Friday, April 8, 2011

A laid back week

We haven't done a lot this week. Between work and rain and work and more rain, plus classes and meetings - and life - Vegas has gotten a bit of the proverbial short stick. Twice this week we did work with our brand new balance disc thanks to Bobbie with Pawsitive Performance. Vegas has no fear of the ball whatsoever, although sometimes that might be easier to combat than her insanity when it comes to food. I swear that dog loses her brain when presented with a treat. Each evening we worked with the ball I also worked her with a phone book. She places her front feet on the phone book which is on the floor and we work on moving in circles, alternating directions. This is an exercise we learned several years ago from Bobbie and I am making a dedicated effort to do more often. Surprisingly, it's still difficult for Vegas. Again, part of the problem is her brain loss when faced with a treat. I use the treat to gain her focus to move in the circle and yet, it's also the object of our distraction, too. I think if we keep doing it a couple of times a week she'll get her footwork down. She's so unaware of her hind end when it's on the ground!

There are probably a ton of things we can use the balance disk for. Of course that would require me educating myself. That's something I am, admittedly, poor about. When I find down time I don't want to use my brain so read fiction. I've had the Get on the Ball 2 DVD set for a year and a half now and still haven't watched them.

Here's a video I found online, though, that gives a quick overview of some of the exercises we can practice, including Leo's use of the ball. One thing I realize right away is that we have it overfilled and will need to remedy that before working again.
The other exercise we did this week was to work on crawling. It's amazing how difficult crawling is for Vegas. With such long legs, trying to keep them tucked under her while moving across the ground requires a ton of effort. It's so natural for her rump to lift off the ground but I have to give her kudos, she tries really hard and is getting better at keeping it on the ground. My hand is paying the price though, for her impatience. When she gets tired of crawling, she reaches her front paws out and tries to hold my treat hand down. I'm sporting a few pretty, red scratches from this week's work.

Tonight we went for a lovely walk around the park. The weather was amazing. You'd think it was 80, clear, and nary a breeze for the way us Oregonians came out in force to enjoy it. Yesterday and today were the first real days of spring this year and I couldn't stay in tonight despite not feeling 100%. My youngest son came along and we really enjoyed our hour long meandering walk around our local park. Vegas enjoyed some much needed off leash romping and silliness and was very cooperative to work with me on some distance sit-stays. And that's about that for now. We have drill team practice tomorrow evening followed by the first week of foundation agility I'm teaching for the spring session. The rest of the weekend is up in the air but will definitely include enjoying whatever sun we luck out with.

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