Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Exciting Times and Back to Basics

The United States Agility Association is having it's national competition this week.  I'm not there.  I'm here.  I want to be there. 

In the past few years, the nationals were in Scottsdale.  Last year I was settled in my little trailer overlooking the grand expanse of lawn and agility fields.  Although I didn't know many people, the feeling of family was over riding.  When I walked my dogs in the late evening to the sound of mixers mixing drinks, laughter, dogs settling in their beds I would always hear "hey!" "hi" "how ya doing" "good evening" "wanna margarita? (my favorite)".

Each morning I would wake to the sounds of people shuffling, calling dogs, and the smell of coffee.  I would shuffle out of my little trailer and walk the dogs around picking up course maps and planning my day.  Usually my walk throughs were early (7:15-9) and all of my runs were LATE after 1:00pm as late as 5.  But all day there was much agility to watch. 

I will miss this very much.  I'm not sure if the experience will be the same in Kentucky.  There is no expanse of grass, the venue is indoors.  It looks like the RV area is out in the parking lot pretty far from the venue.  I'm sure the "RV City" will have the same feelings, but the question is, "will they allow mixers in the crating area!"

However, I am not there, I am here.  My foot is healing, my dog is healing and I'm getting back to doing sequences.  Last night I was thrilled to participate in more boxwork with Laura Derrett.  I can't get enough of this stuff!

We worked on a number of boxes, and it always comes back to the same thing.  The dogs path vs the handler path.  Before deciding on how I'm going to handle, I need to determine the dogs path and where they are turning.  Then I can determine my path and my handling preferences. 

Why is this important?

Because if I choose the correct handling option, I will not be in my dogs way, my dog will be more efficient, and I will get faster times (oh and yeah....maybe not send my dog off course!). 

As I watch the Nationals from my little office computer this weekend (and you bet I'll be watching!), I'll be thinking about how I will handle the courses.  I'm looking forward to seeing the course maps, imagining what I would do, then watching the the best in the nation run the courses.

Good luck to everyone out there! 


Elf said...

I am so glad to NOT be there (in KY). Yeah, fun with friends. But I can get that closer to home and for a whole lot less money, time, and stress! Ah, well, to each his/her own. :-)

Trish said...


You'll be there next year. If you don't fly us into a tree on Sunday!

vici whisner said...

@elf, well I only got to go once before they moved it (prior to that I didn't have a dog). I really enjoyed myself last year and was hoping to do it again. I'm not sure that the Kentucky experience would be the same. I'm looking forward to going back to scottsdale :)

Elf said...

Well, OK, I guess familiarity does breed contempt. :-) After 5 times at scottsdale, that was enough for me.