Monday, June 22, 2009

June Jam!

Great day of disc dogging with the MNDDC! Lok did great! We did D/A, even though I knew it was a lost cause and he was so cute in it! He tried so hard and made two 0-point catches at the end of his round! Yay Lok! His freestyle was great as well. The first round he was way excited and that threw off his catching at first. Then he jumped up and chomped my entire forearm, thinking it was a disc. OUCH!! He realized his mistake and then got super-apologetic and didn't want to play for a minute, but I got him back into it. He made it into the top ten and got a second round, which was much better with a more focused dog, more catches, better flow and no biting me!

Jun would have done great in D/A had I not choked and thrown terribly!!! I haven't thrown that bad since sometime last year! But I was having flashbacks to last year's D/A which sucked majorly. Last year, I was throwing to a blind dog, but didn't know that, and couldn't figure out why we just kept getting worse and worse no matter how much we practiced. It was kind of a blow to my confidence and now I feel like I'm cursed in D/A. Also, even though my throwing has improved a ton and I can throw a lot further than last year, every time I step up to the line I feel the pressure to get really long throws and I think I try to just whip the disc out there and end up with zero form and discs that go off to the side or into the ground. Yuck. Add to that the time pressure and I am a wreck! I need to figure out a way to calm down in D/A and throw like I'm just throwing for fun! I wish all D/A was Catch 22. Lok's very first round of C-22 ever he did AMAZING, so I don't have the same feelings about that game and I've been able to do as well in competition as I do in practice.

Jun's freestyle went about as well as I could expect. She's not to the level yet where she can go without tugging for a minute and a half so she started sticking on discs pretty much right away. The moves we do have I couldn't get her to do. Plus it was hot, and she was getting lazy. But next year is Jun's year for freestyle, I can feel it! She's come a long way and I have faith she will continue to improve. I am finding though, that there are situations where it would be really nice to be able to give her verbal commands! It's tough to hand-signal with discs in my hands! So, I am learning to communicate with her via body language, and learning to be very consistent with the positioning of the discs and my body so she will know what I want from her. At the same time, I don't want it to be at all obvious that she is deaf--I want it to look smooth and effortless. It's interesting and challenging, but I am up to it, and so is she!

We met Matt DiAno from CO and his border collie Maggie. They are really cool and very nice, which is pretty much to be expected, since they are disc doggers after all! Matt and I threw for Jun and Maggie while we talked. Very cool! Can't wait for the next comp in July!!

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