Monday, April 28, 2003

A Week In The Life--A Musical--You'll Laugh, You'll Cry, You'll Throw the Squeakie One More Time

Let's Go Strollin': Yesterday morning we managed to walk all the way over to my sister's house (about 1/3 mile) with hardly any pulling, just the occasional (every 10-20 steps) pop-turn or stop-wait or walk-into-oh-my-how'd-that-happen? reminder. Walking back was a little tougher because I didn't avoid walking past the fence of a yard with dogs in the back, and we had large quantities of lunging and severe corrections, but we finally walked past without pulling much at all.

This morning we did a more familiar walk, and Tika wasn't quite as bad as square one, but we never got more than half a block in either direction, because the yanking & lunging would get worse the further we went. Hrm.

Tiny bubbles, in my yard... Tried blowing bubbles to see whether Tika might like chasing them as much as Rem did. But no. Taste stupid. Stupid mom. Jake never did chase them. What am I going to do with all this bubble stuff?

Ain't Misbehavin'? Tika was a brat in class Wednesday, too--not staying at start, flying off dogwalk, running away after the geese in the field, sniffing another dog's butt, going to the obstacle in front of her instead of responding to "Teek, come!", and so on.

So when she'd do the wrong thing, I hooked her leash to the fence, got Jake out of the car, snuggled with him & played with him and then did one of the exercises with him--and Lo and Behold!--the next exercise Tika would do perfectly. But then we'd put Jake away, and she's start out OK, and then do some butt-headed thing again.

So it's not a not-understanding-what-to-do issue, it's understanding that she can't decide what activity she'll participate in now (e.g., doing agility vs. chasing squirrels, or doing agility with her mom vs. doing whatever she feels like doing on the course).

SOOO--We'd been discussing this for a couple of weeks, but our instructor now says for sure Tika's too immature to be out doing competitions, especially ones in which I can't correct the problems as they appear. So I've pulled her from everything except Jumpers at next weekend's Bay Team trial; signed her up for 2 days of fun match that I had been planning on skipping, and then the next trial or 2 are both NADAC, where I *can* do some training in the ring, so we'll leave those in place. Will decide later in May about the June CPE trials we're already signed up for.

Can't Get No Squirrelifaction, Though I Tried, and I Tried: Poor little half-grown squirrel got the bejeezus scared out of him on Saturday. Dogs apparently didn't actually catch him, but when I went out to see why they were continuing to bark frantically for hours on end, I found this little guy welded to a branch about my eye level, panting frantically, his eyes about twice the size of his head.

I chased the dogs inside and left him alone for about 10 minutes. Went back out--still glued to exactly the same spot, although he wasn't panting any more. I poked at him with a long stick to get him to move--which he did, around to the side of the branch away from me so I couldn't see him. (Or so he thought--except for his little desperate toes clinging to the bark.) We repeated that a few times, and then he started looking a little more annoyed than scared and went up and down a foot or 2 a couple of times.

So I went back inside for another few minutes, and this time he had removed himself to safer places when I came back out.

Poor baby. He definitely wasn't a full-grown guy. I hate it when the dogs actually catch a squirrel. Nothin' I can do after they've managed to grab and shake a couple of times. At least this guy probably learned a valuable lesson.

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