A good weekend all around. Saturday morning I set up an exercise focusing on contacts out at Biscuit Eaters for Cody & Lola and also to test out my foot. I saw the doc on Wednesday, told him what I’d been up to and showed him some video footage of agility so he could see what was involved. He told me everything sounded good and that after watching the tape he was even more confident I’d be fine for the trials coming up in 3 weeks. He’d also had a chat with my PT and he was fine with what she’s been having me do. So I decided to try running the dogs for real for some short exercises. I spent nearly 1/2 an hour dragging equipment around and setting up an exercise and the dogs spent less than maybe 5 minutes each in total running. It was such a hassle for such a small bit of training but I didn’t want to overdo my foot or the dogs. I wasn’t nearly as fast as I’d hoped but I was able to go fast enough to get in some front crosses and more or less keep up with the dogs. My handling/timing were so off it wasn’t funny but hopefully in the next few weeks I can get back into it without screwing the dogs up too much. They were both so happy to be out & running. Each of them was barking & jumping up & down when it was their turn, big fun. We had an audience in the form of a cyclist that stopped to watch and oddly enough it threw me off a bit, strange since I’m oblivious to the crowds at trials.
In the afternoon I took Strummer down to an AKC trial in Golden to work on his trial manners and practice with the measuring device. It’s always something at those AKC trials-last time I had Strum on a gentle leader and a friend I was talking to told me she was pretty sure they weren’t allowed at AKC trials. Nobody hassled me about it but yeesh, what a dumb ass stupid rule. This time I was working on Strum standing still on the table under the measuring device thingy and someone came up to me and told me that earlier the judge had gone off on someone for doing the same thing. He’d actually left the ring and come over to reprimand the person. For crying out loud. Luckily I was just about done anyway and the judge never came over. Maybe all the stupid rules is why people are so nervous & uptight?
The good news was that Strum was so good, not a single bark or lunge at the ring. I even brought him in the stands, something I thought I’d never be able to do, and he laid down all on his own. I never got around to writing about it but a couple of weeks ago we had him down at the Boulder Rez when the Canine Classic 5k/10k running race was being held. It was pure chaos, hundreds of runners & dogs crammed in a small area plus the spectator crowds, vendors & loudspeakers. He was so good there too, even when a loudspeaker squealed to life with feedback right when we walked past it. Today we were back at the Rez with another race going on and he strolled right past the loudspeakers without showing any signs of even noticing them. A couple of dogs lunged & barked at him but all he did was look at them and get a little stiff, not even a tiny growl from him and no barking or lunging in return. Hooray for the Strum man. I think clicking and treating him for calmly watching the things that overstimulate him has been a big help. He’s still not as relaxed as I’d like and I feel he still has some ways to go but I’m so pleased with his progress.
I saw Joy at the trial and asked her about starting up with lessons again. She’s going to World Team Tryouts next weekend so of course she’s focused on that right now but she told me she’d be back to doing lessons some time after she gets back. I haven’t had a lesson other than a one day seminar since the end of October, is it any wonder my handling is in a state?
Today I hit some trails with hills on my bike. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do the whole trail let alone make it up a steep hill at the end but it was all no problem, my foot didn’t hurt at all, I wasn’t tired (but wasn’t pushing myself), and I finished in 1 1/4 hours, way faster than I thought I’d be though not a fast time for that trail. Next week I’ll try some tougher trails. I’m encouraged that I’ll be able to hit some ‘real’ trails by next month and certainly by June when the high country trails should be rideable.