Thursday, March 10, 2011

Amoeba Dog

Riff and I have had a challenging couple of lessons this week.

Just when I thought he was getting well-shaped and consistent with a couple of basic manuevers (like serpentines, and maybe even 2o2o contacts), he turns into an amoeba. A slippery, shape-shifting "I Will Not Be The Same Now As I Was A Moment Ago" amoeba. He went roiling off into unexpected directions. Cutting corners when I thought he'd go long. Running wide when I was sure he'd stay with me. Slithering around four poles at a time, instead of one. I did my best to connect with him, and help him with the dance. He was skooshy. I got confused. Our instructor helped a lot. (Thankfully, she was wearing her patient-saint hat.)

In Riff's defense, I must mention that this week's courses were very tricky. And Tuesday I didn't feel well. I think he knew it. My chest hurt, and Riff seemed worried and uncertain. And today it was raining lightly during class....that always changes things. Like the fundamental shape of my dog.

So it was back to the drawing board during a couple of our turns. ie: Set him up for a simple serp jump, reward, set him up again, reward, then add an obstacle, reward...before we even tried a longer sequence. Training is a good thing.
My heartfelt thanks to our classmates, who had to wait/wait/wait during our turn(s). You're the BEST!
During our very last run this morning.....we finally DID IT! Weaves, two serps, a nice wrap, a good A-frame. A good clean run. Yay!
Riff and I are still in Amoeba-Land, with our training. Honestly, we may be here for the next...oh, ten or twelve years or so. I need to be careful with my speed, body language, consistency, rewards, etc etc. Riff is not any kind of a push-button dog. And agility is not an easy game!
But my Rifflamoeba is so sweetly entertaining, it's all worthwhile.

1 comment:

Elf said...

I *love* these photos! Made me laugh, and they were very well done. :-)

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