Thursday, September 24

OSU Demo and Classes

So yesterday, we had the OSU agility demo at the vet school. I elected to take Merlin and not Popper, because last time I took Popper, they had grills going, and it just overwhelmed his poor beagley senses. Merlin has only done one other demo, so I figured it would be good practice.

The ground was really soggy, and I guess there were all sorts of good smells coming out of it, because Merlin went nuts sniffing and pawing at the ground, and ignoring me. He never does that in agility. I was getting frustrated when Joanne, who owns Irish Wolfhounds, asked if I wanted to try some Captain Crunch. At that point, I'd try anything. It was instant success with Merlin - I gave him one, and he became fixated completely on the bag - which Joanne still had. So she gave it to me, and BOOM - instant and flawless attention. If he started to drift on a run, I just touched my pocket so the bag would crinkle, and he would switch himself back to me right away. Even later that night, when I showed it to my fiance, Merlin's eyes were large and attentive on that bag. I afterwards referred to it as the "Magic Bag of Noms."

It truly was magic - I took it to class with us, and Merlin managed to fix all the issues he's been having problems with.. He took the weave poles perfectly after other obstacles; he corrected himself when he was about to jump through the space between the tire and the frame, to go through the tire itself... I was SO PROUD of the little guy! He was awesome. I was even more proud when they told us he was cleared to go on to the next level of agility classes. Way to go, Merlin!

I kept the Magic Bag of Noms out for Popper's class too - and I was not disappointed. We were doing threadles, which were previously our downfall, and Popper ran them like a champ. I was astonished, pleased, thrilled - all those and more. Popper wasn't as obsessed with the Captain Crunch as Merlin (Popper is a hound - he just likes food, period), but I swear that bag was magic. He ran everything well, and ran the whole time, which is unusual for him because he doesn't do well in the heat/humidity normally. We had a bit of trouble with the weaves, but that was my fault because I have not been diligent in my practice at home. Popper was also promoted to the next level, which caused no end of joy for me, because we had already done that class once together, and I became so frustrated and upset with it that I had vowed to give up agility. We worked really hard, and took a recreational class to get the joy back into the sport, and that worked like charm; it was exactly what we needed to keep going strong. :)

We celebrated the awesomeness of the little boys with ice cream cones!

And yes, I have Peanut Butter Captain Crunch on my shopping list - never again will I underestimate the power of the Magic Bag of Noms!

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