Monday, February 9, 2009

Tequila and Agility = Awesome.

This weekend we hosted Terry Simons from Flying Dog Agility in California. This was my fourth seminar with Terry, and I really wanted people to experience his teaching style. We were thrilled when he agreed to make the trip from L.A. to L.A. (Lethbridge, Alberta har har).

It was an action packed weekend full of: lost luggage; a trip to wal-mart at 7am for socks, shoes and a $5 sweater; a bottle of Tequila; a sparkly shot glass; some mention of Ropes to tie up Jolayne; lots of laughs, lots of learning, and MANY, MANY lightbulb moments for everyone. 

The kicker to top off the weekend was this morning was at the airport. Terry was checking-in his recently found luggage, the check-in lady says "Here's your return ticket to Saskatoon", we looked at each other and laughed, the lady quickly realized she read the wrong name, indeed he is on a flight back to L.A. .... I hope :)

Terry really has a gift for bringing out the best in people and their dogs, no matter who the dog, or the person, he is a very patient person :). He helped me bring out the best in Kaleb the first year I went to a seminar with him. In a matter of a few hours, it changed the course of how I approach training and trialing with him forever. Something as simple as lots of random reinforcement, a toy appears out of nowhere, I might have a different toy in my hand two times in an exercise or have someone throw to him when he least expects it, and I have to be the most exciting person around - there is more to it, but that is the basic idea. I still carry an arsenal of toys and treats in my training bag, and it works. So essentially we had to teach Kaleb that Agility = Awesome.

He has a great eye for watching dogs and handlers and can pick up on the tiniest things, and most of all I appreciate his honesty!

This was Gyp's third time seeing Terry, and again, some GREAT suggestions. He has seen Gyp progress from just 8 months after I had gotten her, to this time, 2 years later. I got some great ideas for tightening my lines even more, getting better collection in turns, all of my goals for the year. My words of wisdom this weekend, that I will always stay with me: "Don't drive Gyp with MY speed. Drive her from the inside", so essentially run with purpose, charisma and confidence. I tend to OVER run and rush because I am not always confident with her ability. He says she has a great set of skills and I have to trust her more, DUH Sarah. I tend to over run with my other guys to keep them motivated - because they are not as fast as Gyp, I do NOT need to do this with Gyp, but at the same time I shouldn't run her casually either. That is where the confidence comes in. It took me a minute to understand what "drive from the inside" meant, but I get it, I really, really get it. The best runs I have with her are when I drive from the inside.

We see Terry again in a few months in Calgary, and I have lots to work on, and if I keep handling my dogs good, maybe I'll get to drink some more tequila :) And now we can, as a group help each other better, with the knowledge we learned about us and our dogs this weekend!

Jose Cuervo, our #1 fan waiting at the finish line. 
He was always there for us, and lets us know when we have a done a good job. 
Sparkly shot glass and 1 oz of Tequila = Awesome.

Terry and Jolayne excited, that Jo had some lightblub moments!

Terry giving us a lesson geometry, oh and training the Novice dogs to "Get Out!"

Judy and Roxy learning to "GO ON" in the beginner distance session.

Julia and Tea learning to GO ON!

Boone and the rest of the gang taking notes and learning.

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