USDAA–aka “Patience We Never Knew We Had”

Our first USDAA trial went off last weekend without any major hitches. In fact, it went quite well. We had three classes both days and ended up with 3 Qs. But, even better was Forest’s attitude. He was a rock star, completely in the game for the whole trial.

I was worried first thing when I saw the “fenceless” setup–just electric poles stuck in the ground with tape. A year—hell 6 months ago—that would have sent us packing. But, I took a deep breath and sucked it up, and all was just fine.

While we definitely still have more than our fair share of training issues—contacts on the A frame are still iffy, and for some reason we were having some teeter and up-side dogwalk aversion—but I really feel like my handling skills are finally coming together. At least enough to get us around a reasonably easy course. One of our Q’s was in jumpers, which while in USDAA there are no weaves, I now feel like we are ready to Q out of AKC Open JWW. All of his weaves were perfect(!), so for the time being, its time to focus on contact equipment. Lucky for me Laurie is having a special contacts class—aka the Crack of Dawn session—so I have no excuse not to be working on them.

I had a frustrating Sunday morning, entirely due to the aforementioned contact equipment and was talking to some friends about the ups and downs of agility. One made me laugh when she said, “Agility has shown me my patience I never knew I had.” How true.

I only got video of two classes, of course both NQs. So, I may or may not get around to editing and posting those. I’ll probably hold out until next weekend’s AKC trial and hope for something upload-worthy then.

Now that I know how USDAA works, and that there are more trials down here than I thought, I look forward to entering more of them. I really liked the vibe overall, people seemed really nice and there was a lot less screechy-stressy-aggro running going on, at least that I noticed. And, I also became even more hyper-aware of how lucky I am to have found Wags and the people who train there–both students and teachers. Everyone is so positive and warm with their dogs, and are all great trainers in their own right.

I am still catching up on posting, but the next one should be very interesting. I may have some big news to report… It all hinges on Pete and his willingness to humor my ongoing insanity. Wish me luck!

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