dogwalk thoughts & a bit of an adventure

So, some more dogwalk today. I count this as session #2 of “get Lu’s dogwalk back to where it was” since our training has been fairly hit and miss so far with different dogwalks in different places, her worry about coming off the side, breaks here and there, etc etc. Basically, at the moment, she’s giving me probably 5-6 short strides all the way along- pretty consistent striding but nothing like the 4/3.5 stride DW she was doing before the surgery. On one hand this makes me sad and worried. Sad because her 4/3.5 stride DW was freaking amazing.  Worried because, well, it’s something to fix, right? On the other hand, she always hits. Pretty much every time. I think of our entire session today she had  NR once, but her toes were probably still in. So, I’m trying to not worry. I’m trying to be all: “It’s cool, she still hits, and with consistent training and a consistent setup she’ll be back to where she was before in no time, oh, and by the way, remember to do some hill sprints with her please.” but it’s hard, because I want it NOW. I want to be able to take her to club and say WALK ON! And for her to go BAM – 3.5 strides! And for it to be all party times. At the same time, what she’s giving me where we train is so much better than the weird upramp shit she gave me at club the other day, so that’s something to be pleased with.

 

So… that’s that.

Today we went up to Tallarook. It was meant to just be a short visit because we’re trying to get the house ready for photos to be taken for it to be up for sale, but we ended up leaving at 10 and not getting home till 4. Whoops. The puppy had a great time. I’ve seriously never seen such a young dog be so coordinated (I think I’ve said that before), and so fearless. It’s truly a terrifying combination. “LOKI, STOP RUNNING ALONG THAT VERY NARROW AND HIGH LOG!” “LOKI, JUST BECAUSE LU CAN HOP-SKIP-AND-JUMP THOSE TREE BRANCHES DOESN’T MEAN…oh, yes you can. Never mind”. And, “No, you can’t get onto that log it’s too hi— oh, well… good job, you did it.” Lu was actually really well behaved- possibly all the dirt bikes had scared all the roos away but she didn’t run off obnoxiously once! Hurrah! Loki ate lots of wombat poo and picked up lots of sticks as he got tired, Mal trundled along and ate poo, too (to which I said: “dude! How old are you!? Surely you know this by now! You don’t eat poo!” and Lu of course thought it was wonderful to be ‘in charge’ of her little friend. Gosh she adores him. I have to be really careful with them outside because they just want to run and run and run and run, but our backyard isn’t great for puppies to be running, so they’re only allowed outside separately from each other. But inside it’s wrestly times, especially over the cow-hoof. And here was Lu when he first arrived being so resource-guardy, and yet their favourite thing to play with inside is a highly coveted edible object. How’s that for a turn around?

Have some pictures.

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spectacular

Yesterday, we had unseasonably cold weather for mid-summer (from about 13-20C, which is about 55-68F, for those of you playing along at home), so I did a quick google on what snakes get up to when it’s cold, cloudy and rainy, and the internet helpfully told me they don’t do much. One website basically said: “why would a snake bother!?”. Initially I was thinking of just taking the dogs for a hike down the road but… eh, been there, done that. I messaged Penny.

A plan was formed. An awesome, amazing, spontaneous, spur-of-the-moment Christmas Eve-eve plan. One that involved Nic capitalising on the fact that he felt sick all Sunday and had told colleagues at work about it, one that meant Penny and I could train first and THEN adventure, one that involved packet rice-and-quinoa mix, red cabbage, mushrooms and zucchini.

It looked a bit like this.

 

weekend wrap-up

Monday again! Thankfully this is the first day of 2 weeks of school holidays. Tell you what, 11 week terms are a killer. We were over it, the kids were over it… Only Lumen wasn’t over it. She loves school. Anyway, she can have a school break.

 

Bit of a big weekend just gone. I’ve changed my weave training a little after reading an article in this month’s clean-run. It makes a lot of sense to my brain and seems to offer a really logical progression, while training entires and still maintaining elements of the ‘channel’. I’m testing it out on Mallei first, whose entries were always hopeless (had to be guided in, unless it was a nice straight entry) and he always popped out at the 10th, because it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work with him. Having nice weaves it just a ‘bonus’, since we’re not trialling. Meanwhile I’m planning to work a lot more on Lu’s drive to a stationary object. I think I’m going to use a little tupperware container with some treats in it. She seems really switched on to this and has been working nicely for it. Otherwise a less-broken treat-pouch-tug-toy. Both will work well. Once I have good drive to these objects from a distance, I’ll go back to weaves, I think.

Saturday saw us go down to an obedience club and (finally) sign up. Because we’ve done so much foundation but don’t yet have contacts and weaves, we’re still stuck in foundation but the instructor is happy for us to do whatever we want, along with another experienced handler. I’m trying to convince a friend to join now too so we can have an ‘elite club’ of 3 who just blow off the class and do whatever we want. But Lumen so needs training in that environment. We were meant to warm up by trotting around and has brain was all EXPLODE LOOK AT ALL THE DOGS AND IT’S DAYTIME AND OMG!!!!! Attention and focus? Out the window. Circle-work? Forget it. So, certainly working with all that happening will be beneficial. Interestingly, while doing obstacles, she’s completely focused. Once she finishes and goes after her reward ball or whatever… mmm… not so much – I might visit THIS DOG!! YAYYYYY! Well, it’s good to know, anyway.

Then on Sunday two friends came and we all went to Tallarook – Mallei and Lumen both, and their dogs. All up we had 7 dogs between us and they had the. best. time. ever. Mal and Lu in the forest is one thing.. Lu with a “gang” of other young dogs? She had so much fun. Interestingly, she actually stayed closer to us, ran off less, and was better behaved when it’s just her and Mal. So… now I don’t want to go walking with just the two of them! All up we walked for 4.5-5 hours through the bush, occasionally on tracks, and up a huge hill at the end… All the dogs were exhausted…. except mine. She’s a ridiculous energiser puppy who could have kept going and going. She’s a little more subdued today though so I suspect she’s feeling yesterday’s walk! I just love it up at Tallarook. It was so quiet, we only saw trail bikes once, and the other’s dogs just had the most amazing time- I think it was the first time they’d just gone off-trail in the bush and they were just so full of joy and excitement.