I've been quiet lately, mainly because I'm alternating between bouts of grading, revising my own novel, and trying to catch up with some critiquing obligations.
I entered my young dog, Flick, in her first agility trial this weekend, and we actually Q'd our first-ever run (touch n go). She ran very smoothly, actually beating Wiley's elite qualifying time (and on the same course). Fortunately, he's not a human to be demoralized by being beaten by his kid sister.
We didn't Q again that weekend, as the subsequent courses and the more distracting environment of an agility trial took their toll, but there were some very good bits in each of our runs together. Once she gets used to the fact that there are these strange people (pole setters) sitting out on the course, and once I get my timing right, she has a lot of promise, and is lots of fun to run. When she was holding her 2-on, 2-off A-frame contact, she decided it would be fun to reach over with her nose and nudge the number cone and tip it over. I have no idea why, but it was pretty cute.
Wiley and I did well on Friday afternoon, but on Saturday, I was a wreck (got very little sleep, so my head, feet and back hurt all day, and my brain was sluggish), and he really picks up on that. My Saturdays tend to be terrible, as I just can't fall asleep early enough to get a good night's sleep when I have to get up at 5:30. If I'm in bed at 11, I still lie awake until 2 or later. When I enter on Sunday as well, it's a bit better, since I'm exhausted enough to drop off a bit earlier (usually). As I get older, I find a bad night's sleep really tears me up in a way it didn't when I was younger. Agility is a terrible sport for a night owl like me.
Wish I had a picture of Flick on course, but unfortunately, the photographers don't come out to our local NADAC trials as often as they once did. I think I'm going to have to enter Flick in some CPE if I want pro photos and videos of some of her runs. And of course, get her to where I trust her outside in the grass arena (which is less enclosed and safe than the dirt one).
I don't completely trust her not to take off in the outside arena if she sees some dog that fascinates her, though she's much more reliable than she was when we started training.