Life has continued to be wacky the last week. The snow all melted and we had gorgeous almost 60 degree weather over the weekend. We got in a 6-mile day between our two walks on Saturday. It was windy, but the skies were blue and I didn't have to wear boots or gloves. It was beautiful.
Barley was actually tired out for the first time in months and she was all smiles the entire time we were out in the fresh air. Soth was equally happy to bask in the sunshine, too.
Then as quickly as the sunshine came, the cold weather was back and we were back to short little walks between freezing rain showers and between cups of hot chocolate. Barley's back to her wild self again. She's been getting the zoomies the first time I toss a toy for her and racing around all of the stacks of boxes (we had an unfortunate incident with one of the remaining wine glasses that hadn't yet been packed last week . . .).
To top that off, we had a sub in agility this week--and it was our very first agility trainer, who saw Barley at her very worst. I was excited to show her how well Barley's been doing with agility and with keeping her classmates out of her mouth. We succeeded at showing her one of those two things.
Our trainer didn't know the other two dogs that were in class that night, and one of them is very new to agility still, so I think she just assumed that Barley doesn't know very much. For some reason, she was convinced Barley doesn't really know the weaves (before she'd even seen Barley try them) even though Barley's was the first dog in our class to get them down over a year ago.
We had kind of a wacky entrance to the weaves and I wasn't approaching them well, so Barley was trying her best to figure out what I wanted her to do and it wasn't pretty. Thinking Bar didn't know the weaves, our sub told me not to correct her and sent us back to the basics of helping Barley figure out the weaves. We've worked with enough agility trainers now that I've just kind of decided that when it's just for one week, I'll smile and nod and just go with it--and maybe we'll learn a new trick or two--but I won't get too worked up about approaches that don't work for us. So, our sub had me walk slowly next to the weaves without giving Barley any verbal or hand cues to help her out.
Of course, that confused Barley because that's not how we ever trained the weaves. The sub took my place and had me watch her while she let Barley figure out the weaves. But Barley was still confused--she'd go through two and then just stand there and wait for a treat. When she realized she wasn't get one, she'd try another one and then stop for a treat. When that didn't work, she finally just sat down beside the weaves and wagged her tail and stared at our trainer. I couldn't take it anymore and started laughing, which then gave my classmates permission to let out the laughter they'd been holding it, which led to our sub laughing--and as soon as Barley realized we were all laughing at something she'd done, she decided she needed to be as goofy as possible. She spent the rest of the night goofing around. She'd go over a jump or two and then play bow at me or try the weaves and sit down in the middle or approach a jump and then just stand there in front of it wagging her tail.
Our trainer probably thinks that we've regressed since "graduating" from her intro class, but the one time that Barley thought about going over to see what her classmates were doing during her turn, she came back to me as soon as I called her, so it wasn't a total failure. Plus, we all got a good laugh in, which was refreshing on a dreary, rainy day.
Someday, I'll learn that when it comes to the weather and to Barley I need to just embrace the unexpected because neither one of them seems to be totally predictable.
Happy FitDog Friday everyone!