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learnings

Hey! So, to take a break from agility for like, 5 seconds… I’ve been teaching myself a language. And it’s completely impractical because it’s a language that like, 98% of people have never heard of, but some of my kids at school speak it and I think it’s really fun to be able to say little things to them in their own language and the more they teach me the more they open up to me so that’s really fun, plus I just find language fascinating. I find learning new sounds fascinating, and new letters, and new ways of pronouncing things. I find figuring out how to put words into sentences fascinating, and I love watching them teach me. One of the kids who’s in year 6 is becoming the most awesome teacher – he knows to speak nice and slowly and clearly when he’s teaching me new phrases so I can watch his mouth to get the sounds right and then he’s so stoked when I pick it up on the first or second try. I know how to call someone a dog as an insult, so that’s handy, and they’ve now told me how to tell someone to be quiet (which they then laughed and said it’s more like ‘shut up’. Yes, I have VERY easy-going relationships with my kids. I’m not strict AT ALL and that’s how I like it). I just taught myself a few ways of asking how they’re going (though, they told me the “cool” way of saying it already) so I’ll go in tomorrow and ask and see if they understand me or not, hahaha.

It’s difficult though because I’d like to continue learning, and actually work out how to make my own sentences rather than just getting sentences made for me, but I don’t know if I’ll be teaching there next year. I’m currently driving an hour each way to school and I love it there – I love the philosophy, I love the kids, the staff are cool, the Principal is great, we laugh in staff-meetings and have wine in the 1st grade room on Friday afternoons… but… I’m a teacher… one of the brilliant things about my job is my ability to work 5 or 10 minutes from home. Think what I could do with an extra 50 minutes a day!!! All the hiking I could do, maybe I could actually train Lumen sometimes! When we get another dog (in a couple of years) I could actually have time to train all 3! I could write books! I could actually do my own exercise, or go to a yoga class and not feel guilty because it’s a “one or the other” scenario (dogs or me). But it’ll be sad… I have such a nice little bunch of kid-friends at my school and I really have them trusting me… I don’t want to abandon them. And what if a different school is all strict? And what if they don’t like how I do things and they want me to do worksheets? And what if kids don’t walk around at yard duty chatting with you about things and teaching you how to count in another language? Sad times.

Speaking of learnings though (I can’t keep away from agility can I?) – Loki has his first seminar ever this weekend. A FULL WEEKEND OF AGILITY. His face is going to melt off. I can’t even… he’s going to explode by Sunday. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it. It’s OMD. It’ll be fun. I think I’ve mentioned it.

Lovely DW hits tonight. When we finished I took him for a walk around the paddock then we came back and worked on tight turns off the DW. Although he wasn’t targetting his target, he was hitting consistently every time, collecting up… so maybe it will all be ok.

And his weaves are nearly there. Entrances are BRILLIANT. I can hardly trick him with left entries now from what we’ve been doing (always work to do) and the middle poles are ALMOST closed. Oh, so close. I have them at an angle now as Silvia says in her DVD but as soon as I make them straight his little brain can’t compute. Not sure how to get to the next stage here apart from ‘keep trying!’. He can do the first 5, then misses 2, then does the last ones.. just those 4 in a row of straight poles are very hard for his brain. Maybe I just close one at a time instead of the 2 middle ones. That might be a better idea – then he’s still doing 3 closed poles in a row, then slightly closed. Yep. I’m going to do that. Thanks everyone for your input.

Everything else is super funtimes. A-frame/tunnel discriminations are good to go. Tunnel threadles are still a work in progress but usually ok. Bars without wings BAAADDDD NEWS but we’ll get there. Backside-y, wrapp-y jumps are looking lovely… did a sweet backlap to a far tunnel the other day… Oh here, have a video. Lots of learning going on!!!

Always the prettiest...

sunset photos

There was a beautiful golden light the other evening so I took some photos of the dogs but of course then they come out all yellow and weird so don’t look as pretty as in real life… except Mal, he is the most beautiful sunset dog ever. The sunsetty yellow just makes him all golden.

30days of Mal
30days of Mal

bend & go

Funny title given the talk about Lu not being able to bend well. This post isn’t even about that. It’s cos the trial was held in Bendigo. See.

Anyhoo. Here’s some video of our runs. I left out the Gamblers run because I spent nearly the whole allocated time trying to get her to weave all 12 damn poles and not pop out somewhere random, and I don’t have the video of the last jumping run which is perfectly ok too because I didn’t walk the course so threw in a blind but the timing didn’t work so she missed a bar. Or 5. I don’t remember. Doesn’t matter.

Bushwalking with dogs: RJ Hamer Forest Arboretum

 

Lu was obviously useless at looking the camera, and I couldn't say anything to get her attention or Loki would break his stay. She was hoping there was something she could run off and hunt.

Lu was obviously useless at looking the camera, and I couldn’t say anything to get her attention or Loki would break his stay.
She was hoping there was something she could run off and hunt.

So we love taking our dogs bushwalking all around Victoria, but I always find it challenging to find places to take them! So I’ll document our walks here and then if people are searching for places to go, hopefully this will help.

Where: RJ Hamer Forest Arboretum, Olinda

Difficulty/fitness required: Umm… Depends… if you just go along the Mathias Rd track, you’d need maybe 2/10… If you go off to either side, I’d say 8/10

Hilliness: Quite hilly

Leech-factor: Not that we encountered, however I wouldn’t put it past some of the muddier areas.

Animal/Wildlife factor: Low-Medium – I suspect there are rabbits around, and there are certainly signs of wombats, and there’s probably roos, too, but we only saw birds.

Interesting bits? Well, it’s quite interesting because it’s an arboretum, so there’s clumps of different kinds of trees that you go through/past, and so you get sort of different ‘atmospheres’ as you’re walking. Oh, and if you park at the main carpark off Chalet Rd, there’s a beautiful view across the arboretum and the hills.

Map: Oh, probably, I didn’t bother.

On/off lead? On, sadly.

 

 

I really wanted to go somewhere close to home this afternoon so I sucked up the onleashedness of this forest, clipped on my Urban Walkjoring belt (it’s just a regular belt), harnessed up the Lumen (must get a harness for Loki) and off we went. We parked off Silvan Rd because I wanted to avoid doing anything too hilly, and knew that if we parked on Chalet Rd, we’d be hit with a downhill (and therefore, eventual uphill) straight away. But in doing so, we found a cute little track off into some trees that went straight downhill, so we took it. We found ourselves wandering through different groves of trees, like the oak grove pictured above. There were cute little single-tracks through here that went down down down. I suspect eventually it looped along at the bottom of the hill and eventually worked its way back up but I chickened out before then because of my calf injury and the fact that I’m not supposed to walk up hill. Whoops.

So we worked out way back up and followed Mathias Rd along for a while, considered taking another side road but it, too, went downhill – that’ll have to be for another time. There’s plenty more exploring to be done in here before we move, I think, and will be good for our fitness to do that hill walking (once it doesn’t hurt to do so!).

This place would be really gorgeous in autumn when the leaves are changing.

 

That border collie is totally on leash....

That border collie is totally on leash….

dog of iron

Part of our “Let’s Play” class was to do some “Iron dog” tricks, to make sure they’re fit and strong enough to be able to run full speed.

What you’ll see below is the result of all Lu’s food play over the last few weeks as she obsessively wants to stand up on me because this is her new favourite trick, and the fact that she is now so intensely interested in the food that her brain is trying to explode a little. The whole sit pretty-stand-sit pretty bit where she’s basically just losing her shit is just her not being able to get her brain together to do the trick like I know she knows how to do. Bye bye thoughtful thinking dog!!

 

And look, she’s not Loki-like in her absolute frenzy of behaviours in the way that he is, but she’s so much more animated and keen than a month ago. It’s really cool.