Monday, February 27, 2012

That Was the Weekend That Was

Our Friday practice at the LeapDog field was fun.  And hot! in about 78 degrees. A-mazing.  Our little heatwave broke the 1985 record for the-warmest-February-day-ever-recorded in our fair city.    

Riff got to his fast-pant stage pretty quickly during our weave practice.  One thing I've noticed about the Riffster - he gets hot and sweaty quickly.  Just like me.  (Wait, you really didn't want to know that...) Anyway.  You'd think, because Riff doesn't have an undercoat, that he'd stay nice and cool.     

But I'm thinking a dog's undercoat must be a natural temperature regulator...and that many dogs are glad to have one, even during the summer.  I've always believed that border collies are made just the way they're supposed to be for optimum comfort in all kinds of weather.   They develop a nice winter coat, and have a good shed once or twice a year.   But that only describes Keeper.  Riff is different.  He has beautiful long fur (in around his ears, on his chest and a little part of his rib cage...heh heh), and no undercoat to speak of, with very little shedding.  I think it makes a difference.  He gets hot very quickly.   Of course, he works hard, too...he likes SPEED. 

Saturday I took the Keeps and Riff over to the fairgrounds to run in the field, during the Mensona AKC trial.  That trial was quite a bit smaller than the previous trials have been.  I was almost sorry we hadn't entered.  The dogs really enjoyed their romp - we like to play "fetch" out there - and Riff got in some startline-stay practice.  Keeper is like a rock when she's on a "wait."  Do you think Riff watches and learns? 
I practiced releasing them separately, although there was some initial confusion regarding who was who. 

Ran into Sharon F when I took Riff back for another run on Sunday.  She asked why we weren't trialing, and I blathered on about recovering from a back injury, blah blah.  Without mentioned what I was really feeling.  (Although I did admit that I'm not a huge fan of showing in the fairgrounds arena.)  But, underneath that little question.....Do I even want to trial anymore?  That's the real question....the question that's been really bothering me. 

Because if my back is going to stay like it is (always a bit tweaky, sometimes quite painful)....maybe I need to think about agility in terms of NADAC (easy flowing courses), and train Riff some real distance work, so I don't have to keep trying to run.  The problem with NADAC (other isn't USDAA) is that I'd have to drive quite a distance to compete.  And driving is hard on the old back...

Catch 22.

So Riff and I keep practicing USDAA/AKC style.  Plugging away at it, hoping for the best. 

His weaves were very nice on Friday - just one miss.  We had fun, and made progress.   I took him to the Mensona trial to run in the field, but we also hung out ringside for about 15 minutes both Saturday and Sunday.  "This is trial noise, buddy," I said to him, "and it's no big deal."  He begged to differ on Saturday, but on Sunday he was fairly calm.   We'll keep at it, whenever we get the chance.

Today we had a lovely field-rental practice out at AARF, although they had a mostly-hoops course set up. 
I tried to show Riff the difference between a hoop and a jump, but he still tried to jump the hoop when we added another obstacle!  So no more hoops.  (I sure don't want him to start thinking about running under 26" jumps....)  We concentrated on the weaves (he got 100% entries from fast running approaches...yay!) and we got in some rear-cross practice, using the three actual jumps that were on the course, before our time was up. 

PS.  My new shoes fit and feel great! 


vici whisner said...

Sorry I missed you on Sat. Fin and I ran and then left so I wasn't there very long.

I totally get the "not running" in USDAA. This sucks. I sure hope your back improves. I know how difficult it is to keep a positive attitude and I am thinking of you and sending you good wishes.

I would also recommend Nose work. Nosework is really fun, lots of the cool kids are doing it, and Riff would do all the work. Not sure how much driving it would entail, but something to think about.

Hugs, Vici

corgi2bc said...

Merc overheats quickly too and he has an undercoat but is more of a smoothie. It really doesn't have anything to do with the coat, some dogs aren't able to regulate their temperature as well as others. I'm just glad he's never gotten to the wobbly BCC stage.

Free Hit Counter