Monday, July 25, 2011

Dog Days of Summer

What a nice, lazy weekend.

I’m really glad I signed us up for some weekends off this year.  While the trade off is probably going to be not finished her Silver ADCH this season, it wasn’t technically a goal so… not a loser?

We did a smidge of agility training on Saturday at a fun match.  I went to see about getting The Dog on foreign dogwalks, but unfortunately the course was pretty dense. She had a few that she tried to run but then a few that went one way or another because of the compression.  Ran out and did a few at home after and those were perfect.  I think we just need to keep plugging away at Project Make Contact with Contacts.

Besides the dogwalk, she did very well. The flooring was interesting. I love watching her acclimate to various flooring types. It’s a superpower of hers for sure.  I had her run 24” for one of our runs and she was pretty marvelous.  While we try not to make a habit of over-jumping, it really helps me with timing.  I can’t get away with things I get away with at 20” or even 22” so it keeps me an Honest Leader I suppose. 
But aside from those 6 minutes or so of warm-up and practice runs, we were really very lazy training wise.  The Pup did a few tunnels and started some work on ‘front.’ Other than that we all generally felt that our time would be better spent playing with our collection of brightly colored spikey balls and watching cooking shows.  And eating Tres Leches cake. So. Much. Tres Leches cake.

Yesterday though, we did have an adventure.  Seemed that if we weren’t going to use our time for training then the best thing to do would be letting dogs be dogs. What better place to do that then at a dog park?

Turns out, there is an amazing dog park that puts all other dog parks to shame right down the road from me (thanks to our friend for pointing out what should have been obvious since I drive by it every day!).  Not only does it have a huge field to run and play in, but there are tons of trails for hiking.  And it was all fenced, so no worry about certain Pups running away never to be seen again (ok, minimal worry). 

So off we went to the park. I was extremely nervous when it came to letting The Pup run free, but she nearly asphyxiated trying to chase The Dog while on leash as we were walking through.  I let her off in the open field and let the girls chase the ball a bit. And The Pup didn’t run away! Even when she got the ball, she stuck around.  Even when other dogs came into the equation! And people!  Shocking.  More shocking still- she even kind of came when I called her.

When we continued on our tromp through the woods, I crossed my fingers and let her run free. She was so good! She stuck around, checked in, and moved along when we encountered other groups.  I’m pretty sure she was just following the excellent lead of The Dog, but I’ll take it! Whatever it is that means I don’t lose my little Alice Puppy down a rabbit hole is good enough for me.

At one point, we came to a muddy path that I tried to avoid by picking through the woods next to it.  In that time I lost all view of the dogs and was about to freak out a little since I knew there were lots of other dogs close by.  As I jogged out of the woods, I still couldn’t see the dogs, but I saw the lake.  Apparently, so did The Dog.  All of a sudden, there she was. Floating in the middle of it with her ball. I guess she has really missed swimming! She refused to come out until she was relatively sure I would be playing along, but I was more than happy to oblige her a few throws.  What an adorable River Rat she is.

Oh, and you’ve all heard the myths about Border Staffies and water, right? I can say now, having seen it with my own eyes, that the legends are true: Border Staffy plus body of water equals magical transformation into an otter or similar sea creature!  I didn’t have to coax, bribe or otherwise cajole her; The Pup took one look at The Dog in the lake and dove in after her. Zero hesitation.  If I would have blinked, I would have missed it! Next thing I registered was that she was swimming like she’d done it every day of her life.  This, from the dog that screams in pain at the sight of a bath or hose down.  Eyeroll.

Baby's first swim! 
River Rat and Sea Otter!
So that was our adventure. Really glad to have found the little lake so now we FINALLY have a place to swim close by!  Gotta love these results:

1 comment:

  1. Yup - Sea Otters in their genes, no doubt about it. Just wait till she finds a rock or a place to launch herself into the water from. You'll have a flying water monkey ;-)