Monday, August 24, 2009

ADC video posted

The video of Lucy's ADC run has been posted.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Woo hoo! HADC at last.

I am very pleased to announce that at today's Dogz trial, six-year old Lucy earned the last Starters Standard Q required for the Agility Dog of Canada title! But more importantly, she ran the course in happy mode! I give you Lucy, HADC (Happy Agility Dog of Canada):

The last time Lucy ran Standard in a trial was... oh my, over a year ago, in May 2008. I knew it had been a while but didn't realize it had been that long. We'd taken a break to fix her a-frame and work on getting our agility groove back.

Although she had been licking at her feet in her crate earlier in the morning (no raw spots or anything though), while we sat around before her run she seemed really relaxed and comfortable, with a nice perky look on her face while I handed out treats.

The course was extremely easy, even for a Starters course, but hey, no complaints from me. Only two changes of side which were at the table and a tunnel, and only six weaves.

So in we went, I set her up in her stand stay and led out just a few feet (the video's missing just the first little bit), then off we went. At the contacts I waited for her to offer eye contact before starting off again. She gave me her nice happy face each time, woo hoo! Afterward it occurred to me that waiting for her to offer eye contact on the contacts is something I should probably do every time as it's a nice opportunity to reconnect. It's also a great way to gauge how she's feeling because when she's stressed out she either doesn't do 2o2o, or she does 2o2o but doesn't look at me. A new meaning to the term "contact" obstacle! Granted, it can eat up a lot of time -- she was just a few seconds under SCT -- but taking the time to check in with her is worth it.

Some trouble in the weaves, but Starters rules are pretty forgiving so there are no faults for having to restart them.

I must say, I'm not thrilled about the impact on her front end when she hits 2o2o on the frame. A few years ago after I saw video of Walter doing 2o2o I changed him to a point-and-pray running a-frame. Soon after I did the same for Lucy, but in her case this led to stress issues since she no longer understood what her job was. But, since Lucy has a lighter build, and since she really likes knowing exactly what her job is, 2o2o it will be. She'll never have a heavy trial schedule anyway, and I'll limit how many frames she does at any given practice or trial.

So, that was our day, just the one run. She was also entered in the second Starters Standard, but since she had run so well and it was starting to get pretty hot, we opted to go for a nice walk in the woods instead.

Oh and the best part is that Lucy's favourite dog buddy, Sammy, also got her ADC title on the same run! Lucy and Sammy have both had their share of issues in the trial ring, so the ADC title was a few years in the making for both of them.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Looking much better!

This week Lucy went for three practices at the place tomorrow's Starters trial is being held. We didn't work anything specific, just did two runs on a Standard course each time. Did our pre-run routine and treated our time in the ring like a real run except for giving food rewards. Yesterday and today her enthusiasm level was great! Nice speed on the dogwalk and weaves, no walking through them as she did at her last fun match. It was like running the old Lucy!

Here's a step back in time, a course we ran at the K9 Kup in July 2007. If you can get past my atrocious handling, the video is a nice example of the enthusiasm Lucy used to have in the trial ring and which I hope hope hope we can get back to. I love her happy wagging tail and her expectant face on the contacts. She's just so darn cute and bouncy. :-)

Sunday, August 16, 2009


First time doing any practice in over a month! Her feet are looking better these days -- still licking at them, of course, but no raw spots.

A short practice consisting of a brief contacts/mini-table/weaves refresher and two runthroughs of a simple Standard course. She was a willing participant, stuck all her contacts, no weave issues aside from one 10th pole popout, but she wasn't overly excited about the whole thing. Hopefully that's just because it was pretty hot: 22 degrees, 30 with humidex, and this at only 9am. Crazy hot weekend this is.