Last Saturday was a busy day for us.
I know I've told you I'm a member of the MDSA online workshops list. If you are interested in canine musical freestyle, I highly recommend it. At just $25 a year, its well worth it.
Last month we did a tribute to our living and past freestyle dogs. You may remember I posted this posed picture with Gimme and I "doing freestyle" and submitted pictures of Lucy and Michael. I tried freestyle with both of them. Michael just didn't get enthused about it, preferring the high activity level of agility. Lucy loved learning the tricks and dancing with me, but was adamantly opposed to "performing". Our Freestyle Journeys video
This month's workshop is about transitions and the instructor is none other than Julie Flanery (creator of RallyFreestyleElements). Our first assignment was to post a video of our baseline spins, circles and through - from both sides. So before heading over to the Barn Hunt practice, I squeezed in a quick session at the tennis court, where I could safely have Gimme off leash and not get my shoes soaked by wet grass. After a quick potty walk, Gimme performed flawlessly and I thought surely this would go quickly. I put her back in the car and set up the camera.
For our second session, she was so distracted and unfocused. I really couldn't understand where her brain went. Since we haven't worked there in 6 months, I think she needed more time to acclimate. So, in hindsight the potty walk before the first session served as a
"perimeter walk". Another thought I had was, the time in the car was only a couple minutes and usually at our RFE practices in Fife, she gets at least 15 minutes down time to regroup mentally. I should have spent a lot more time warming her up mentally, but the camera was sitting exposed in the rain and I was in a hurry (next time I'll put a plastic bag over it). It took 7½ minutes to get good repetitions of just 6 behaviors. Transitions 1 video
From there we drove to Eatonville for a Barn Hunt practice. The last time we trialed (Nov. 2016) I found Gimme had forgotten how to tell me where the rats were hidden. She totally remembered how to find the rat, but thought standing in the middle of the ring barking at me would be enough to show me where it was. Janet pointed out that its not fair to not do something for a year and then expect to come out and be perfect again. Well duh...
So I rejoined the practice group in Eatonville and this is the first time we've had a chance to get over there for a practice. As it turned out, on this day Gimme communicated her finds very nicely. I set up the camera to record a video: Second practice session.
Since its 1:20 drive each way and we were there over 2 hours, this pretty much ate up the rest of the day. Gimme was sooooo ready to be home resting with her babies. I was myself soooo ready for a long soak in a hot bath.