Jay and I went to Palm Springs for almost three weeks and I did ZERO agility with Rush and Dancer. I ran with them, played ball in the yard with them, hung out on the couch with them, fed them lots of good food, massaged them. Spoiled them, as they deserve, just for being the wonderful companions they are.
Then I came back, did one practice with Rush (and a little with Dancer) and went to an AKC trial with Rush and did four runs a day for three out of four weekend days.
Friday was a flaming disaster. Rush lunged at me for my poor timing, which I richly deserved. We utterly failed to Q. Hardly a surprise, since I was late with every cue, frantically trying to keep up with him instead of giving him the information he needed when he needed it even if I was behind, and in general a mess. I threw away a FAST Q by being greedy for points—I gave him terrible signals and he responded with a lunge and I walked him out…
Saturday I worked with my jumping skills group and worked on zen handling and timing with Rush, then went back to the trial Sunday. Things went better. Rush got a Q in Time to Beat (and 8 points for the fourth-fastest time), and moreover, he responded when I sent him to his leash at the end of runs. There were astonishingly lovely bits to all his runs.
Monday was better than Sunday. Qs in Time to Beat and FAST. He finished his Time to Beat title in style, with the fastest time in the class by almost four seconds. In Jumpers, he took a curve of three jumps to the weaves with me twenty feet away–although my handling was not as elegant in other parts of the course and I had to make him stop and settle for a moment. In standard, he entered the weaves and came straight out the other side, always a sign that I should have made sure he shat before the run. He did then take the weaves and the rest of the run went beautifully–of course.
I am encouraged that we are having so many good parts. It’s down to being (generally) one stupid mistake on my part. This is huge.
Oh yes, and he went to his leash on three of four runs. Progress. Huge progress.