Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Random Riffing

With the USDAA trial coming up on Saturday, my brain seems to be veering into a deep-freeze zone more often than usual.  In an effort to stay calm and thoughtful, I tell myself:   "You only entered three Starters classes, for goodness sake.  It's like Totally No Big Deal."

But that statement is increasingly littered with others, such as:  "Holy crap, what have I done"  "I can't even run yet"    "We haven't even made it through an entire course in class yet"   "Why do I do this to myself"  "Riff would be World Class if he had a decent handler" and "If only I could figure out our timing" and...and.... 

So I have to counter-balance, out-weigh, and otherwise banish those thoughts with better ones:  "Riff is adorable - and incredibly talented"  "Riff is having so much fun"  "It will be super to see my old agility friends again"  "Riff is a dynamite jumper and excellent weaver"  "We're doing GREAT" and "Time to steer this nervous energy I'm feeling into universal acts of good will for all of mankind." 
Oh, you know - stuff like that. 

In the meantime, we continue to wend our way through our ReTrain Weave Entry program.  Today we got through Lesson #7 - "Work Riff 'down the arc,' with the weaves on my left, starting from a close distance (6 to 10'), and adding handler walking."    He was successful 75% of the time...ending with an EXCELLENT set of entries.  (We also got to visit the loveliest puppy in the world - Clever!) 

We did Lesson #6 yesterday, right before our LeapDog class.  It was the same as #7, only with the weaves on my right.  He hit the entries exactly 100% then, all the way down the "clockface," and even on course during class.  Wahoo!  He's been hitting 100%, with the weaves on my right, the last couple of times.  Hopefully we'll soon have the same success rate on the left side. 

We had a lot of fun on Monday....with a nice walk in the morning, followed by Riff's first-ever Cindy diFranco massage.  She liked him.  She said he has "lovely structure," "no physical issues," and that he was very trusting, for a young "scared, shy dog."  It was his first time on a table (although I suppose he was on some kind of table for neutering).  I did say to her, "I like to think of him as cautious, and selective."  Cindy was incredibly nice, and she spent quite a bit of time with Riff.  He seemed to really like it!

Later Monday afternoon Riff and I met up with my friend Sandy at the AARF field (where Riff did fairly well on Lesson #5).  Sandy brought her 2-year-old Standard Poodle "Kenya" to check out the field.  Kenya is a lovely RED dog, and is as sweet as the day is long.  I loaned Sandy Laurie Leach's book "Agility for Beginners."  Maybe we'll have a new player, soon.  ;-)

Monday was MLK Day, so I watched his 'I Have A Dream' speech on YouTube.  Marvelous.  That evening, some theatre friends and I had a long discussion about class differences, and Occupy, and civil rights.  It was lot of food for thought....will it some day turn into action?  Hmmmmm....

Yesterday Riff and I happily veered right back into agility.  Our class at LeapDog was grrrr-eat.  I left a bit early, because my back went "tweaky"...but we sure had fun while we were there. 

Riff is eager for his turn.....

....especially when Uncle Charter is on the line.


Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see you guys this weekend!


Celeste said...

Thanks, Channan! We look forward to seeing you-all, too!

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