Sunday, September 21, 2014

A-Maze-Ing Talent

The little fluffy dog and I have officially moved on to the advanced beginners agility class, which is so advanced that we sometimes attempt to run a course of up to ten obstacles. (We actually have come quite a long ways -- I'd forgotten what the first class was like until I saw the new beginners trying to get their dogs to enter the weave pole maze. It's not an issue now, but watching the dogs back out and do everything to avoid it the first time brought back memories.)

Our difficulties in agility come from two sources: the dog and me. Ginger's attention span occasionally means that I'm left calling her like an idiot while she's sniffing the ground and wandering in the opposite direction. And she gets so excited about some of the obstacles that she skips anything in-between.

But what is increasingly becoming the larger problem is my inability to remember where I'm supposed to send her next. This seems simple until I'm sighing in relief that she actually went through the tunnel and then she pops out the other side and I'm suddenly supposed to be directing her somewhere, but is it over the red jump to the left, or through the weave poles to the right, or over the dog walk in the middle? (Trick question -- it's always over the dog walk according to Ginger because that's one of her favorite obstacles.)

If the red jump really is next, I'm supposed to be prepared to direct her there, and worse yet, I'm supposed to be using a specific hand to give her signals. And I'm supposed to be facing the right direction. And I'm supposed to have her in my sights but not trip over anything. And if she decides to go run over the dog walk anyhow, I'm supposed to stay with her so she doesn't jump off and hurt herself. And then somehow we're supposed to get back on course.

So don't expect to see us in any competition any time soon. Or ever, really, since I don't really have any desire to compete.

I'm just waiting for Ginger to realize that she's jumping over obstacles that are higher than the fence blocking her from the cats' litter boxes. This agility thing may turn out to have been a bad idea...

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