I've been saying almost since she came home that Elli was going to be a good agility dog. She is unbelievably fast and agile in the yard, can turn on a dime, and never hesitates to jump up on things that she probably shouldn't. However, physical ability alone doesn't translate into being competitive on course, where they not only have to perform the obstacles and run fast, but also have to follow handler cues and be under control at all times. So though I know the raw talent is there, I went into Elli's first agility class Monday night without putting huge expectations on the experience.
And? Elli frigging ROCKED IT HARDCORE!!!!
Oh my God, you guys, I seriously feel guilty that she's with ME and not a more serious agility competitor. I mean, my goal with agility is not to get a MACH or to compete at the National Invitationals. It's more like: Don't trip over my dog. Don't trip over an obstacle or fall on it and dismantle it. Don't run into a post and give myself a concussion because I'm not watching where I'm going because I'm watching that dog that I don't want to trip over... Y'all, I am so NOT coordinated. Like, at all.
But first time out, even with all the new dogs in the room to distract Little Miss "PLAYWITHMENOW!!!", and still she focused on me, kept checking in, and completely followed my body cues, even when I gave her the wrong ones, which: good for her for paying attention, and bad on me for doing it wrong.
So my new goals for 2010: Learn to be more aware of my body and what it's doing, even while running a course. Be consistent in what I call the obstacles so I'm not creating confusion that doesn't need to be there. Keep losing weight, and do more cardio so I'm not puffing like a stevedore at the end of the course. Introduce Elli to ALL of the equipment, and work on the darned weave poles until she can do them in her sleep.
And, because I cannot stress this enough: Don't trip over my dog.
Photos from the Farm
2 weeks ago