For some of us there is something addictive about watching a dog run full speed over a dog walk and hit the contact with ease like they were born knowing how to do it. It looks so effortless and so “right”.
Training it, however, can be a different story. It often resembles living a soap opera: Julia gets engaged to be married, Julia gets hit by a car, Julia is in a coma, Julia wakes up, but then her heart stops, Julia makes miraculous recovery, Julia gets out of the hospital, finds out that Ramone has been cheating on her and tries to commit suicide…
Full of DRAMA! If you always wanted to know how manic depression feels try training running contacts, it will get you pretty close 😉
At least that’s how I felt when teaching running contacts to Ruby and I have heard others express similar sentiments. With Java there is almost no drama. Yes, we have reached the point when she is not 100% perfect anymore 😉 We had our share of “problems” to solve these past few weeks:
- Getting good running on raised dog walk (currently 70cm high with a plank on down ramp at 45cm high)
- Running ON dog walk when I start her from the ground (not next to dog walk)
- Running at full speed and still hitting the contact (someone was singing “I believe I can fly” to herself!)
- Fading the jump wings that were keeping her on the down ramp
- Switching from 50cm wide plank to 30cm wide and still running faster than the speed of light
Some sessions were not so good, sure. And yet, my heart was at peace. There was no drama, just me & my girl, playing fetch over dog walk. Perhaps that’s just something that happens when you’re teaching running contacts to a second (third, fourth…?) dog. You start trusting the process or maybe intuiting some hidden laws of RC training.
It also helps that I’m not too attached to the outcome. If it fails I can always teach her a stopped position, in fact I might teach her a stopped position anyway like I did with Ruby. And yet, every time she nails the contact I still feel an explosion of joy that starts in my chest and finds a way out through my mouth, waking up the neighborhood 🙂 Life is good.