So I’m trying to be all chill and cruisy with this pup and take an ‘everything’s going to be ok, don’t worry’ kind of attitude… but who am I kidding, right? I don’t operate like that!
Loki and I have been doing lots of playing- we play inside, in the yard, on our walk this morning, at a soccer field with kids playing soccer nearby and a busy road, outside a supermarket. These places are all pretty good. Once Lu is around and has a toy though, forget about it. Boy, he loves her. He loves keep-away with her, he loves trying to get the toy off her while she just stands rock still holding on to it, he just thinks she’s fantastic. I’ve really kept their play to a minimum today – I don’t want her to be the awesome one, that’s my role! I don’t want to go on a hike and for him to follow her bad example because he loves her so much. I can get him to play when she’s just standing there being boring, but I don’t feel like we’re ‘in sync’ yet in our play. I feel like, if anything, he’s getting distracted easier now than he was when we first got him, and is less keen than he was. Uhggghhh – what am I doing wrong? I’m trying different ways of playing- when he has the toy in his mouth, moving it slower, or faster, with more shakes or less shakes, pushing him, or being more gentle, keeping it still like Lu does, or running around with him. Nothing necessarily seems to ‘hit the mark’. He seems to like being pushed back, but I’m not sure where to go from there. And he probably is thinking that I’m a real weirdo who doesn’t know how to play properly (even though I’m trying to copy what Lu does, cos obviously she’s pretty fun) and so he’d rather play with someone who speaks his language. I’m trying not to get all stressy and put pressure on and just have a good time because maybe we’re just trying to find our groove, but given my problems with getting Lu to play, it’s hard not to.
So maybe for the next few weeks I need to not let them have many opportunities to play, until he’s a bit more bonded with me instead?
Still no luck with any kind of puppy retrieve – either with tugging and then me running off, or me throwing the toy and running off. He’s actually started to grab the toy and almost initiate a keep-away game. Not sure what to do about this. Very tired. Thinking of having a day off tomorrow… being grumpy at kids all day for having snotty noses and telling me stupid stories isn’t that fun so I might take a day to recharge and not yell at them for no reason.
Meanwhile, Lu is having a wonderful agility break and I don’t feel concerned about it at all. We’ve been doing some weaves every now and then but I don’t think she’s done any jumps in over a week, I haven’t done any RC in about 3 weeks, and… I don’t actually mind… That driving urgency to get her trained and perfect just isn’t there. I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Probably good for her – less pressure, less training, more ‘time off’… But I’m considering whether to enter her in her first trial in April – just jumping – but I’m not sure. The girl can sequence, can do all obstacles except the cloth/chute tunnel… why not? It’ll only be 2 runs for the day, could be a nice introduction… But that means I should probably do a bit of training, or tunnel games or something.
Loki has his first all-day vet socialisation visit tomorrow, and then on Thursday he’s spending half the day at school with me, and the other half with a friend Liz, who will be looking after Mal, and has a little terrier called Piper. Should be a good few days.