Very much enjoyed our trip up north for the Justine seminar. Turned out to be just such a beautiful weekend of perfect weather, the location was just gorgeous and serene, the agility was inspiring and the people were great. Just felt good to be immersed in agility for a weekend, not thinking of anything else, in a very novel location.
Really enjoy Justine and the system just suits me so well. Straightforward and clear, it makes complicated things so easy. Except, maybe, throwbacks - I still suck at throwbacks. But at least I know my issue is how very, very late I've been doing them. Which doesn't seem to change my behavior much, but it's a start. And, yes, I'll admit that, sometimes, they are the right choice, even over a threadle.
Several things added to the overall happy feel of the weekend, the first of which is Bright acted pretty much perfectly normal. I made sure to warn Justine about her odd behavior, which is a surefire way to make sure she didn't do any of it. Can't get through anything in practice, but this stuff, no problem. She had a few odd things, such as continuously not bending for tough weavepole entrances and a few blantant 'cross right in front of me to spontateously threadle' incidents - but, for the most part, the issues were all mine. As usual. Truly though, so werid that she just seemed so ... normal. And happy, she loves it there and remembers everything and our routine of going to the pool afterwards, she just goes and does it all herself. We had a lot of fun, and a lot of that had to do with me not taking her easiness for granted!
Then there was the puppy, while he seemed quite confident on the practice jump, the first time I tried running him in the seminar itself he was pretty overwhelmed and distracted by the other dogs and people. I was happy he stayed with me and tried a few things, but not as confident as he was at the Desiree seminar. Didn't recognize the dogwalk either at first. However, we played with the dogwalk at lunch and he remembered how to do it (not so much with turns, but straight looked great!). Then we had lots of working sessions throughout the weekend where he got more and more confident and more and more focused and able to, well, actually do agility!
By the end of the seminar they were taking down the course around him while he had his last turn and he couldn't care less, he was just into the agility! I was impressed with his skills for the most part, his threadles looked fantastic and he got through some fairly tricky exercises by the end of the weekend. Well, assuming it didn't have too many frontsides - Navarre developed a weird habit of running around jumps if I'm ahead of him on course last week - and it stuck. Not always, but it's very deliberate when he does. Backsides and threadles, no problem though - heh. Very much a baby dog, but so happy to see him progress - he's growing up.
And, oh, is he ever growing up - this weekend he really decided he's a MAN. A leg lifting, pee licking, chattering, posturing MALE. All of that sort of happened recently, my little puppy is becoming a rather cocky sex crazed teenager. Hurrah? Just not used to it, he's been such a mild mannered dork. Oh, such a teenager.
Bright and Navarre did pretty well with traveling. Bright was really easy, no issues with pottying, eating, sleeping or anything else - she's finally become easy to travel with! Navarre also did fairly well, though took a little while to settle down in the RV at night. They were great being in the car together, and actually were not too obnoxious when I took the other to go play, which was a worry. Navarre did a great job listening off leash and by the end of the weekend I had no worries about him running off to harass another dog. Not that I got cocky about that, it IS Navarre, after all.
Just a fun weekend of agility, I love how many fun exercises and courses we get through with Justine. Always something I want to try and see if we can do it, always fun to watch. And being a group of folks that are familiar with how Justine trains for the most part, it's more about running than long theoretical talks. Both dogs got plenty of fun agility and I hope that we can go again next year - my type of agility. So far the Justine stuff seems to be working well with Navarre, I am a big fan of trained cues.
I even had a visit from my brother over the weekend, it was his birthday this week. I had a dream we went to this crazy sci-fi convention and I had one of those moments in the dream where I realized that he was gone and I made me him hold my hand. He thought I was ridiculous, of course - but it was good to hang out with him and see him again - and to actually appreciate that it was a special occasion.
And then I even had smooth traffic there and back - truly, a weekend where things just came together - and I appreciated it so much. I feel inspired to train my dogs, excited to for Navarre's future and refreshed about agility in general - I do love it so. It was a good weekend, and happy to be back home - even if Haku and Fizban could care less that I'm back. That's okay, Fenwick, Eva and Isis made up for it.
No video from the weekend, I truly didn't know if either dog was going to be able to do anything, made me really appreciate what we were able to do - just enjoying the ride this weekend, no expectations. Imagine Bright looking super cute and easy (and oh so very forgiving), and Navarre trying really hard and looking almost like he knew what he was doing ... a few times. Good pups, I'm very thankful we were able to play!