Those Dang Weaves

I had a different post in mind for today but after yesterday’s final Contacts and Weaves workshop, I am bursting with too much excitement to talk about anything else.

As most of you know, Shiva and I have been in dog agility training for over two years. We’ve had a blast doing it, though it hasn’t been without its moments of intense frustration. TWhile we have yet to enter a real trial for a myriad of reasons, this remains our end goal.

Most of the obstacles we nailed pretty much instantly. Tunnels, jumps, chutes, and even A-Frames were all fairly easy for a fearless dog with zero sense of self-preservation. The only ones that have consistently given us trouble, so much that they should probably have had their own category on this blog, are the dang weave poles.

I hate those dang weaves. In fact, I am probably incapable of saying the word “weaves” without putting “dang” in front of it.

Poles of death

These struggles are the primary reason I wanted to attend the five-session workshop offered by one of our trainers. It was great to build on our contact foundations as well but for me, it was all about those twelve sticks of evil.

Before we started I had zero hope of ever achieving consistent weaves with Shiva. I figured it was just the one obstacle we would never perform well and I’d just have to live with that. Most starters courses only have six weave poles anyway. Since I have doubts we’ll ever advance beyond that, I decided I didn’t care if Shiva ever weaved twelve in a row

During the final session of this workshop, Shiva blew all my wildest dreams to smithereens. Not only did she weave through six poles with speed and accuracy (which is very different from our usual theme of sloppy but enthusiastic) but when the instructor closed the gap, she weaved perfectly through twelve. In a row! Without knocking any over! Three times! It’s an agility miracle!

Click here to see the evidence.

I am so proud of my silly little girl for thinking it through and getting it done. This was not easy for a dog who despises collecting and prefers taking the teeter backwards.

It shows how much can be accomplished with just four handmade poles set up in a too-small living room. It’s not about professional equipment or fancy pedigrees. It’s about building foundations and going back to the beginning to try again. It’s about not giving up, even when you’ve pulled all your hair out. It’s about teamwork. And having fun.

Of course, now that Shiva’s proven she can do it, the expectations for her are ramping up. Perhaps our first trial isn’t so far away after all. Maybe one day we’ll even get a Q.

One can dream…

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25 Comments on Those Dang Weaves

  1. Tena
    March 5, 2012 at 3:14 pm (2 years ago)

    Congrats on the weaves!!! We seemed to have weave breakthroughs simultaneously (though Rio’s were just 6, but I’ll take it!). She looked GREAT!! VERY nice work with her!!
    Tena recently posted..Welcoming a new family memberMy Profile

    • Kristine
      March 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you very much! I have no idea whether or not she’ll ever do it again, but it felt really great at the time. It kills me that I just don’t have the space to work on more than six at a time.

  2. Diane McCornack
    March 5, 2012 at 3:42 pm (2 years ago)

    That girl is speedy!!! Blink and she is done. What a good Girl Ms. Shiva is. I’m proud for both of you! Job well done.
    Diane McCornack recently posted..ONLINE SPECTACULARMy Profile

  3. sara
    March 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm (2 years ago)

    What a cute video! Shiva, you do us all proud.

    • Kristine
      March 6, 2012 at 4:22 pm (2 years ago)

      We have known the Bernese and her handler almost since we started agility and it has been a lot of fun working with them over the last two years. She is Shiva’s perfect character foil. ;-)


  4. Barb
    March 5, 2012 at 8:46 pm (2 years ago)

    Wow, you were so quick, I’m very proud of you – and all the others! I really enjoyed the video
    Barb recently posted..Finnegan The SquirrelMy Profile

  5. Jen K
    March 5, 2012 at 10:09 pm (2 years ago)

    Again, congratulations! That’s a great achievement and that video is great! It has also put ideas into my head about trying agility with Alma in the future, after seeing the Berner rock those poles, too.

    So… what’s next?!
    Jen K recently posted..Monday Mischief, 4th editionMy Profile

    • Kristine
      March 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm (2 years ago)

      You absolutely should. It’s not all about trials and competitions. For us agility is just about the fun of working together. If not for the sport, I don’t think our relationship would be half as strong as it is today. I am sure Alma would love it!

      As for what’s next… I have no idea. Get up the guts to enter a trial?

      • Jen K
        March 6, 2012 at 5:29 pm (2 years ago)

        Ahh… well that’s a significant difference. At the beginning, agility for me would be about learning new skills, but I’m pretty competitive, so would get the most enjoyment out of winning stuff :) Which, in itself is an interesting incentive. I mean, Moses got his gold medals – now it’s Alma’s turn!
        Jen K recently posted..Monday Mischief, 4th editionMy Profile

  6. houndstooth
    March 6, 2012 at 12:57 am (2 years ago)

    I know that when the time comes, you and Shiva will perform in the trial excellently! She just likes to keep you on your toes. ;) I love that feeling of a big breakthrough! There’s nothing like it!
    houndstooth recently posted..Hiking And Slip SlidingMy Profile

  7. kmspoochshelter
    March 6, 2012 at 1:30 am (2 years ago)

    Woo Hoo Shiva! Great Job!

  8. Julie
    March 6, 2012 at 2:19 am (2 years ago)

    Yay Shiva! I just love her energy – I’m sure you are so proud!
    Julie recently posted..Kreativ Blogger Award!My Profile

  9. Keith
    March 6, 2012 at 3:48 am (2 years ago)

    That is great news indeed! I hope that Shiva will be able to accomplish more in the days ahead.
    Keith recently posted..learn oil paintingMy Profile

  10. Sue
    March 6, 2012 at 6:05 am (2 years ago)

    Way to go Shiva. So glad all your hard work has paid off. Now if only you could make it an Olympic sport….:)

  11. Sammy Sam
    March 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm (2 years ago)

    Hi Kristine, hmmm..maybe Shiva taught you something. I used to do agility too. I wasn’t too fussy about it but my brother Jetta, the boy sheltie and my sister Tuvia still like doing it. Jetta’s been to some trials, got a Q and some ribbons and stuff and mom and him will be going again soon. They don’t go to alot of trials as most of them require a very early get out of bed time, a long drive and a bit of a long day. Anyways, we understand the joy of agility when everything comes together. Yay Kristine and Shiva.
    Sammy Sam recently posted..Sammy’s Simple Pleasures 2012 – Rain WalkiesMy Profile

  12. Roberta
    March 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm (2 years ago)

    Wow – Shiva was so focused I don’t know if her head moved much but her body sure did – and accurately, too. Way to go!
    Roberta recently posted..Starfish & Dog RescueMy Profile

  13. Pup Fan
    March 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm (2 years ago)

    Go Shiva! That’s awesome.

  14. Amy@GoPetFriendly
    March 6, 2012 at 9:02 pm (2 years ago)

    Fantastic news, Kristine!! You may have doubted yourself, but from the outside it appears that you and Shiva can do anything.
    Amy@GoPetFriendly recently posted..Pet Travel – Hamster SyleMy Profile


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