Monday, July 25, 2011

Getting back to work

Sometimes life throws curveballs at you and your dog, and you have to learn to roll with it.

I've been pretty shaken up by the attack on Scorch, but he seems to have recovered well and taken the whole thing in stride. There's something to be learned there. If my little border collie can be brave and move on with his life after a terrible bite from another dog, maybe I can learn to not overreact to things so much...

...yeah, right. I'll let you know how that goes.

On a brighter note, we got the ok to return to training. Scorch limped for one day, had a minor hitch in his step on day two, and by day three he could not understand why he wasn't allowed to romp and play. During that time, Animal Control continued to investigate until they found the owner and fined him heavily. The owner's father also reimbursed me for my vet bills. So there was a happy ending at least.

I'm starting to realize how stellar Scorch's drop on recall has become... and that I really need to work on EVERYTHING as hard as we've worked on that. I'm also trying to "take it on the road" more, but for now, I feel pretty good about it. His heeling has improved somewhat, but when he's excited and anxious, he reverts to his forge-y ways. Gee, excited and anxious, that NEVER happens at a show... -_-

I'm doing better at staying in a straight line and I think that's part of the reason Scorch's heeling has shown an improvement. Heeling works when the dog isn't afraid of being stepped on or bumped.

His broad jump is the fastest thing I've ever seen. I need to get a video of it. He jumps long and low; there's no little "hop" that I see most other dogs do. He flies over it in a way that looks like it's part of his normal stride. Right now, we're mostly working on jumping straight straight straight. I don't know if there's muscle memory involved but since Scorch is the King Anticipator, I've only asked for a front a couple of times. Everything else has been a straight jump for a toy toss.

Speaking of videos, I have an 8 week old Golden puppy living with me right now (he's not mine, he's from work!). We've had to have several incarnations of baby-gate containment because he's very determined to escape. Here is a video of his early efforts:

Note the carpet has some (cleaned) wet spots. He was baby-gated and had finally stopped crying. I was so proud, until I realized he was quietly waiting for me to emerge from the bedroom and play with him. Of course during that time, there were some accidents, but he was actually pretty good considering.

Norman's head is about to explode from all the dogs that have been coming in. Hopefully we'll be back down to 3 for a while... God, I remember when I thought 3 was a lot of dog!

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