right and right to left, during our turn. One time I crossed behind Rain without any problem before she even made it into the tunnel.
We did another basic rear cross exercise once we cycled through everyone’s turn, this one involving jumps.
As we traveled to/from the platform to the part of the arena where exercises were set up, I used the opportunity to work Rain on her “feet” command. We’re working on getting her in the right spot regardless of whether I’m standing right next to her or not. She’s getting better at it! Slowly…
We also had the honor of having a visitor in class! You may recall seeing Flute, a cute little red merle, when she was a puppy. She’s now almost a year old and tearing it up in the agility ring! You may recall that Rain gets distracted and puts on a show when there’s an unusual dog in class, and cute little Flute was no exception. Fortunately I was able to warn Flute’s person before Rain ran over to them, barking loudly, as she got distracted during an exercise.
After class Flute and Marvel played in the pen next to us. Rain barked at them at first, but I could soon tell she wanted to go meet them and maybe join their puppy play. Since Rain had scared the bejeezus out of Flute’s person, I decided that we’d wait until the next opportunity with the puppies presented itself. Next time, Rain—next time.
And speaking of next time, next week we’ll be doing reindeer games in class! This is our last session before a holiday break, when Molly preempts our usual class fare and sets up fun challenges for us. I’ve got just the thing for Rain to wear during our last class before 2018!