Haven’t been too good about updating this month. The usual spotty internet at home, matched with it being crunch time at work (I’ve designed at least half a dozen cover this week and we’re even not done yet), along with a somewhat busy month for Mufaasa, has led to less than my usual enthusiasm for this blog. Mix all of that with my annual “oh, fuck, I thought it was spring but instead it’s winter part two, better keep the mittens out until June” shenanigans, and I start to get cranky.
Which is unfortunate since I’ve had quite a bit to talk about. We finished our contacts and weaves workshop with mostly success, at least for the contacts portion. I think Mufaasa came the furthest in our group as far as figuring out the teeter, he almost did a full one by the end. We started on the a-frame, but he was having trouble decelerating on the landing side once we were over the hump, so that something to work on. Or not, since I’m seriously considering moving to running contacts for everything but the teeter. If done properly it seems like it won’t be as hard on their joints, but I’m going to have to be very strict about my criteria.
In the meantime we have lots to do with weaves. He really hasn’t figured out how to transfer the skill yet outside of my home, and has the hardest time doing it in the “pup-tent” out at Flying Tails, inspite of me taking Mufaasa out for an extra private where we spent most of the time making sure he was comfortable. Part of the problem is I think Mufaasa didn’t quite pick up something about the footwork along the way. He can do 12 weaves inside easy, but as soon as we move outside it goes to pot pretty quick. I can have the weaves at 1 o’clock and he’s fine, but close them and it’s a no-go. We did get up to six at the final workshop, and I eventually got him to do six at our first fun match the other weekend (more on that later), but in both cases it took a lot fails. It’s a bit frustrating since I know he can, but I really think I need to just suck it up and restart the training. We’re going to stay at 6 poles at 1 o’clock for a while, until I see him really getting the muscle memory worked out, and they we’ll start closing again. I think it’ll be a bit easier now since I don’t feel like we’re supposed to have made it to a certain point for each workshop, so we can just take our time and get there when we get there. In the meantime, here’s a video of Mufaasa at the last day of the workshop (he appears at the end of the video), and I’d like to thank Ann for working so hard with us. We had a lot of catching up to do and I got a lot of great experience, and got a good idea of just what attitude I need to take with my dog to see success (see last post).
In other news, as I mentioned above we went to our first fun show about two weeks ago. Mufaasa behaved, well, exactly how I thought he would. He’d do a jump or two (so long as it was in roughly a straight line), but the moment we paused or just after I rewarded him he would move off and start sniffing the ground. Also, shockingly, he had zero interest in his tug. I’m getting a bit tired of jumping around like a Mexican jumping bean and having my dog look at me like I have two heads. I’m thinking of ordering a “tug it” toy, and hopefully this will get us rolling. Aside from my pessimism (did I mention it’s been a cranky month?) he did do really well. When he was paying attention to me he was responding to my cues nicely, and at the end we got to play around on the course for a bit and he started to settle down and stop sniffing the ground every time we finished an obstacle. So, hopefully next time we’ll do better.
In the meantime I have every reason to stop whinging and actually be quite impressed with my dog. We’ve started adding lateral distance to jumps and he’s been super awesome at it. Like, hasn’t screwed it up once. Guess my dog has a lot of value for the jump! He’s been doing so well that I started adding the pivot at the end (so a Lead Out Pivot, to be exact), which is what we worked on in our latest class today. It was nice to have a head start for once. He did it so well I’ve been able to add a jump to the pivot and he doesn’t hesitate at all, and decels off the jump like a champion. We’re still working on our serps–I can see his little puppy brain trying desperately to figure it out. For some reason, when I set him up on the other side and ask him to jump and come towards me so I can send him to the next jump, he seems absolutely determine to go over the jump beside the one in front of him. You know, just to make me loose my mind. BUT he gets it quicker each time, and serps are frigging hard (for me and him, just getting my footing right its destroying my brain) so it’ll come. Here’s a video of us in class last week. I have two more but vimeo is being sucky. (ps: please excuse the fuzzyness. I won’t use auto focus next time).
Also, another reason this post is so late is that I wanted to update with a new DIY for stick in the ground weave poles, except that mine were a complete failure. I think I’m going to have to suck it up and just buy a set of bases. I can hardly expect him to be accurate if the poles fall over every time he goes through them. He does tend to whack them as he goes through, which was almost certainly exacerbated by the fact that the weaves were moving so much. I think this might be one piece of equipment that I’ll want to spend the extra money on (too bad I already blew a bunch of money on supplies to try and make the bases. My, aren’t first world problems the absolute worst?).
Well, with all that off my chest, I will now spam the hell out of you people with pictures. My taxes came in and since I had a good chunk of change left over once I got caught up on all my bills I decided to invest in a new camera. It’s a Canon T3, pretty much the cheapest DSLR money can buy, but seeing as it’s my first DSLR, that didn’t seem like a bad idea. Also, word on the street is that you can’t really buy a “bad” DSLR, and the best place to put your money is in the lenses. So, totally more shit for me to buy down the road (if I can stop spending all my money on my dog, that is. Ha, who am I kidding? I’ll just spend lots of money I don’t have on the both of us). Most of these photos are of Mufaasa, with a bunch thrown in of other dogs comenly seen at Africville (Seaview) Park, and some of the “coffee-table dog” who spent two weeks hanging out at the office.
Ok, I’m making a run for it now. Expect to see tones more photos and videos. Soooooo many more photos. I love my camera so much, I think I’ll let Tracy Jordan let you know just how much.