Sweaty Februaries, Visiting Teachers and that work/life balance thing

When all is said and done I am glad to be back at work, but I have to say after 14 months off I really had forgotten about how much of your life working full time takes up. It’s not so much a culture shock right now as it is a whole time management shock to the system. There’s a few days left in February to go and the radio guys are saying that if we get one more 40 plus degrees celcius day then it will officially be the hottest February on record – EVER. I can’t say I’m a fan of that type of record breaking. Today is perfect – mid to high 20s, blue skies and light breezes. Going to get some training done later.

Mister Colt is now 6 months old as of yesterday.

He’s had the pleasure of Daisy Peel‘s company last week and while we watched his very teenage puppy antics pushing his puppy license to it’s limits with his older relatives we mused on the differences we see in each of our dogs from puppyhood. Colt so far, is a very affable, laid back, easy going boy – he’s happy to greet any and all four and two legged alike and has a healthy level of confidence whilst still being just as happy to hang by me when we’re out and he’s off lead. There’s always the invisible string on though 😉 It’s funny how watchful you get when venturing out into the world and seeing exactly how far that string will stretch before it breaks and you have to go running after him. Spryte’s string is absolutely unbreakable unless a cat or a bird crosses her path. Savvy’s string is still testing new lengths out but so far she doesn’t seem to have such a strong impulse as her mother to break that string even if temptations are there. Cypher? Well from 8 weeks of age I think he thought that his string was umbilical in nature and that if he ever broke it he would die. Getting him to stretch his string is as hard as getting Spryte NOT to break hers when she sees a cat. They’re all so very different. Colt has turned into an enthusiastic if not somewhat uncoordinated swimmer these days and he’s enjoying our stints down at the river.

One day I may actually take the good camera and get some decent photos of him. I’m constantly reminded every day as he grows that this time is so short.

So Daisy Peel came out, making the long trek from her hometown of Portland, Oregon to come and see how the Perth agility folks had fared in the year since she’d last seen them and to help us out with our handling, making sure we have all the options open to us and to remind us exactly where our weak spots are. This is the third time we’ve had Daisy out to Perth and it was great to feel that by the end of our time we are getting just as much out of our sessions with her as were the first two times.

We worked through the Skills Check List put out by Linda Mecklenburg (Clean Run in 2012)  throughout the Novice and then in Advanced broke down a World Team training session into various sequences using one course that Daisy renumbered various obstacles on to provide some tough and challenging sequences that helped highlight handling choices and the reasons for them. It also made very clear what skills needed to be improved. I’m the first to admit I’m a lazy trainer – Daisy pointed out that I’m doing more work than I need to because I’m allowing Savvy to slide with particular skills. I just tend to naturally gravitate towards handling than actual skills training so it’s as plain as day the skills aren’t always where they should be. I know that I’m pretty keen to run hard and attack the course so to speak as I really do want to make use of my personal training sessions but as a result I’ve not been as vigilant about ensuring Savvy has all the skills down well enough to ensure that I am also able to take the most efficient line on course. So I know what I’ve gotta work on that’s for sure 😉

Daisy’s chic and stylish straw hat or as I dubbed it when she put a baseball cap underneath – the bogan yokel look.

The breakfast of champions. Minus the Pine O Cleen wipes and the red wine that made it into this pic. Porridge, eggs, vegemite on toast with European cucumber and coffee.

Daisy demonstrating to Tracey and Benny how to get it done.

By the afternoon Daisy had a new understanding of the term Easterly wind and what it can
mean at the DogsWest grounds. Hoodie on, she is showing Nic, Jules and Nicola one of the tricky push to blind drills. Mini was only half paying attention 😉

Mini Minx seemed more intent on getting me to throw the damn ball.

Night time seminars are nice for February. Daisy and Liryk watch Megan
closely as she leads out on a sequence.

Jody and Riley listen closely as Daisy talks handling options whilst Gina practices her
stealthy ninja videography skills.

Daisy looking resplendent in the ACWA club shirt whilst Sylvia and Gypsy learn
exactly the kind of turn Daisy wants to see over a jump.

Team Australia is heading back to the World Agility Open Championships this year in May. Last night we held a quiz night to raise funds for the trip to Spain. It was a great night and I’m please to say our table managed 2nd place just pipped by one point. Was great to have some all contributing table members in Colin, Tracey, Rosanna and Andrew. And I still say the Tiger NOT the Elephant is the National Animal emblem of India. 😉 I was very happy to have my Wildcard application selected and be offered a spot on the team. This will be my third time representing Australia and it’s very exciting! I hope to be running Miss Pip again in what will be a lightning visit given the fact that I will need to book unpaid leave from work for this. I’m looking forward to it immensely!
We have our Western Classic next week – this will indeed be the first official ANKC Trial for 2013 with all classes and also one of the 3 big WA Agility events of the year. I am just doing the Individuals and not the teams as we have tickets to Soundwave this year on the Public Holiday Monday and the line up is fantastic.

The following weekend is the Perth version of Comic Con – with http://www.ozcomiccon.com/guests.aspx coming to Perth Exhibition Centre plus and ADAA trial in the evening. Busy weekend!