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.
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!
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…