a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Boost Progress

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Boost Progress

SUMMARY: Boost's training? What training? and lifestyle of the skittery dog.

Once again I don't seem to be progressing very fast with the Booster Baby. So much to do, so little time. Then, on top of it all, Wednesday I woke up with a sore throat and feeling a bit fatigued, so I napped in much of my spare time (and some time that wasn't spare); worse on Thursday, full-fledged obvious cold on Friday and although I got some work done and went out for a while, I didn't have the physical energy to sit up through all of the memorial service I attended that evening and went home early to bed. Saturday and Sunday I was trying to catch up on work *and* get ready for a BBQ here for friends and family, and had to keep sitting down or napping from exhaustion. Fortunately by Monday I was largely better and had more energy than I'd had in about 5 days, so the BBQ went fine.

But all I've really done with Boost during this time is weaving poles--and not very many of those--and a few jumping and tunnel drills. No contact-related work at all since Thursday anyway. And not sure how much I'll get done this week; I have a lot of Work work to cram into 2 days and then I'll be packing and heading off to Elk Grove for the CPE National Championships.

Boost survived the BBQ preparations and BBQ fairly intact, with only a couple of exceptions. First, last week we moved Mr. Alligator from where he's been for the last 4 years around to the other side of the tree, closer to the pond. (He's solid concrete and 4 feet long, so it takes a bit of effort to move him.) Next evening, Boost went ballistic over something horrific in her yard. When I went out to investigate, sure 'nuff, it was Mr. Gator who had her in a tizzy. When I walked over to him talking calmly, she--as usual--followed me with hesitant bravado and then, finally close enough to sniff, decided he was harmless and worth no more attention.

During the BBQ itself, she survived crowds of animated people and even small children (although she spent a little time sitting just inside a tunnel, barely within reach of a young girl who kept trying to train her--but didn't run away, didn't go completely out of reach, didn't react in a hostile manner, in fact she was very good). But when we lit the BBQ itself and smoke started rising, she panicked. She pulled away from me, tail between her legs, and slunk into the house. She didn't come out again, except briefly, until the BBQ was mostly out an hour or more later.

Meanwhile, I had left my bedroom door upstairs open (usually it's closed to prevent the Dog Sleeping And Shedding On My Pillow syndrome) in case any of the dogs wanted to really escape and hide out. I primarily had Jake in mind, since he often does that and since there were actually 4 small children in attendance this weekend. However, Jake stuck it out very well, while Boost availed herself of the retreat. How do we know? Because a 35-lb. Border Collie made an appearance standing on my bedroom windowsill (yes, the whole dog, all 4 feet), which is above my dresser, which is not a piece of furniture on which dogs are typically permitted to climb (I don't think they typically even THINK about climbing on it). She'd watch for a couple of minutes, then disappear, then reappear periodically. Didn't want to be near Mr. Evil BBQ, but wanted to know what was going on. It was cute because, fortunately, I had nothing particularly fragile or dog-hostile on my dresser or windowsill and because she didn't manage to break through the 2nd-story window and plummet to the patio, for which I was immensely grateful.

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