Friday, January 16, 2009

Speedy Girl

Last night Django and Maebe started their new session of agility class. It is our usual Thursday night routine; however, this night I had to handle Maebe, since her usual wrangler (my husband) was out of town on business.

I have handled Maebe on occassion in classes and a handful of times during trials. I am well aware that she is fast. But, I'm a runner, and I've handled Tristan plenty of times before, who is consistently one of the faster dogs out there. I know it is a struggle to keep with her, but I didn't figure I would get so completely dusted on the course. That dog is just insane on the agility course.

We started out OK, then had a tunnel/chute combo, which basically just provided a straightaway for her to gain speed. Out of the chute were 12 weave poles - not bad, you can usually catch up to the dog in the weaves, so I was counting on that. But I swear, she hit those poles and freakin' ACCELERATED. Those led to a curved tunnel, so I quickly crossed behind her and ran like hell past the next two obstacles - two bar jumps - and headed toward the dog walk. She caught me in no time, clearing both jumps, hit the dog walk and was past it before I was anywhere close to the up-ramp. At which point, I just stopped, doubled-over laughing because - really - how do I possibly handle when the dog is almost the width of the building ahead of me? Keep in mind that Maebe screams continuously the entire time as she runs, so I can shout the commands at the top of my lungs, but odds are slim she'll hear them at that point.

The sad part of all this is now I can't really give Lowell all my armchair-coach handling advice like: "Don't try to race her," "Stay calm," "Don't get frantic and rush," etc. I think the only hope is to teach her to read and show her the course maps beforehand. I think all I can say to him now is "Yeah . . . Good luck with that."

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