Thursday, February 02, 2006

Day 196

Ground Hog day and for sure that ground hog saw a major shadow, then again no matter how you look at the calendar it is six more weeks of winter. UGH!

I had a consultation to do this morning with a dog that was being called a BoxerXLab mix. HA! I know exactly what I think the dog really was and it was sure no surprise to learn that it is dog aggressive. Sanity was great. I did have to give her a pretty stern reminder that when I said she was to stay in her bed in the hallway, that was exactly what she was to do.

The dog was just sufficiently interested in her that I opted to not have her jump the baby gate when I called her into the room. Not only that, but I carefully positioned my chair so that my hand signal pretty much blocked her from making any wrong choices. She hopped right up on the love seat and did an immediate and very graceful down. She remained in place without even a tiny bit of fidgeting for the rest of the consultation, a period of about 45 additional minutes. During this time I took the ecollar off so the client and I could "play" with it. A bit later I put the ecollar back on her, took it off again, took her slip collar off and had her there naked for a time and then finally just before the consult was over put everything back on her.

I think it is so interesting what people find impressive. This client appeared to be mega-impressed with just watching this 9 month old puppy behaving like a reasonable dog. The other thing that seemed to really impress him was that his dog settled down and started being reasonable in very rapid order. When Sanity came into the room and again when I took both collars off her the "Mystery Dog" initially jumped up and started to posture. In both cases, Sanity was totally Joe or should I say Jane Cool? She maintained her position of superiority on that love seat and looked down her rather long nose at him. Both times he just sort of deflated and went back to a down. She really does show so much promise as my next assistant.

Now before I get myself in any more trouble with my "other self" I am going out to do some scent work. Yes, it really is warm enough for us to get in another day of outside work.

Yep, managed to get in all of two simple finds and then had to stop. That's what I get for doing the "put it off for later" stuff.

Went to class and since Diane was teaching the first class and I was teaching the Open class that followed there was no choice but to schlepp the scooter along. I do confess it does make it easier for me to keep up and still teach. About Sanity, she is getting better and better about staying with the scooter. In truth, she handles it much better than I do. Her stays were just fine even though she had to sit or lie there and watch me ever so slowly back up to end in heel position beside her. The group heeling went pretty well, I just wish the scooter had a faster upper speed. Then we started developing a new "game". It is loosely based on baseball and makes use of 5 small training tables to act as the pitchers mound, home plate and all the bases. Once we get all the kinks out of it and some rules in place I will share it.

As it stands right now it was barely controlled chaos and the dogs loved ever single minute of it. The goal is to help everyone do a better job of teaching the "place" command.

Then the open class followed and one thing I am starting to notice is that this current phase of Sanity's, while on the one hand causing her to want to argue with me about every single job, at the same time she wants to stay close and keeps a serious eye on me at all times when we are out and about. So the struggle rages: Stay? Go? Lead? Follow? In the end, I know that she will vote to stay, meanwhile it is interesting to watch her internal struggle.

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