Thursday, August 20, 2015

Kili and the SuperDogs

Kili just completed her first event with the SuperDogs in July. We did a 10 days stint at Edmonton's K-Days. Old man Summit got to come along and play a bit too!

It was definitely an interesting experience, and also an exhausting one. The cast and crew put on 3 shows a day at 2, 5 and 8 PM. It was long days for the dogs, and for the humans too! I was very pleased with how well she handled the new equipment, and also how she handled all the distractions. It would be unreasonable to expect her to not be distracted at all, but I found that it was quite manageable. She noticed the crowd the most during frisbee events where she would take a moment to look around after catching the disc instead of running straight back to me, but she hardly seemed to notice during agility events.

Kili in Close Encounters
Kili taking the long jump in Star Wars

Doing such a long stint I did uncover a few things that are good to know going forward, that I hadn't really considered going into this. The first is that we need a conditioning schedule leading into these shows. We don't routinely train this hard, this many days in a row, so it's helpful to work up to this level of activity. Of course, it would also help if I had another performance dog so they could each get some time off every few days... I suppose it's time to start thinking about another puppy! ;) The other thing I hadn't considered was that Kili isn't used to running on carpet every day, and so we are now working on tolerating Vetrap on our feet for future events.

Returning with the disc. Learning to wear Vetrap!
Back vault during Stunt Dogs
Kili participated in a couple of events. We had an event that we called Star Wars which was basically an agility challenge. This was a great event because there is only one dog on the floor the entire time. We also participated in an event we called Close Encounters which was a longest frisbee toss. There is only one dog loose at a time, but all the dogs in the event are present on the floor. I was super proud that Kili didn't visit another dog at any point when we did this event, though she would get really excited watching the other dogs chasing their discs. In the first few days we also did an event called Stunt Dogs where we showed off some of our freestyle disc moves, but we stopped doing this event later in the show as disc is hard on Kili physically and I wanted to make sure she didn't get hurt with all the extra work she was doing in other events. The last event we did was puissance - high jump. I am curious to see how high Kili can jump, but didn't want to push it too much since this was only her first time out. The highest she jumped in the shows was 7 bars, and in practice she was clearing 8 handily. The top of the jump is 9 bars, and then there's an extension that we can add to take it up to a total of 12 bars. I think 9 is more than reasonable in future, but I don't think I will jump her much higher than that.

Puissance - 4 bars, the lowest height Kili jumped in the show
Summit also came along every day and would go out for the sweet "love your dog" opening (Kili's ability to stay still is questionable) and also for Pat'n'Chat after the show. He really loved getting to go out and would get super bouncy. I just love my old boy!

Summit and I walking down the hallway to the stage entrance.
Summit and I having some quiet time on stage during opening.
Summit loves Pat'n'Chat!
So many treats!

Here's a video compilation of Kili's performances:

1 comment:

Janette Ash said...

How exciting. She looks beautiful, a real super star standing on that podium. Congratulations, it must have been so much fun. Memories in the making.