Today I found out that Maggie and I were chosen this weekend to receive the "Super Starters" Award. It is given to a novice handler/dog team who work together well as a team. I was very surprised to hear we were awarded this because we were only at one day of the trial and all the other teams are so good. Thank You Lynda!
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Monday, March 17, 2008
Maggie had been resting her sore leg for a week. All the swelling was gone and she seemed to be fine. So I decided to take her to Balzac to the agility trial we were entered in. My goals for the weekend were to push her (and myself) to get faster in a trial situation. It was my goal not to be nervous, just have fun and have some nice, quick runs. I also wanted faster downs on the table. Our first run was gamblers and were were both excited to be out there, but we only made it to the second obstacle - the dogwalk. Maggie was going faster than she ever has across the top of the dogwalk and just before the descent, she mis-stepped, lost her footing and fell off. It was not nice to watch; even now I have a hard time looking back at the video of it. She limped for a second and then seemed fine - running and playing. Our second run was starters standard. We got off to a great start with Maggie flying off the start line. However, with my goal of keeping things fast, I forgot all about good handling skills and I pushed Maggie to the wrong end of the tunnel. She finished the rest of the course great and 2 seconds under time - the first time we have ever been under time in a standard run. Our next run was another standard run. Maggie ran very well the entire run and nailed her weaves (which were hidden behind the A-frame in the video). She was a little slower on the table than I would have liked but faster than in previous trials. She did knock a bar for 5 faults. The best part of the run? -- standard course time: 65 seconds; Maggie's time:50.66 seconds! Woo Hoo - she was nearly 15 seconds under time - her fastest trial run yet!Our last run was starters jumpers. The course was very nice and open. Maggie was a little sluggish off the start but picked up speed as we went along. I think that her shoulder was hurting her, but she didn't show it. She ran great, but I pulled her off a jump - I turned my shoulders before she was committed to the jump -she responded to my cue by not taking the jump. I tried to get her back, but she back-jumped for 5 faults. She finished well and was under time too. After her jumpers run, I noticed that her shoulder was very hot, and I decided it was best that I pull her from running on Sunday. I think that her previous shoulder strain combined with her fall off the dogwalk was just too much. I think that she will need a few weeks off of agility to make sure that shoulder is totally healed. Today she had a massage and I have started her on Traumeel, a homeopathic anti-inflammatory. Hopefully, she will be back at agility soon, but I am going to take it slow with her. Once Maggie is back at agility again, here are the things that we need to work on: faster table, on-side weaves (she has been popping the last pole to look for me if I don't stay ahead of her). I really need to watch where my shoulders are and I need to make sure she is fully committed to an obstacle before giving her any new cues. Also, I need to keep her moving but still be able to decelerate in order to give her enough time to know where we are going next.