Thursday, June 22, 2006

Pat your head and rub your tummy

I am a klutz. I have always been a klutz. Back in the olden days, when I was a kid, we walked to school. When I was in third grade, my mother wouldn't leave for work until she'd heard from the school nurse what damage I'd done that day on the four blocks between home and school.

Fortunately, it's never particularly bothered me that I can't walk and chew gum. I know that, with sufficient practice, I can master most complicated maneuvers, like the aforementioned walking and chewing gum.

So, with this little brain/body disconnection, I decide on dog obedience for a hobby. Instead of something nice and sedentary like coin collecting. I worked on the "figure 8" exercise pacing by using a metronome. I practiced about-turns, left turns and right turns, without my dog, forever. If you've ever done any "heeling," you know it bears very little resemblance to walking, so I practice heeling. And since I have a tiny, little dog, I practice using a short stride with a brisk pace.

What is all this leading to? Our club has decided to incorporate some moves from Rally Obedience into our classes. Which means learning a whole new set of moves. Huge fun! Some of the people in my Open level class have already competed in Rally. They know me by now. First they show me the exercise, as they explain it. Then they do it with me, side-by-side, until I get it right.

Of course, Roc is smart enough to heel very, very wide until I've got the footwork mastered. Not that I've every stomped on the boy, but he knows it's entirely possible.

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