Sunday, October 7, 2012

Blah - Obedience, Pumpkins, and Life

Kind of just been one of those weeks. Busy, tired, and more busy and tired. Monday we went to see Dr. Salewski again. He got quite a bit of knotty tightness out of her left shoulder and felt the acupuncture was helping to release some of that tension, etc. to allow the adjustment. He worked further on her sacral region as well. So here's the hitch in our giddyup. If, when we go back again a week from tomorrow and she's not fully adjusted yet, he's less confident that she'll be returning to her normal activities/life. So mental bummer and I think, while reflecting on this, it's saturated my brain and sort of depressed me this week.

I don't remember what Tuesday had in store for us but Wednesday was supposed to be my son's football game. That got canceled mid-afternoon so I suddenly had an evening free. But not for long. The first Wednesdays of the month are our obedience club meetings and I hadn't been able to make one in a while so off I went! It was nice to see people, catch up on business, find out what's coming down the pipeline, and chat with some friends.

Thursday I came home from work and immediately loaded the dogs and took them to my son's school for a walk. We had about 45-60 minutes to walk our legs off. So off we went on the Tonquin Trail at the Graham Oaks Nature Park
Friday night was chill time again and Saturday morning brought us to our obedience club and another novice match. I entered Vegas in one run each Beginner Novice and Novice. She was fourth or fifth in the first group and I have to say, I was quite pleased with her Novice run. Our heeling still needs work and I'm continually luring/baiting (treat in my hand on my abdomen), but, it has promise and she was very amenable and happy in the ring. She's starting to learn a finish, too, which we've been lacking. All in all, fairly good.

Beginner Novice was a bit later and after I'd come and gone with Leo a couple times and she was stressing in the truck. Definitely didn't have the attention there that I'd like and she got up from her sit and I had to return to her and start again.

Things to work on at this point:

  • Heeling - starting to reduce the treats and build longevity with focus behavior.
  • Speed transitions - not forging or lagging with the changes. 
  • Continue working on finish behavior.
  • Down stays - need to teach her to rock over on one hip when I ask for the down stay and hopefully added comfort will help her to stay down.
  • Close proximity on recall
  • Halts; I want to work on greater consistency with sitting straight. Also speed to sit. 
Things I'm pleased with:
  • Stand/sit for exam - As much as V loves people, she's holding this really well and not shifting feet or asking for attention when they come to her. 
  • Sit Stay - She almost made it through the entire minute for the sit stay with me all the way across the ring. 
  • Attitude - I'm learning while she's learning so always a bit more difficult. She's still showing a positive, enjoyable attitude while working. 
  • Sit/Down Stays - She doesn't pay any attention to the other dogs. They don't exist; she keeps her focus on me. 
  • Halts; she almost always is prompt with the sit on halt. 
That brings us to today. We went to the Bella Organic and Portland Pumpkin Farms for their Oregon Ducks corn field maze. I'd gotten a special through Living Social - just $7/two tickets. Vegas and Juicy came along. 
The main thing I have to say about this little adventure is: hot. Turn down the heat. We're still near to mid-70s in Oregon and after so many months of dry, warm-hot temps, I'm done. It's October for crying out loud. I think the dogs agree, if the long tongues are any indication.
At one or two points Vegas was leading the way through the maze. It was really cute; she was plodding along and when we came to an intersection she would usually look all ways and very decidedly make a choice. She even helped us locate a podium where a clue was found for the Farm Scene Investigations game.

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