Photo by Paws on the Run Pet Photography

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Agility Camp

Last weekend was the the weekend I have been looking forward to all summer long.  Cookie and I got to attend the first ever Go! See Spot! Fly! Agility Camp.  Honestly I had no idea what to expect from Cookie or the camp experience.  I must say it far exceeded my expectations :-)

Friday and Saturday featured 7 hours of on course training each day.  I must admit that 7 hours a day in the sun was a lot for both Cook and I.  Cook was a trooper... he hung on to the end and for the most part I felt like he really tried hard to do what was asked of him.  I was a little nervous going into the camp with Rookie Cookie as I didn't know what level everyone else was at.  The teams we were put into were fantastic.  Our team "Twister" was full of starters level dogs of varying skill levels, so I felt right at home.  The team was super supportive and lots of fun.  During the on course training I picked up lots of tips to make Cookie and I a better team.  I'm really looking forward to resuming our regular training armed with some new ideas to hopefully continue to improve.

Both nights we had lectures... I definitely learned stuff both nights.  Friday night Dr. Devall talked to us about conditioning the canine athlete.  I've never really put a lot of thought into warming up or stretching my dog.  I certainly will now.  Hopefully this is a topic that we can touch on during our regular training classes as I will need to learn how to properly stretch Cookie.  Saturday night Kyle Connelly talked to us about Goal Setting and Visualization.  I found this very interesting as I do a lot of goal setting in my everyday life and job but I had never really transferred it over into my agility training.  Sure I had set long term goals and dreams for us but I hadn't really broken the goals down into manageable short term goals.  I think this will really help me feel like we are having success as a team.  It was also pretty cool to hear about Kyle's journey to the 2002 Olympics.

Sunday was a one day games only trial.  It was fun to take all the stuff I learned from the first 2 days and apply it to the trial.  I must admit I looked at the courses differently.  I feel like I planned better for the gamble and the snooker runs.  Although we didn't get a Q I was happy with how the 3 runs went.  From Kyle's lecture I took the advice to set small goals.  I decided that I wanted to attempt the weaves in the gamble.  Which I did and we successfully did them so we repeated the weaves in the snooker.  I was really proud of how we did and the effort that we both put in.  I did have a meltdown because I feel like we may never get a Q again.  I tried really hard to not let Cookie know that I was discouraged and I think I succeeded and he had fun.

Being an agility camp Cookie and I got to tent it!  Cookie was a fan of the tent other then when I left him briefly alone in the tent... he managed to rip a hole in the inside part of the door.  Thankfully I think it will be easily fixable.  I was glad to have the Munster to tent with... not a big fan of sleeping alone in a tent.  It was also nice to have the Munster under the covers during the cold nights.

All in all it was a fantastic weekend!  I came home with a sun burn, a tired Munsterlander, and most importantly lots of things we can do to improve our skills and to build our bond.  I really hope that this becomes an annual event that we can be a part of for a long time!

1 comment:

onecollie said...

Sounds like a great weekend! I hope to make it next year & I will tent it also so you can give me tips on keeping warm :)
You & Cookie are going to get that first Q,& it is going to be soooooooooooo awesome!
Hang in there, you are such a great sport with a great attitude, lots of people, including myself, can learn from your example!