Saturday, August 15, 2009
So Many Updates, So Little Time!
Ah, there is so much to write and so little time!
Not surprising, I've been spending quite a bit of time with the dogs, and especially client dogs, lately.
First there is Buddy (1st picture) who will be going for his Delta Certification at the end of the month. We're brushing up on some basic skills and I have to admit, I really look forward to time with Buddy in his work environment which is at a very nice local retirement community. Buddy is such a sweet dog and he is so good at what he does!
Next is Thor. Thor and his owners are amazing and of course another client I just love to work with! When we first started, Thor lacked confidence and tested his owner's patience with his constant alarm barking. We've worked hard to give Thor an alternate job and his owners have been incredibly dedicated to his work plan. The picture of Thor is of us (his Mom and me) working him at the entrance of Costco where shopping carts, kids, car noises, the auto department and much more, were the backdrop to strengthening his new skills & behaviors.
The last picture is of another one of my favorite clients, Jake. I just love Jakey and his family and feel blessed to have been able to spend so much quality time with them.
Jake is an amazing family dog who is incredible with the kids and is generally very easy going. However, he's somehow gotten the impression that it is his responsibility to chase away the neighboring dogs and to oversee the outdoor action around his home.
We've worked hard to desensitize Jakey to other dogs while out on a walk in the neighborhood and had reached a point where their 8 year old daughter could handle him on the family walks.
However, Jake's main issue is that he is overly enthralled with the neighbor's newer puppy and feels it's his job to oversee this little guy in a way that's not so positive. What doesn't help the situation is the neighbors allow their pup to hangout without a leash on. It's really a no win situation for either side so it's my job to help Jakey be successful in an unfair world
Another client dog whose picture is not attached, that I've been working is Zoom. Today I ran him at an Agility Trial in Novice JWW. He's such a great dog and has such a happy-go-lucky attitude.
Last, but certainly not least are my own dogs.
Pinky, my older Dalmatian, is aging gracefully and I feel so lucky to have had the time and experiences I've had with her. She is my once in a life-time dog and is my heart and soul. To have spent the last 13.5 years with her is such a blessing and every day beyond today is additional time I never thought I'd have. She is my opportunity to be thankful for what I have in this moment and to appreciate the here and now.
Spot, my older Border Collie is as wonderful as can be and has matured so nicely. Having the younger dogs around has given him a sense of maturity, although he still hasn't lost his playfulness. it's a nice balance that I can't imagine I'll ever find in any of my pups again.
Burton is as loving as always and is such a goofy dork! Dan is really appreciating him more and more as he matures and is feeling that Burton is now ready for some serious Hunt Test and Agility Training. In other words, he and Dan have matured enough together to make the leap into team sports
Rouge is a very funny girl and is so full of herself! She is so confident, loving and athletic. It's a rare and unique mixture that I just love! My first goal is to get her finished in Conformation and to really work on basics in Agility. I have to admit, that I have not been very good about working the middle steps with her or my last pup for that matter. Bad me, bad handler, but unfortunately a common occurrence in Agility. Hey, at least I'm human
Zulu has been having a ton of experiences and I'm so impressed with how this little guy has been handling things. This past week he accompanied me to a retirement community and was as mellow and loving as a 10 year old pro. He also came along with Dan and I to the Agility Trial today and took all of the people, dogs and exciting environment all in stride. Later we went for a walk on an open trail and actively worked his recalls. It seems cheese is his new best friend and he is so excited to receive that reward!
It's always amazing to me just how much we interact with our dogs and communicate with them on the most basic levels. Yet most of the time we don't even recognize it. That's one of the reasons I love writing this blog - it makes me aware of the little things.