Thursday, June 19, 2008

No. 100 and today I'm beaming

Marvin at BREW BeagleFest 2008.
Photo credit: My friend, Nicole's, friend, Jayne.

Welcome to the 100th post on my SnoutBeagle blog! I started the blog just over two years ago as a means to journal Diesel stories. Since then we've gained a Marvin and I've made blogging friends – BIG thanks to Dogs with Blogs! Who would have thought? Thank you all for checking in on us and your kind, much-enjoyed comments.

Marvin and I had not been to agility class together for three weeks. The first week I took Diesel instead. The second week we were still cleaning up water in our basement after ALL THAT RAIN. And this week I wasn't feeling well enough to want to attend our Monday class. Well, last night was a beautiful evening. I was feeling back to my old self and I had a hankering to run around an agility course with Marvin.

I e-mailed the Wednesday night instructor and asked if we could pop in to her advanced class last night to do a make-up class. It was a go! Admittedly I was nervous because we've never gone to a higher level class than our intermediate, but I knew a couple of the students as well as the instructor so we went for it.

Unfortunately, I thought the class started at 7PM but it actually starts at 6:50. I had reserved the ten minutes "early" we arrived to walk the course, but those ten minutes "early" actually put us there just in time. The instructor had set up one course with 15 obstacles which we all ran first. Then we did three (or four?) smaller exercises using parts of the same course. Finally we ran the entire course again. It was set up really well and I enjoyed all our runs a ton.

Our first time out Marvin was in snouting mode. The instructor suggested I run with him on leash to keep him moving before he did too much sniffing. He seemed to get the hint as halfway through I dropped the leash and we were back on track and focused (the leash knocking all the bars as we went!). The instructor made the comment "He's a typical beagle!" when he was snouting (which she had said before when Diesel and I had her for beginners class). That makes me even more determined for her to see what we can do when we're on track as a team. In all honesty, even though both boys are prone to beagle-mode at times, for the most part I feel we've accomplished a great deal in the focus department.

Snouting wasn't an issue for any of the smaller exercises. Marvin enjoyed the runs and was looking to me for more. Since I hadn't had the chance to walk the course I felt I could have definitely done better in my handling tactics. Oh well, next time!

Finally, the last run ... the same as the first run. Back to Jump One and Marvin found the floor rather interesting once again. I started before he was "with" me so I asked for a restart. This time I took my time getting us on the same page ... and once we started Woweeeee!! The boy – suddenly motivated like crazy – flew over the jumps, took the tunnel from a distance and did the weaves faster and more perfectly than he had ever done. The advanced students ooooed and ahhed as he mastered those weaves (not kidding!) and I gleamed from the inside out. Another tunnel, the A-frame (my handling still klutsy here) and a string of jumps. He was so excited he barked over the last three jumps and I couldn't have been happier.

We left class and I was impressed as heck with my bluetick boy. All the students were so friendly and supportive and laughed with me when I laughed at myself for doing a silly handling maneuver. The instructor was helpful, positive, and gave each student individualized suggestions. Not only that – I have a feeling we made an impression on her. She probably now sees more than a beagle sniffing the ground when she looks at Marvin.

What a great evening and today I continue to beam.


Blogger Amber-Mae said...

Sounds like Marvin did very well! That's pawsome & you must be soooo proud of him. Congrats on your 100th pot by the way!

Butt wiggles,
Solid Gold Dancer

June 19, 2008 at 10:40 PM  
Blogger Patience-please said...

Congrats on you 100th!!! I almost missed it, because for some reason you aren't showing up on my bloglines. I'll resubcribe you to my feeds.

Patience and the whippet waggls

June 19, 2008 at 11:23 PM  
Blogger Maggie & Mitch said...

We love that smiling picture of you, Marvin! Congrats on your hundredth post!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

June 20, 2008 at 3:54 AM  
Blogger River said...

Sounds like it was terrific fun! Good description of what you did, almost like we were there (I would not do as well as Marvin--I'm waaaay too snouty)

love & wags,

June 20, 2008 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger JAZZ AND DIXIE said...

Congratulations on your 100th post. Yours is an enjoyable blog to read and also inspires us with all the agility work you guys do.
Well done to Marvin - he showed them in the end!

June 21, 2008 at 2:36 AM  
Blogger Gussie said...

Sometimes it's good to challenge yourselves in agility - sounds like you did just that, and it paid off. I was talking to a boxer owner today at an agility show and she had to overcome the reaction "oh, he's a boxer," or "not bad... considering he's a boxer...." but she had the last laugh as persistence has paid off and they have quietly risen up the grades. Just keep going and enjoying yourselves!

Oh, and congrats on yor 100th post!

June 21, 2008 at 3:43 PM  
Blogger Wuffstuff said...

Well done!!

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June 24, 2008 at 8:00 AM  
Blogger Booker the Treeing Walker said...

Wow that's great, both the 100th post AND the coursework! Booker is a hound, too, and his job is to keep his nose to the ground. He even walks in a strange, hunkered down, rangy, loose-legged kind of way so as to maximize snout and jowl-flap contact with the grass or pavement!

PS H-Mom was born in Madison!

June 25, 2008 at 10:33 AM  
Blogger Dave Fink said...

Happy 100th! That's 700 in dog posts, you know. :)

June 25, 2008 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger Truman Tales said...

LOVE this photo of a beaming Marvin! He looks so proud. Congratulations on the advanced agility course.

June 25, 2008 at 4:17 PM  
Blogger Daizy, George and Taiki said...

yay yay yay!!!!

Happy that you're enjoying that "KERPOW"moment!

....and you were going to throw in the towel....HA! Thanks Marvin!!!!i

June 26, 2008 at 7:18 PM  
Blogger erin said...

Congrats on your 100th post!
And Yay, Marvin! You showed those advanced students how it's done!

July 1, 2008 at 11:07 AM  

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