Monday, March 31, 2008

A lesson with Jim which cures the broken RSS.

Yesterday, I had my agility lesson. I go maybe once a month, or lately it's once every 2 months, up to Power Paws for a lesson with the Super Cool Jim Basic.

To get there, it is a journey on a twisty highway, over a mountain, from the sea! Through the valley of San Jose, and back up a mountain. Lots and lots of people in the Bay Area and from even farther away travel for their weekly Power Paws class with Jim or his wife, Nancy Gyes. Jim and Nancy are like the King and Queen of Dog Agility around here. Is that bad to say? Well, they are. But no matter how hard I try to organize it, I can't fit in a weekly class with an hour drive each way. So I go over on any Sunday we can make it work and have a lesson with Jim.

Not only has Jim helped me with just getting better at handling my dogs, he taught me to not totally suck at Gamblers. So I have Masters Gamblers Q's now. I think most of all he's taught me how to better look at a course and get my ass to the right spot for every part of it. But he is also funny and shares my love of all things ranches, and we always have a fun lesson and catch up on ranch things. He is training his puppy right now, Nancy chronicles it in Clean Run. So we talk about our puppies. I told him maybe next time he'll be able to see Gustavo run a little. But he's not ready yet. Jim's puppy is almost ready to make his debut. Mine, not so much.

We did take Gustavo up to his house and practice measuring him. He measures right at 12". I hear all you people with the tough measuring dogs groaning. OH NO! He is way too little to be a 16" dog. Ruby ran at 16" until last year when I moved her to performance and life is better there. He can be a performance dog if I have to, there is no shame in that, but I am going to work on teaching him to be a short 12" when he sees that measuring device. He's only been practice measured by me, so I am going to teach him to stand up short before he gets his real judge measuring. We'll see. He's just not a 16" dog. I'm pretty sure he's stopped growing now, and I just have to teach him shortness.

My dogs are always good at Jim's. They run fast and get all riled up. Ruby almost caught a squirrel there one time, like at least a year ago, and spent a couple runs running out to see if it was still there. But it gets her really fast, so Jim doesn't seem to care. She hit bars, she runs there like she can run at trials. I worked on better paths to possibly help her not leaving so damn long to the jump. Jim thinks she needs glasses. Otterpop is always happy there and runs like a speed demon. We worked on some better serpentines, me staying out of their path, tighter turns, and just me being the best handler I can be.

Jim also got some meatballs out of the shed frig and I ran Ruby back and forth through the poles a few times with visible meatballs on either side. Sort of like how I do at home with tupperwares. She got pretty frenzied and fast, like how I like her, so he said keep plugging away at it. They'll come back. Many meatballs, every single day.

No matter how weird a morning you have because the internet breaks, or how much you didn't sleep the night before because your Timmy was up and pacing, it's like you go to Jim's for a dog lesson and you come out all happy. Thanks Jim!



Blogger Sarah said...

your blog makes me happy every day, kind of like how lessons with Jim make you happy. but I don't have an RSS feed problem (what the hell IS that anyway?)

agility is really good for people with horse addictions-- you come home from agility-time and feel like you just had a really great ride. the difference being you don't smell like a barn and you aren't several hundreds/thousands of dollars poorer every month. this coming from a thirty-somethingish post-dressage clicker trainer who is trying to find life after horses. I'll get back to you on how well that's working for me.

March 31, 2008 2:00 PM  
Blogger team small dog said...

I didn't know what an RSS was either so imagine how hard THAT was to fix...

Your comment made me think. Which is good for me to do on occassion. I spend most of my day during the work week teaching people to be better riders. I would like them all to come out as happy after a lesson as I do after a dog lesson. I know learning agility as an adult has given me more empathy and patience with people and their horses. But I could have the secret goal that people end their lesson as happy as I was after Sunday's dog lesson. Maybe if they have broken RSS feeds they will get fixed as well, as an added bonus.

March 31, 2008 3:01 PM  
Blogger Elf said...

Once again, in response to one of your entertaining posts, Taj MuttHall has a post just especially for you.


March 31, 2008 4:37 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I like your secret goal... helping students to achieve a little chunk of bliss post-lesson. If you can achieve that with consistency you'll be like a crack dealer, only you won't sell crack.

Just out of curiosity, do you think the close proximity of the ZoroAstrian Temple to Power Paws contributes to the positive effect of your lessons with Jim? And what's up with the torpedo on a stick? Love the tour de landmarks.

March 31, 2008 4:50 PM  
Blogger Pacco de Mongrel said...

my dog tends to snap at stranger with sausage-like getting her measure by a judge will be 'mission impossible'....

fortunately, trial here only have 2 class...either u r mini or maxi...n obviously she is, there's no need 2 measure...phew!

March 31, 2008 6:51 PM  
OpenID sclmarm said...

I used to be a horse person too. Don't miss it at all!

I think it is harder to give that feeling we get after agility to horse people because they can kill someone with the horse they're riding! When they're making stupid mistakes that can get people hurt, you just have to yell at them!!

March 31, 2008 10:35 PM  
Blogger OBay Shelties said...

King and Queen of Agility! cool! And what a gorgeous place to do agility; you are a lucky team small dog! Almost makes up for all those leash laws...NOT!
Bernadette and the shelties in England

April 1, 2008 1:28 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home