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…

25 thoughts on “Those Dang Weaves

  1. 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!!

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    • 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.

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  2. Impressive breakthrough! Congratulations! And it’s obvious from the video that Shiva doesn’t see the point of doing anything slow.

    Yep, I might be looking at a future champion.

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    • 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. ;-)

      Thanks!

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  3. 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?!

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    • 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?

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      • 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!

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  4. 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!

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  5. 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.

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