Today Steeler was signed up for 3 runs at a "B" Match after the AKC agility trial in Wrentham. Most of the day I had been thinking that I was nuts to follow through with this. All of my normal agility buddies that would help me keep my anxieties in check are off at a Susan Salo seminar at clean run. But I decided there was bound to be at least one person there that I would know and I loaded Logan and Steeler into the car and off we went. I am glad that I went - I ran into Maggie, who I hadn't seen in a year or so and my friend Nancy with Lola and Butchy. She had Lola with her today. Lola and Steeler aren't too fond of each other - but handled hanging out pretty well.
Steeler handled the commotion of the trial site very well! I was very pleased with his ability to walk with me instead of 6 feet in front of me. LOL There was a fair bit of commotion at the start of the match - lots of people and dogs still around. Closer to a trial situtions than the Tunneler runs that we did in April. The match was run in 2 rings, with 155 runs between the two rings.
Steeler is definitely not ready to trial just yet - but he is getting there. The first run felt pretty good, even though we were just a bit disconnected. Steeler was listening to me and coming when I called - so I was pretty happy with that. The novice course started with Jump, Dog Walk, Jump, Broad Jump, weaves. The first two runs he held his start line but bypassed the dog walk for the tunnel underneath it. Once I got him on the dog walk he hit his contacts and handled the jump to broad jump sequence just fine, but turned into me when I tried to cue his weave poles. On the third run I decided to handle the dog walk on the other side. That was enough to get him on the dog walk without going thru the tunnel first. And he hit his contacts and his weave pole entry without pausing!!!! After the first run I bypassed the Aframe - he really is not ready to handle it at full height yet. I was generally pretty pleased with his runs. His second run I felt he was a bit more distracted and drifty which in turn made me more anxious - but his third run felt pretty good - so I felt really good about being able to pull my mind together and not worry about what "might" happen on the next run. :-)