Sunday, January 8, 2012

2011 Flashback: Devon's AX

I can’t let 2011 get too far in the past without a blog about Devon’s agility career. Agility has been tough for her, and a lot of it has had to do with training (i.e., it’s my fault). I took for granted the access to foundation training I had in Ohio, and I didn’t have it here. What I learned through Devon helped me create the agility foundation program I used with Page and now teach.

But Devon did come with a fear of movement and she’s very environmentally aware, so lack of confidence in her foundation along with those issues have caused training and confidence problems. And in Oct 2009, after earning her OA, Devon got spooked on the teeter in training and wouldn’t get back on it. It took her nearly 6 months to even start back with a board and a 1-inch dowel.

Then in June 2010, I pushed a weave performance one weekend during a 3-day trial when she was sore in her left shoulder (something she’s battled on and off for most of her career). That caused a weave confidence problem!

So 2011 was the year if we would figure out of Devon was really going to have an agility career. Other than tracking to finish her VST and some obedience training here and there, we focused on agility all year. And it paid off!

In 2011, Devon earned all three legs of her AX for her title, as well as her first MX leg. All three of her AX legs were earned at “home” training buildings. I had a slight worry that she’d never weave successfully away from home on the first try, when she earned her first MX leg in Zanesville, Ohio, proving me wrong! In addition to her first master’s standard leg, Devon earned three MXJ legs this year and a total of 30 MACH points.

While 30 MACH points in one year is certainly low, it represents a year of hard work for us. Most of her Qs and points came in the second half of the year. By December, Devon looked confident and happy in agility. Even though we didn’t Q all weekend in her last trial of 2011, I’m so proud of her attitude and performance. We’re getting there, and I can’t wait for next weekend when we get to step to the line again.

The one thing I have learned with Devon is it truly is a pleasure to step to the line with her in any venue. She is a happy willing worker, but she really does it so we can have fun together. When I remember that, magic happens!


Amy / Layla the Malamute said...

Congratulations Devon & Deb! I loved seeing all the videos. The teeter on her AX run was phenomenal. She looks awesome! I remember (and still love) the story of how when she got her teeter in a trial everyone cheered as if it were a MACH.

Deb said...

Thanks Amy! Devon still loves to hear the crowd (you can hear her fan club in some of the videos). Her teeter is really getting very confident! I love how she isn't crouching as badly. With the time off from her spay, she crouched again this week, but I'm hoping that will go away pretty quickly. Devon's latest trick is to take her jackpot container in her mouth around the crating areas asking for refills -- and she gets them! One weekend she got at least 2 refills per run! She's such an adorable dog!