a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: September 1994

Saturday, September 17, 1994

"New" Dog Update

SUMMARY: Having fun with Remington! (And Sheba)
Backfill: Posted 9/27/19 from email of Sept 17, 1994 -- 25 years ago, hard to believe!

We took both dogs (Sheba and Remington) up to the dog park in Sunnyvale (behind ElCamino and Mathilda?) and I don't think it was as big as the one in Santa Clara that I've been going to--and it only had 2 small benches, while the Santa Clara one has several, including picnic tables. Sheba had never been before but seemed to really enjoy herself, although she spent the whole time scouting the perimeter probably for possible escape routes. She said hi to some of the other dogs, but mostly enjoyed just having someplace new to check out.

I'm really having a blast working with Remington on doing neat stuff. It gets to be a habit--

Earliest photo of my nephew that I have
scanned in... from a year after this post
Saw my new nephew last night for the first time; my first instinct was to reach out my hand and say "Shake!" He flailed his hand wildly into my palm and I said "Good BOYYY!" and looked frantically around for a Jerky Treat, but none were to be found.

We were trying to count Remington's vocabulary last night. I used to be pretty proud of my old dog, Amber, because she came when she was called, she heeled on command (not as fancy as at the dog shows, but good enough for neighborhood work), and balanced a biscuit on her nose. I had her for 14 years.

I've had Remington for 4 months, and he does well at (although most have rough edges):

-heel (we call it "with me", as a friend suggested)
-stay (in any of the above 3 positions)
-come (most of the time except when there are squirrels involved he has
to think about it a little)
-shake or paw (same thing)
-hold (a biscuit, a book, whatever on nose or head)
-flip it (toss and catch the balanced biscuit)
-Bang! (He's actually starting to get fast at it even from a standing
position. Loves tricks that don't involve any WORK. Wish I got paid
for lying down on the job!)
-reach (like begging but standing up, sort of)
-paws up (e.g., front paws on chair, stool, husband, whatever)

I also think that he knows what "get it" means but he gets things only VERY selectively--i.e. when he FEELS like it; "where's dad?" seems to get him going but he gets so excited that even when he can SMELL that human dad's in the room somewhere he's moving in circles so fast that he can't get the detail of WHERE in the room (e.g. behind door)--he's learning all of dad's hiding places, but that's not the same as actually finding him by scent.

Having so much fun and wondering why I never did this with Amber.

[Answering in 2019: I think because (a) the AKC club obedience training I attended once with young Amber was so negative that I was turned off on any kind of training, and didn't even think about looking for more books on the subject.]