Saturday, November 14, 2009

proofing is greater than winning

We had a great day at North Downs show today despite the weather is ... OKish! It was very stormy last night but I went to bed nice and early, so it didn't bother me at all. I woke up full of bean this morning, so I decided we will go to the show.
The weather was very wet when we left home this morning. Our first run wasn't up until about 10:30am but Colin suggested we should leave early just in case we stuck in the flood and collapsing trees. The journey was fine, I cannot drive at my usual speed as some roads were flooded and at some areas, we met some very storng wind. The radio said, the wind speed was 80mph! Our crazy Tom Tom (sat nav) took us down to a public footpath and luckily there was a guy out walking his dog in the storm, so he directed me how to get to the venue.
This is my first time at this venue. It is a lovely indoor arena. The ground was very good and big enough to have 3 rings running. Sing and Saturn have three classes each and Sizzle has 2 classes, so unfair! I rather Sizzle has three classes and Sing has two classes. I really want to work on Sizzle.
Our first run was Combined 4-7 Agility with Sing and Saturn. Yes, I decided to run Sing. He was very excited and wind up. We started off the course well until we came to tunnel - see-saw combinations. When I walked the course, I walked as a recall from the see-saw but for some reasons, I didn't do any of the recall with any of my dogs! Crazy! I wish I have though. I think Sing and Sizzle will response well to the recall. Of course the blind turn from tunnel to the see-saw didn't help Sing, he missed the see-saw totally. It is not like him but again, I have not train him since early September when he pulled his shoulder. Otherwise he did well. The DW to push out of the jump is difficult but I managed to beat him to the DW so I managed to push him to do the "out around". WooHoo! His weave was lovely too.
Saturn was next to go, he keeps breaking his wait lately and I am not ignoring this. I always reinforce when I see him standing up and about to go. I make sure I go back and put him back into sit position and wait. I think he did the course nicely apart from taking the wrong jump. He got his A Frame and DW contacts but see-saw was a bit dodgy but we are working on that.
The Medium class finished off quickly and I got Sizzle out when they put the jumps down to Small. He ran over the same class as Sing and Saturn. He was very excited when I get him out from the car and I knew he is so ready to go. When I walked the course earlier, I know I must beat him to the DW in order to get him to do the "out around" jump. The jump was set in an akward angle, for a baby dog like him, I have not done a lot of handling work with him yet. I want him to enjoy straight forward courses to encourage the speed. I am very happy (more than happy) with Sizzle how he ran this course, I managed to do a front cross on the A Frame (my first time); he stays on the see-saw til it tilt (YeeHa!); he ran the DW just like the way I want him to do (jackpot!). What can I asked for more? I was not even bother to put him back when he ran past the jump in front of the DW, I pushed him to do the "out around", he did but just a bigger out around; his weave is wonderful, maybe we need a bit of tighten up on the pin wheel but HeyHo, he was fantastic! When we came out, a few people said to me it was a shamed that he missed the jump, otherwise he could be winning. Well, winning is not important to me, proofing is the one that I am looking for. I worked hard to make sure he gets his running contacts and I want to proof he maintain his running contacts at any places, any sequences.
Once we got started, we haven't got long to wait for our next class, the Combined 6-7 Agility. Sizzle is not eligible to run this class, so only Sing and Saturn. I was so much hoping Sing could get a place in that, it is not an easy course, the tunnel trap has cost a lot of dogs to get eliminated. Saturn ran before Sing in this class. He was naughty on the start line, he broke the wait three times and I put him back again and again. I definitely need a good wait on this one as I need to lead out to the right position to start him and he was a good boy, he didn't even look at the tunnel at all. On the A Frame bit, I saw myself once again using my itchy finger pointing at the bottom, he didn't miss it though but I wasn't happy with myself, I think I am creating a confusion there for him because he leap off the DW by miles!!! Arrrggghhh ...
Sing was going well on this course and I was so relaxing running him, I forgot I haven't train this dog for 2.5 months and I got my attention loose on the turning jump after the weave, so he took the wrong jump! Totally my fault, sorry Sing!
After the agility, we had the combined 6-7 Jumping, again, this class is for Sing and Saturn only. I don't know what happened between me and Saturn, we seems to lost a connection or two in the middle of the course, so he went off course. I am sure it must be me, he is a very good dog. I am terrible at directions, Colin suggested I need a Sat Nav to guide me how to run the course, poor dog!
Sing surprised me with a 3rd in this jumping course. It is not Sing's course, it is a big long course, he is a little dog with short legs and he has to take more strides to each jump but I am not complaining.
After Sing and Saturn's jumping, we have a change of judge for Sizzle's Combined 4-5 Jumping. Again, it was a big long course. Just imagine if I have to run all day long, I may lost a couple of pounds in weight.
Eventhough Sizzle went clear and got a 3rd in this class but I wasn't too happy with myself. Nothing wrong with Sizzle. When I walked the course, I meant to recall him in the middle of the start jump and the first baby snake jump but I was in the wrong place. I was so much closer to the baby snake jump so he didn't run the three jumps in a straightline but whizzing in and out of them. I was too close to the jumps so I was pushing him out. Also he LOOK at me after the weave, I guess that has becomes a pattern now as I always throw him his toy/ball after he finishes his weave. I must wean this habit off!
here are our runs today:
Here is a little bit about Sing ... Sara Bennett, one of the Galen Therapists was there at the show. We got talking and I got her to look at Sing for me after the runs. She confirmed my worried. Sing is definitely not fit. I always thought it was the front right shoulder that bother him but it turn out that his back is very tight, so Sara thinks we needs to work on his back. Sara will go and get the referral from my vet so hopefully we can start the treatment very soon. For time being, NO BALL for Sing, NO TRAINING for Sing, NO JUMPING in and out of the car (need to lift him in and out), just a casual walk until we know he is fit. If you look carefully at the Jumping, Sing started to slow down and he was getting stiff when he weave. With a tight back, weaving can be painful for him.
I am hoping to get him fit by the end of the year, then build up his stamina in January and train hard in February for Crufts. Finger crossed everything goes well with him.


Sara said...

Sounds like you had a very successful day! Maybe it is just my computer, but I can't see the video :(

So sorry to hear about Sing. I hope you find the treatment works well for him, and that he is back to his ol' self soon.

Vonnie said...

Firstly - you must be so proud of your boys!

Secondly - Sizzle is doing great, as he is a pup and has started at a more experienced competing level!

Thirdly - Get well soon Sing, you need to be a CRUFTS you deserve it!

Diana said...

I hope sing feels better soon.

You must have lots of energy to run all those dogs. Im tired just reading it.

I cant see the video either but Im not at home. I could have a bad connection. Diana

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Well, we saw the video and very much enjoyed it! How do you have enough energy to run so many runs with 3 very fast shelties? Mom is exhausted after two runs with slow-poke me! Sing, Saturn, and Sizzle all looked really good! Sorry about Sing's back - I sure hope the treatments and resting help him to recover quickly.