Monday, January 16, 2006

Day 179

This is the super quiet time of the year for me. Very few students, very few boarders and few, if any board and train dogs in the house. Sanity is filing her protest in every way she can. There is just not enough activity to suit her taste. By the time Rosie got here at a little after 9 Sanity was about to crawl out of her skin or maybe it was that I was about to skin her. Not sure which.

Rosie came through that gate and the two of them were off. Around and around and around the yard, spinning in and out between the trees then around them. First one in the lead and then the other. Eventually, Rosie got tired and wanted to quit and rest. In order to do that she had to resort to hiding on the porch. With the loss of Rosie as a playmate Sanity tried baiting poor Annabelle, who flat refused to do anything other than be a "hole dweller" and threaten to rip Sanity's face off if given a chance. Course that didn't happen, first because Sanity is way too fast and second because I threatened to skin her if she didn't stop worrying poor Annabelle.

Then came the Newfies. Thank goodness! First she annoys them enough to get them to chase her. The chase lasts until first one then the other tire of the game. After that, Leo pretty much either just stands still or lumbers along with this (in)Sane creature leaping over him, dashing around him and in some cases managing to somehow shoot under him only to then turn and jump over him. I will have to say, that based on his responses he actually seems to like what she is doing. Dogs sure can be strange sometimes. Callie, on the other hand, tolerates it for all of about 3 seconds and then gives her an ugly face that makes clear the fact that she has worn out her welcome. The ugly face triggers a bow, a grovel and Sanity is off to pester someone else.

I actually took several pictures. This is what most of them looked like. I call it "The Blur". Shoot, by the time I pushed the button and the shutter clicked she was totally out of the picture and because they were in chase mode, so were the Newfies. After completely wearing out every dog on the property and complaining about being bored for a time, she was ready to work. Would I work her before that super-heated steam was released? No way! It would be a total waste of time and I don't have the energy to waste on something that foolish.

I did discover that I must go back and rework the stand. I have been so fixated on the retrieve that I have pretty much let a lot of things slide. Seems the stand she had has withered away from lack of tending. So back to the beginning I must go with it.

The evening class was just the right place to test her dumbbell retrieve. She managed 3 25 foot retrieves of the dumbbell right into the faces of Wrap, Molly and Lightning. Didn't even so much as "blink" at the prospect of having to run straight at them and take that dumbbell. I sort of got the impression that after the challenge of figuring out how to retrieve all the different objects I keep on hitting her with, the dumbbell retrieves are now play.

Funny thing, play. I never was very good at just playing with my dogs and that has become more and more apparent as the years roll by. So the last thing I did at the end of class was to pull out a "retrieve/tug toy" and try to reward her with some play. All I can say is that lasted for all of about 5 seconds and then it became a working retrieve, much to the amusement of my students. I overheard one of them saying, "well, so much for the play idea."

1 comment:

  1. I don't play with my shelties as much as they would like either; they will fetch a toy thrown down the hall for hours if I will let them, or at least it feels like hours. In reality after about five minutes I'm bored to death, and that's the end of that. I just don't do repetition well, I guess.