a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Various Views

Friday, June 20, 2008

Various Views

SUMMARY: The view from Tika. The view from ringside. The view from class.

Spring has sprung.
Fall has fell.
Summer's here,
and it's hotter than
Up around 100 yesterday, today, tomorrow in my part of San Jose. You expect that in Phoenix. It's brutal here, especially without air conditioning.

Except that I've spent a lot of hours this week away from my home office, at my client's air-conditioned building. Wednesday I was gone from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m., after throwing in the Wed. evening hike.

Thursday morning, Tika started showing her teeth at Boost and even snapped at her a couple of times. I had to think about it a little bit: OK, I was gone all day. Tika isn't good about bringing me toys (well--might bring one, but then not bring it back again), but Boost will usually keep bringing me a toy, so I threw it for Boost off-handedly while catching up on my email. In the yard in the morning, I ran through a couple of agility exercises with Tika who, as usual, did them very well, then I told her to go lie down while I worked with Boost (this is normal). Tika kept charging in to chase Boost (this is normal), and I yelled at her a couple of times to cut it out and go lie down (sadly, this is normal, too).

But somewhere in all of that, Tika's point of view was that Boost was getting all the love and affection and attention, and she took it out on that poor Puppy. I felt so badly for both of them; they have always gotten along fabulously in the 3-plus years that Boost has been here. I seem to have fixed it: I told Boost to go to her waiting area, then I spent some time doing agility with just Tika and playing with just Tika. Then I spent time just petting Tika. I made a point to talk to Tika a lot and touch her a lot. Within a couple of hours, all was back to normal, but it took Boost a while to stop cowering in whatever corner was farthest from her erstwhile pal.

I'll have to be careful when I'm spending more time away from home.

Meanwhile, I just got a bunch of trial photos from a photographer friend (Erika Maurer--Slipstream photo site). Some of the photos are just cool, like me running with my dog (most photographers won't shoot the handler because, they tell me, most handlers don't want themselves in the photos--I have to ask people to please try to include me in some):

And some photos show some, shall we say, interesting things--like, for example, Booster Dogs who enter the weave poles in the wrong place:

or handlers who don't call their Tika Dogs soon enough on a turn out of the tunnel so she blasts wide:

Photos can reveal so much, with just a single moment frozen in time!

Lastly: I'll tell ya, it's hard to beat the views from class at Power Paws, especially with gorgeous sunset colors reflecting off the hills or across the San Francisco Bay in the distance. Last night went through all sorts of intense color phases. Some of it, of course, could be the fires that just keep springing up--it's going to be another very bad fire season, starting this early--but I'll enjoy it for the color it brings to my evenings:

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