Saturday, October 15, 2005

Day 86

Saturday in Easton, MD. Outside to potty and back inside to eat. Her breakfast was ok and scarfed up in record time, since there was this other pan of food and a fool of a dog who wasn't attending to it. Oh how she wanted it and oh how sad she was when she wasn't allowed to have any of it.

Off to the motel lobby where there was a continental breakfast of sorts available. In the breakfast area was this very officious, rather prune sort of woman employee who when seeing us began to shout, "No dogs. No dogs in here. You have to leave at once. No dogs. No dogs. We don't allow dogs." She just kept chanting those words over and over again the entire time I was trying to explain just exactly what Sanity's status was. Finally, I ended up shouting louder that she was shouting that both Maryland and Federal law most definitely did allow this particular dog to be there.

She bustled off to get her manager to call the police or whatever. A bit later she came back, very quiet, with a very angry face and would not make eye contact at all. Humm...wonder just what she was told.

After that incident and a couple other not so pleasant encounters with others about a different topic, our day finally really got started. At first Sanity simply showed how good she could be by staying in her little bed next to my chair. As the morning wore on I found places where I needed her to demonstrate some point or another and she was right there, doing exactly what I needed. And then...

Came time for throw chain work. Miss Sanity had never seen much less experienced a throw chain. I had been saving that just for this Workshop. The distractions consisted of a catch pen full of live quail, a totally uninteresting toy AND a paper plate with two fresh off the grill hamburgers complete with melted cheese. She was totally wonderful and went from wanting to tease the quail and gobble down the hamburgers to not being interested in them at all. It was a good enough demonstration to encourage several Workshop attendees to get out there and give it a try with their dogs.

Next came the light line and throw chain work. Now to be fair to Sanity, I really don't think she is all that ready for that level of heeling work, but she was what was available as a demo dog, so work she did. Light line on, leash off, throw chain in hand with two in my pocket we started off. On one side of us was a long line of attendees and their dogs. On the other side of us was the pen of quail and the plate of hamburgers. By the fifth or sixth pass Sanity was trotting right along with me, neither forging or lagging and pretty much paying attention. No, she wasn't in a perfect heel position. She may be a super pup but she is still a pup. Even so, there were still the doubting thomases and the yes'but'ers who were still saying they would never throw a chain at their dog. Use an ecollar, yes. Throw a chain, no.

I took the chain choke collar and light line off Sanity. She was now totally naked. I gave her an "ok" release command, turned my back on her and walked away. I kept on talking but I was really just filling the air with noise since not one single person was paying a bit of attention to me. They were all mesmerized by what was happening with that loose, totally collarless 5 month old Doberman puppy out there in the middle of the floor with a wide open door to the great outside, a pen of live quail and a plate of hamburgers.

She slipped up to the quail pen and then slipped away without ever touching a thing. Then she stood around for a couple of minutes thinking. Next she headed for the plate. She stopped dead in her tracks when she was about 4 feet away and stuck out her neck as far as she could stretch it. Sniff, sniff. Stop. Move off. Approach for a different direction. Repeat over and over again until the plate had been circled twice. Move off. Look at the open door. Sniff, sniff. Nope, not interesting. Trot over, and join me by sitting in heel position. I never said a single word to her during the entire thing. Gad, I love this puppy.

After that, the rest of the day was sort of an after thought.

Evening and dinner found us in a Bob Evans since everything else was full. We were seated at a table across from a table that had three bratty 10 to 13 age boys with two adults who I assumed were their fathers. The boys had no better manners or sense than to get on the floor and start barking at Sanity. Sometimes I hate people. Sanity was just fine. She took my "under" command without a hitch, downed under the table and decided to watch me rather than the problem humans. Didn't anymore than get the boy problem settled than a 4 or 5 year old girl comes crawling down the aisle intend on reaching Sanity. I don't know, seems to me things are going downhill at a rather rapid rate. I don't remember it being quite this bad even 10 years ago.

Back in the motel, out to potty and run one last time and then off to bed.


  1. Sadly, I totally agree with you - things are going downhill rapidly. My generation (I'm 41) doesn't seem to have a clue how to raise children, for the most part. That's one of the reasons I'm sticking to dogs!

  2. I notice you mention having several throw chains with you. How many should we buy when gearing up for your classes?

  3. I have always liked to work with three throw chains. That gives a person, one to throw, one as backup and one on the ground waiting for the right time to be picked up.

    As far as I am concerned it is impossible to actually go out and buy a real throw chain anymore. They just don't make them. So you will need to go to the hardware store and buy about 8" of chain for each one plus two split rings to hold the two pieces of chain together. Two pieces? I guess I forgot to mention that you will cut the 8" piece into two 4" pieces. When you are finished the entire thing should weigh about 4 ozs.

  4. J and J has throw chains that look like what you describe:

    Will those do?

  5. Nope. The throw chains offered for sale these days are too light in weight and too large in size. Better to make your own in this case.