a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: A Little Catching Up

Thursday, October 28, 2004

A Little Catching Up

Walkies: I've had it with not being able to go for a relaxing walk with Tika. I dread it daily; half the time I come home more stressed than I left. No one wants to take her for a walk. Last night I tried to take the 3 dogs on leash--Tika without her Gentle Leader--just around the corner to try to see the lunar eclipse. Not only was she manic on the leash (as always) just trying to get out of our driveway and to the end of the court, but then she saw a cat and became unmanageable. Yessirree, the GL makes a big difference. But not enough.

Soooo--today I went back to Plan A, which I abandoned after 3 or 4 months with no noticeable success back when I first got her, which is to walk her alone and then walk the other dogs alone. It's not ideal because then all of the dogs get only half the exercise and entertainment, and Tika goes nuts in the house alone.

First day--every time she started past me, I turned and walked in the other direction (the old method I used for Remington, which also took months or maybe years to get him perfect). Within 10 minutes or less, she was walking docilely at my side, and I was actually able to go half a block or so in various directions without her moving ahead. Will it last? Dunno. We encountered no squirrels or cats and didn't go near the yards with barking dogs in them. How long will I have to do this with her alone before I can add her back to the pack? Who knows. I hope the answer isn't "never."

Agility Casey: Today we went over a jump, into a tunnel, and over a jump again without even really thinking about it. Often we have to repeat the approach to the tunnel or he goes past the jump the 2nd time. We still have the issue that, as soon as I toss his toy, he takes it and heads for the hills so I can't force him to do any more work. But he seems to love it--he blasts through tunnels and jets over jumps like a potential agility champ! Now to get sequences of more than 3 in a row.

Also, if I'm serious about this, I need to start EVERYthing--getting serious about teaching him the nose touch and driving to it, then doing it on the contact board, and so on. Need to work on his Down response and get him even more used to being on the table (and on getting onto it on command rather than having to be guided onto it). Then there are the weaving poles... ah, yes... And of course taking him places other than here to see whether he's still as interested in his toy. But am I serious about it?

Jakey Noodle-ooo: Yesterday we didn't go for a walk (Tika's class in the morning), then he was off doing something else during the one short time I played with the dogs in the yard. Mostly I sat at my desk and worked all day. By the time it was his classtime in the evening, he was rarin' to go. He always seems to be fast and enthused in class, but last night he was a master agility dog in all ways. What a guy. And I want to retire him? Hardly seems right.

But then he'll spend the day lounging at my housemate's feet instead of with me. I dunno, maybe she gives him more food. Right now he's dozing on the floor near my desk, and I know she's upstairs eating dinner, so maybe it just depends on--hmmmm--the vibrational frequency of brainular molecules?

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