Thursday, October 20, 2005

Day 91

Sanity has a good buddy. His name is Zeus and he is a big black Doberman who is actually not all that much older. But at 11 months he still towers over her and for whatever reason they have a special relationship. He is the one responsible for helping keep her in line those times when she might otherwise spin wildly out of control in the emotions department. Today was one of those days where the two of them were tag-teaming just about everyone.

First they got themselves in trouble for tag-teaming the poor German Shepherd who is always at the bottom of the pack. Then came the biggie. One of the trainers who comes here on Thursdays for additional instruction was I think working on the retrieve with one of his dogs. I say, think, because I didn't actually see what he had started to do. All I saw was the finish, so to speak. His dumbbell was laying on the other side of a jump. He was doing something with his dog when Sanity sailed up and swiped said dumbbell. Since I am so close to a pickup from the ground, there was no way I was going to do anything other than call her to me with lots of praise. And so I did.

I then gave the dumbbell back and watched it be replaced at about the same place it was when Sanity stole it. Meanwhile Zeus had been hovering around in the background carefully watching what was going on. Once the area around the dumbbell was clear of all humans, he swooped in and grabbed the dumbbell and then lacking any instruction headed for the mulch pile at the back of the yard. Sanity took off after him and I called him. Both of them came running and Zeus proudly presented the dumbbell to me when I requested it. Naturally I praised him and then returned it to its rightful owner, who once more put it back on the ground in the same place as before.

Before I could so much as suck in a breath of air, Sanity was there grabbing said dumbbell and proudly bringing it to me. Need I say that once again I praised her and then handed off the dumbbell in question. The session ended at that point and now in retrospect I wonder what the three most active participants learned. No, that's not entirely true, because I have a good idea as to what the two Dobermans learned and it is something I will take full advantage of in the coming days.

Since I wasn't scheduled to teach the early class this evening, I used a chunk of the time to work with Sanity on the retrieve. Sure enough by the time I was ready to quit she was picking the dumbbell up from the floor with a single fetch command. Over the next few days I will remove my hand from the picture all together and begin to build speed and distance until I have a 6 foot retrieve going. And then the real fun will begin.

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