Monday, April 11, 2011

Weekend Off or Off Weekend?

It was a little disconcerting to have a whole weekend free. Nothing planned, no shows, not even a fun match.  I figured it was for the best all around to take a breather, though it didn’t come easy. I had to force myself to not go audit the seminar in town.  While it was great to get out with normal humans (I’d almost forgotten what The Boyfriend looked like!) in “real” life… I had a hard time just sitting at home relaxing. I’m not sure what that means! But as a result my weekend off felt a bit…off. Not very restful. Maybe I will do better next weekend. Or I will go crazy from a lack of structure and planned events.

You’d think that all this time off meant I would accomplish something amazing. Nope. Not really. Unless you count the feat of emptying my bank account on clothes as amazing.

But I did get to take the dogs for their first big walk of the year. I learned why everyone told me I was going to need a harness for The Pup. Turns out the BSs can’t seem to avoid choking themselves.  I can’t imagine how her larynx survived but I wasn’t going to take that chance twice.  Harness it is!
Dog saying "na na na! Can't catch me!"
We also accomplished an all-around training meltdown yesterday- both dogs, so it was probably entirely my mood. Guess I shouldn’t try and train when I feel off- way to go, Me!  First The Dog forgot the difference between a swing finish and going ‘behind’ (around me left to right). I could not get her to stop doing the swing finish.  We both melted into the carpet from frustration.  Then, I went to move The Pup into a smaller box for ‘4 feet in a Box’ and she too forgot what on earth I possibly wanted.  This happened even after 1) starting with the bigger box to refresh and 2) actually performing in the smaller box perfectly several times. I went to get some video for my online puppy class and all I got was five minutes of her rolling around on the ground and putting every body part possible into the box except her back feet.  We decided to stop training (since all we were learning was frustration) and watch Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets instead.

Somehow despite the extremely unfocused training over the weekend, we’ve made substantial progress with The Pup’s manners.  Meaning, they officially exist in real-life situations! "Stay" is developing rapidly. She actually will sit as long as it takes now for a release for her dinner, AND will sit and wait while I load the dishwasher! (She has crawled into it…a few times…to help perform the ‘pre-rinse cycle.’ Wouldn’t be so bad except for all the knives…) Plus, miracle of miracles, I can eat dinner without her jumping into my lap and knocking my food onto the floor. (Yup, that’s right, who needs tables? We eat like the true progeny of the sitcom generation…in front of the TV, laughing and spilling our food since we are too cool for TV trays.)  She will sit and beg from the floor like a good girl now.

This week since the weather is, I think, officially ‘nice’ (or as good as it will get for awhile) and we are getting into the busy show season I’m going to start organizing training time a bit more and step up conditioning. This weekend showed me that I apparently need a plan. No more dithering about haphazardly. The dogs both have things to focus on and it’s time to put some more thought into what I am doing with The Pup, especially. (Though I have to remember to work The Dog as much too...) The online class will help with this some (we have a LOT of homework for the next two weeks!) but it’s time to buckle down I think. So for today a PLAN: The Dog gets to work on threading through jump traps and some recall starts past jumps (for Snookers!), and The Pup can do some one jump clicks, learning a paw touch to a target and begin ‘sit-up’ and ‘back up.’  Probably some toy reinforcement too. Then we can all go for a long walk and test out that harness.
"The Dog's tail is MINE on the next walk..."
AND with the start of this week it means we are officially on the FINAL WEEK of THE REGIME! Woo hoo! You would not believe how badly I want a pizza. So badly that I almost snatched some kid’s slice right off his plate at the mall.  After this week the maintenance plan is to return to the gym for group fitness classes, hike with the doggies, and continue with the healthy meals from THE REGIME- except for one day a week. That magical day will be the day we turn a blind eye to nutrition and eat WHATEVER WE WANT. I think that most weeks, that will include pizza.  

Lastly- BEHOLD! The Dog and The Pup... in a picture together... actually sitting on purpose NEXT to each other!! And neither is blurry from moving at ALL! Come to think of it, maybe we DID accomplish something amazing. 

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