I guess I haven't had much to say here lately. Sometimes I get so caught up in my life I just forget that some interesting things are happening.
Dahlia and I continue to improve in our agility classes. We have not made it to another trial since the one in December. Unfortunately, the handful of indoor trials in central NY during the winter months get overrun with entries and we were wait-listed in both January and February and never got into either trial. After a rather disastrous "show 'n' go" in which Dahlia refused to (yet again) get up on the A-Frame and Dog Walk and acted like she had never done agility a day in her life, I wasn't terribly disappointed at not getting in.
We finally discovered Dahlia's problems with A-Frames and Dog Walks and it centers around her not striding properly. She gets too close to them, has to take a short step, and then doesn't have the back end strength to push herself up onto them and so balks. We've been working on increasing her back end strength, improving her striding, and making the contact equipment so rewarding that she just can't help but run at them full tilt. All have been working well, but the latter is the best part. She now runs out in front of me to take the A-Frame and occasionally does the same on the Dog Walk. We're currently signed up for a trial later this month, so we may get a chance to see how this all works out in a real trial situation.
Dahlia is all healed up after her January surgery. The hair is growing back and it's starting to be less and less noticeable. She doesn't look like a Frankendog anymore! On the flip side, she just recovered from a nasty intestinal thing caused by her taking an impromptu dip in our local (really disgusting and swampy pond) and drinking from it. Amazingly, she never acted sick throughout the entire illness. I was thankful for that.
My photography continues to improve and the major improvement lies with my obtaining a new Sony A580 body. I absolutely adore the camera. It's a huge step up from the A230 I was using before. I've only had it for a few weeks (and unfortunately injured my back rather severely last week and so have not been able to take pictures for over a week now!) and there's still much to learn about it, but what I've gotten out of it so far has thrilled me. I'll share a couple photos of Dahlia I took at agility class a couple weeks ago (only two days after getting the camera!). Remember that this is inside the agility barn and all photos were taken at ISO1600.
If you're wondering how I ran her in agility and took photos, I wasn't running her. My instructor took her out for a spin so I could take photos, which was an awfully nice thing for her to do for us.
I promise to post more often in the near future!