Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Growing up

New pictures are forthcoming. I haven't really been in the mood to update.

Mugsy passed away on February 25th. My first dog, my companion and teacher for 12 years. We got 2 great months that we didn't think we'd have, and I was able to come to terms with her passing (as much as I ever could anyway). My sweet terrier girl... I can't even really speak about it yet. I will try to give her a tribute befitting such an amazing dog.

Since then, I've been going through the motions. Scorch and Wolfie keep me sane, of course, and the show must go on. I'm finally starting to feel normal again, although there are a million things to stress me out, what with my upcoming move and all that.

We started visiting the dog park this week. It's the first time back since losing Jack, and Scorch's first visit. He's done extraordinarily well, and we've made sure to go at fairly unpopulated times to avoid any problems. Wolfie is a bit of a butthead (since he learned some bad habits from Jack) but we're working on toning down his overbearing ways. On the very first trip, Wolfie plunged into the lake with great enthusiasm like he always does, and his little shadow happily ran in after him. But once Scorch got up to his chest, he looked down, shocked and confused at being wet. He ran out of the lake and shook himself off, but was back in within minutes. He's decided he likes wading, if not actually swimming.

Scorch and I have begun our formal obedience work. His foundation behaviors are strong, so we've begun to chain it all together. I am so proud of his focus, and his heelwork has gone so well. Stays are tough, more difficult for him than they were for Jack and Wolfie, but we've managed to add a fair amount of distance and time. He's also picking up on directional instructions, learning how to focus on what I'm pointing at and stare at an appropriate target. The toughest part is reining in his enthusiasm, but that's a problem I wanted to have. He LOVES to work, and I love to work with him. I've never had a dog understand behaviors so quickly, and he performs them with an enthusiasm that astounds me.

I have found my heart dog.

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