Thursday, September 08, 2005

Day 48

Day 48
Started right off with a lesson first thing this morning.  It’s interesting to see just how similar the training of the very young and the very old is when you are actually working with one of each.  Sanity at 4 months is doing the demonstrations and the student’s dog is, we think about 12 years old.  That’s what I said, 12 YEARS.  Pinky is this little Lhasa’s name and her story is an interesting one.  Her first owner must have loved her dearly and spent quite a bit of time teaching her all sorts of things.  Sadly, that owner is now in a nursing home and will most likely leave it in a body bag.  The adult son who is responsible now has neither time nor interest in Pinky.  He simply tossed the old girl away like so much garbage.  Lucky for her a shelter worker took a shine to her and kept her sort of “hidden” when her time was up.  Then along came her new owner-to-be.  She has never owned a dog before and decided that the first dog needed to be older and not very big.  Seems Pinky fits the bill in both areas and so Pinky found a new home.  

I was the next item on the shopping list of things to do when getting a dog.  Well not me specifically but definitely a trainer.  We talked.  She liked what I had to say and I liked what she was doing and planning on doing, and so a lesson plan was developed that would hopefully bring the two into a gentle conversation about life, the universe and everything.  This is where Sanity is proving to be able to earn her keep, so to speak and at such a young age.  See, old girl Pinky tires very quickly and needs some extra time to process each command.  Sanity tires very quickly and needs some extra time to process each command.  Because of the fatigue factor and the time to figure it out factor, they are helping each other move ahead toward very different and yet similar goals.  When I see Sanity signaling to me that she is tired, we all take a rest and Pinky says “thank you”.

What we are discovering is that Pinky not only already knows all the standard commands but she also has a rather impressive list of tricks and loves to play retrieve.  Sometimes it is hard to believe she is as old as the records indicate.  Sanity seems to understand that Pinky is really not up to dealing with puppy silliness and so has modified her behavior to be that of a very serious, and somewhat pompous pup.

After the lesson Sanity went off to play with Leda and by mid-afternoon was completely played out.  Other than a short retrieve session the rest of the day was a very quiet one.

1 comment:

  1. I was just catching up after posting about your book and your blog on my LJ (which I didn't link because it's private, but I'd happily give you access). Noticed this entry sounds a lot like an 11 year old Schnoodle I know. ;)