I just did two things that I had totally sworn off doing. I entered a USDAA show. On turf.
Yes I feel like a hiprocrite, but what can you do. I feel more comfortable entering USDAA now that 20" performance is an option for Panic. Every venue has it's issues of course, but USDAA was really pissing me off for awhile so it was good for me to take an extended break from it. I literally do not remember our last USDAA trial, but I'm pretty sure it was back in 2013.
Turf-wise, this facility has very nice, new, rubber infill turf, which is much different than the more common carpet turf that prompted me to swear off the stuff altogether. I have a new secret traction weapon as well--rosin. It's pretty commonly used as traction on basketball shoes and drag racing tires (damn) so I hope it serves Panic well. It also happens to be frequently used for printmaking, so I've been using the stuff all summer and have easy access to some.
Who knows, I might end that weekend frustrated at myself for trying to run on turf/do USDAA again. I hope not.
I genuinely feel as though not doing agility has had a noticable impact on my relationship with Panic. While we still do a lot of stuff together--training, hiking, walking, playing--I don't feel like there is any substitute for the intensity and teamwork involved in agility. I wanted to bite the bullet and enter at least one show this summer, and it'll be after I get home so we'll also have a week to go play at our dirt and grass facility. I think it'll be really good for both of us.
I've been taking Panic on long leash walks this week which I think has been helping him. Such an obvious thing to do, but historically I just don't take Panic for very many walks. He goes for runs with me, I take him hiking or to parks to run in fields, just not long neighborhood walks. But they seem to be good for him here--much better than going to crowded parks at least. Lots and lots of sniffing which is A++ stress relief.
Crazy to think my summer in Chicago is coming to a close so quickly.