Monday, August 29, 2011

We Are Not Amused

This could be the theme for the last week.   

I feel like the dogs have been being grumpy teenagers, with lots of attitude and eye rolling going on.

Or maybe one teen and one toddler. Guess who is which.

So first, yeah yeah, it was hot last Tuesday; I probably shouldn’t have bothered with class. The Dog and I don’t do hot.  We two were a couple of sullen teen-like creatures, whining heavily and blowing raspberries at anyone who tried telling us what to do- including each other.

Not a great practice. I tried leaving Mr. Ball at the sidelines while we ran- which has been fine by her lately- but all of a sudden she was unable to focus for more than a few obstacles before she would start gravitating to where the ball was, eventually just ejecting herself from the exercise to go sit by him stubbornly.

Eh, like I said: it was hot. I did the same thing with the ice cream bars someone brought.
But then magic nice temperatures came back for the following day and we had a lovely toyless practice where The Dog WORKED FOR FOOD.  She hasn’t done this in years.   I don’t know why she will now all of sudden.  And let’s just clarify that she was running BETTER than normal Practice Dog. For food.

Then The Pup played contacts and decided the Aframe was super cool at the new high height so why not ‘Superman-it’ just a little. Not amused, Pup, not amused. No Marvin mouth to mouth for you on those reps!
After this we decided to let the lessons from practice stew a little and have Fun Dog Be Dog time. Phase one involved merry bone chewing, a nice activity which entertains doggies independently so that I may watch multiple Doctor Who marathons.   

Ok, so not so merry.  Phase one of Phase one starts out merry…

And quickly degenerates into rampant bullying and unnecessary shows of power via hoarding…

Then culminates in a super whiney whine fest from the victim, who is not amused, though The Dog was pretty dang happy with herself.  

The Pup just lies there poking her feet at The Dog, whining one long continuous whine.  Even though her original bone lies just inches away, untouched.  Eyeroll. Wait, what did the Doctor just say? 

So we had to try Phase Two- a nice walk in the pretty day. 

The Dog’s rule is that she MUST have a toy on a walk, or walks do not happen.  Considering this is HER rule and not mine, it falls to her to carry the toy.  The Dog, it seemed, had overexerted herself in her fits of bullying earlier and was being careless with her toy-carrying duties.  I can’t handle two flexis (one of which is attached to The Pup, let’s remember) AND Wobbly Nobbly (the toy) so my solution was to attach it to The Dog to give her mouth a rest. 

She was not amused. 

However, I was.  She seemed determined to ‘carry it’ anyways, but since it was attached to her she was crab walking all over the path.  She eventually looked at me like, WTF? as she had ended up in some bushes and not somewhere straight down the path, where she evidently had thought she was headed. 

The Pup was also amused.  By the way, look at the gianty tongue on this animal:

I swear, it came with some super Staffy expansion mode. It just doesn’t look this gianty when she’s behaving like a BC, only at Terrier times.

I’d say at this point we were all annoyed with Dog Being Dog time (SO many eyerolls) and wanted some Dog Being Awesome Practice time.  The Pup had definitely stewed enough; while she wasn’t really in jump mode that day, she sure was in contact mode.   She decided she was cool with the full size Aframe and Teeter, and that they were fun enough on their own without adding fly-offs and fly-overs.  I’m really happy with her Aframe. I do need to continue with a target out as she does love a good curl in to me, but all the dogwalk work has obviously carried over; she goes up and over and all the way down.  I swear it just doesn’t occur to her to leap… YAY!

And her teeter is exactly what I envisioned. I am proud of me for training something properly.  Sometimes I do a bit of corner cutting or mind changing and I won’t say I always give every obstacle or behavior the tender loving attention it needs at the foundation level.  But I think we did ok with the ‘4on’ teeter.

I think her dogwalk is looking better each time too. She seems to have cut one stride out, which means that confidence is coming up.  I’d like to see her permanently lose one more on the down side; we’ll see what happens as she opens up her stride even more though.  I’m still letting her work it out.  The important thing is that she is still doing well with running and again, doesn’t even seem to think about leaping off.

Goodness though, I REALLY need to go back and work through LM’s jumping program from ground up now.  It’s clear she just needs value building on jumps.  Food equals love all the way with this girl.
The Dog had an exceptional practice over the weekend too.  We practiced whole Standard courses and she was an angel.  We tried putting the dogwalk in every imaginable sequence and she was awesome on nearly everything.  We stuck in one with a turn back into a tunnel and she did it really well.  Unfortunately, she expected it for the next rep and dove off from the blue into the tunnel when I hadn’t planned for her to take it.  Then the one after that was ‘careful’ (I won’t call it sticky, but she hitched her stride down a notch).  But after that back to normal.  I’m feeling a lot better on her figuring that dang thing out.  Most of her reps are very nice (low, not leapy); the only time we run into trouble is if she doesn’t really run- that’s when her head comes up. I’m trying to help by running fast too, but sometimes the whole ‘me ahead’ thing hurts more than helps.   But at least we’ve moved on from the crutch of a toy.  Baby. Steps.
Oh yeah, The Pup ate one of my shirts.
Not amusing. Not at all. It was a PINK one! 

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