Well, I've been pretty bad about posting lately. This year has been full of all kinds of "weird" for lack of a better term... mostly weird weather than has a tendency to put a damper on things. In February, we got back to working on our freestyle routines. It's been rather slow progress, but the girls have several new routines in the works.
The big "event" was our trip down to McKinney, TX for Shelby & Pixie's first agility trial this year. Neither dog was really ready for competition - but it was being held on dirt (horse barn) which is an environment that is particularly challenging for the beagle noses. So, I figured it would be a good learning experience for them.
After driving three hours in a torrential downpour (did I mention we've had "weather" this year?) - we arrived and as soon as we walked into the building, the beagle noses hit the ground like they were magnetized.
Both girls did well on their first run - Connect The Dogs - and each received a Q. This finished Shelby's Games II title and was Pixie's 2nd Q.
The standard runs were a little bit more challenging - Shelby doesn't quite understand the weaves poles yet, and Pixie is still a little confused on the table. We elected to use the standard runs as training for Shelby, and just ran past the weaves. Pixie gave everyone a good chuckle when she hopped on the table and begged.
By the middle of the third run, I could tell Pixie was beginning a mental melt-down. She tried to run out of the ring, but everyone was on top of things and kept her contained until she came back to me and finished the run. She has a very low mental and physical threshhold, and it was just more than her little brain could handle. We'll keep working to build up her stamina in working longer runs. Can't really blame her when we usually only do 4-6 obstacles at a time in class -- the long drive, new environment, and four full runs was just a bit too much.
Even though Shelby only Q'd her first of four runs - it was a good day for her. Each run got stronger as a whole with less sniffing and less distraction. She is one of the most "aware" dogs I have ever known, so new enviornments can be a little difficult for her. So, it was nice to see her improving as the day went on.
Pixie did really well. Other than the mental meltdown at the end of the day, she has shown lots of improvement - and even managed to get more points on the first game than Shelby did (she had one extra jump), and ended up winning the award for High Scoring Beagle.
It was a really fun weekend, and we're looking forward to playing more agility once we are done with our freestyle competition. Now - it's back to freestyle!