Last week, I mentioned that both of the pets had gained a little weight during our fostering experience. Everyone's been on a diet and we're making great progress. Mother Nature's also been helping us get back to normal. Most of the days have been sunny and in the 50s or low 60s.
I know that snow is coming--in fact, they're predicting lake effect snow for Sunday--so we've been taking advantage of the nice weather as much as possible.
Of course, we've been walking our usual three miles or more a day, but at this time of year, the abominable snow pup is coming out of hibernation and that's not enough for her. When my parents visited, they brought our tunnel that was living at their house while we lived in an apartment, so we decided to bring out our two jumps and our weave poles and set up a mini course.
Barley has been struggling with lead outs lately--part of it is because we've gotten a few new classmates and she's still not completely used to their presence, so she's very distracted when I set her up at the first jump and walk away and sometimes decides she should get up and sniff around or follow me to avoid temptation of saying hi to her classmates.
The other part of it is that we just haven't practiced it as much as we used to. In our old neighborhood, we'd go to the football field when it wasn't in use and I'd set her on one yard line and walk out to the next and we'd keep increasing distance. We don't have a place like that in our new neighborhood and in class we've been using more sling starts and starting together instead of leading out. Somehow, it always ends up being a surprise to me when something we were really good at gets a little rusty when we don't practice for a while--even though I've had plenty of evidence to prove that to me!
We also got to change the jumps around easily so we could practice wrapping the jumps, sending the back of jumps, 180s, and threadles. Barley handles all of those things well in class, but the backyard gave us a chance to practice them with more distractions.
In class this week, Barley was much more solid with our lead out and she had no problem with some of the more difficult jump patterns we had. For a change, Barley actually curled up after it got dark and I settled in for grading and lesson planning for the night. Our agility trainer also commented on how great her weight is looking, too!
We hope everyone else has had delightful weather and a chance to play outside!