Wobbler Update---July 9, 1999
We have not had an opportunity to attend our regular agility classes---the weather has been too hot, humid and thunderstorms have managed to appear on the night of our classes. Never-the-less, Syl’s stability is evident in everything she does. I don’t remember when the last time I heard a rear foot drag, or saw her hesitate on the hardwood floors (we do still have the runners down, although she often ignores them). I have caught her standing (easily) on her back legs whenever she wants something she can’t reach on all fours.
She is so happy to be back in agility that I realize we’re going to have to practice a little control. In one of her last classes, she purposely body slammed me, something she has never done and not something I want to continue. While I’m allowing her to do all the things she enjoys, I do so with an acknowledgement of needed caution, but then I don’t think that’s a bad thing when you’re working a dog on equipment that’s several feet off the ground or a series of tight jumps with quick turns.
Since we had not been to class in a while, due to weather conditions, I decided to visit the agility field to take a look at her movement over the jumps. This evening, she was as wild as ever, over the jumps and flying up the a-frame. Then, she headed up the dog walk, heard a telephone ring and froze. You never know what is going to cause this little girl concern. Seeing her reaction, I simply lifted her off the walk and she continued on, happy as a clam. It had nothing to do with her balance, just her quirky personality. She was up and over the teeter without a problem. We had been doing very low jumps (12 inches), as I saw no need to jump higher; my desire was just to get her back into this, see how she was doing and let her have fun. Her jumping looked so strong that I decided to increase the height. I moved the bars to 16 inches. She cleared them with no discernible change in her gait, style or self-assurance. YES!!! Another step forward!!!
In our upcoming classes, we will do most of the jumps at 12 inches and occasionally increase them to 16 inches now that I see how strong she is. I am also going to have to ask her for some control--I admit that I’ve let her run a bit wild, as I was just so happy to see her strong and self-assured, that I wasn’t concerned about control. We had it before, we’ll just have to work on getting it back!