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Monday, March 17, 2008

Agility Weekend

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.

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!


  1. man oh man, is Maggie a fun dog to watch, you've done amazing things with that girl in a short period of time, she sure loves when you rough her up at the beginning, it sure gets her adrenaline going!! Even if you get a couple of teeth marks along the way!!
    Her improvements in one month were great, imagine in 6 months!

    She didn't seem to show any favouring of the leg until jumpers, and it could be just because it was the end of the day, but like any good willing dog, she tried so hard for you anyway, what a good girl.

    And congrats on the AWARD, it was given by Lynda (with Cavall), she was very impressed that Maggie was your first Agility dog and liked how you ran as a team, and that Maggie has FUN!!!!!!!!

  2. Oh Maggie, you did a PAWsome job!!! I enjoyed watching all the videos of you in action. Oh my, the falling off the dog-walk part sounds painful I have lose my footing once on that darn thing but my mommy caught me in time before I fell to the hard cement ground like a blob! Oh wow, you getting an award? Congrats to you both! Keep up the good work girl.

    Love licks,
    Solid Gold Dancer