Journeying to agility this week looked like it might be rough, but things turned out more or less okay. We had some of Oregon’s famous liquid sunshine earlier in the day, which meant that roads may have been slow. Mom wanted to come with us, which caused some delay as we needed to wait a bit for her.
In the end, everything went fine! We even got to enjoy a stop at the park, although it was only about five minutes in length. When we arrived, Rain decided to bark at another dog enjoying the park (“hey, kid! get off my lawn!) which shortened our playtime by a few minutes.
Once in class, Molly started us out by reviewing some prior exercises, eventually landing on a refresher on “table.” Since we haven’t reviewed it for a while in class, all three dogs were a little shaky on it. If you recall, we’ve been practicing other exercises more in the recent past (“feet” aka cheese wedge, circus elephant) that are done on a similar surface. It could be confusing to a pupper to suddenly ask them to recall something from over a month ago.
Once we had all practiced “table” a bit as a refresher, we put a few obstacles in a sequence! Molly set up a mini course that started with a jump, progressed to a tunnel, then ended with a table. The dogs were used to getting rewarded after each task, and now we’re starting to ask more of them before they get a reward.
Rain did great! She and I practiced a few times, mostly so I could adjust when I was calling out the table command. In the first run I was waiting until she was out of the tunnel, and she’d have so much speed she’d have a hard time staying on the table! When I called it out while she was still inside the tunnel, she landed on the table flawlessly.
(Dogs can hear you just fine from inside the tunnel. Who knew?)
Next, Molly taught the “tick, tick, tick” game again, although Rain and I learned that last week when the others were gone. We recently found a small soccer cone in our park and I brought it home, hoping to use it for our agility exercises, but this past week I discovered it’s too small to use for this particular game.
I’d like to appropriate some traffic cones so Rain and I can use them for agility exercises. Then I remember the cautionary tale of Alan Partridge, and have second thoughts. Does anyone have some tall, but not too-tall, traffic cones I could use indefinitely?
We got an introduction to weave poles to close out the class! Molly schlepped out a special piece of equipment called (I think) a channel weave pole set to set our canine companions up for success. The poles can expand to the side, creating a channel between them. Once a dog can successfully go through the channel, the poles get progressively tightened. It’s early weave pole training! I suspect it will take some time before Rain gets to do anything resembling the real thing.
What a shock it was to see the sky so dark after class was over! Readers may recall that I like to take Rain to the pens out back after class to burn off more of Rain’s energy before we head home. Circumstances prevented that from happening this week. It shouldn’t be too long before I’m playing ball in the dark with a devil dog once again…