Friday, January 11, 2013

Hedgehogs and happiness

Hedgehogs are, quite possibly, the funnest Dane toy ever. Vegas' favorite toy for sure. We've had three or four thus far. One surely was a faux hedgehog though, as it didn't "honk" like the hedgehogs are known to do. A short time back I was able to order through a friend a Jumbo Hedgehog. Vegas' are still around but, well, what's one more hedgehog? And a larger one at that. One that's not (yet) all mouthed all over. So why not? 

I got a chance to pick it up early this week. So happy late birthday and Christmas, Vegas!
Soooooo happy to have her awesome, JUMBO new hedgehog!
"Honk, honk, honk!"
and the Pièce de résistance ....

And happiness.....

is my girlie doing a tunnel "publicly" tonight at a fun match. We went up to the new training center, Everything Canine, for a fun match prior to next week's Rose City Classic. Attending was primarily about trying to get her to take a tunnel in a trial-like setting. Of course with Rose City being the one trial each year on mats, it's never a bad idea to "refresh" that experience for the dogs either. 

When I showed up the prior group was still running so we visited and watched. Vegas was loving the attention she was getting and I, of course, got a kick out of her not-so-subtle demands at attention. So when it was our turn we got out to walk the course. I started planning what I would do then at about obstacle three had a "duh" moment. I was only there to make sure the tunnel happened. Otherwise I would just send her randomly over obstacles. She's rock solid and doesn't need "testing." So I pretty much figured a walk was useless and went back to playing with her, treating her, and playing at some obedience tricks. 

When it was our turn, I quickly realized it was - unfortunately - a terrible setup for us. Jump to a tunnel/dog walk discrimination. Well, faced with a really long tunnel and a refusal or a contact obstacle, well, she stepped across the dog walk and refused. Bummer. So without skipping a beat I just tried to move on to some other things, sent her over a series of jumps, sort of pinwheel style, and attempted the tunnel from the short end under the dog walk. Fail. Sent her over the a-frame, looped around and over some jumps, and tried again. Fail. By that point we were nearing our time so just ran some jumps and headed off the course for goodies, loves, and hidden disappointment. 

Chatted with someone for a bit, played a bit more and loved on my girl, and it was time for our second run. This time there was no plan to do the course. I asked Barb if I could pull out another tunnel and just work with that. We did and were having a hard time getting it to stay open and upright versus collapse on itself without tunnel bags. Ended up with at least one person standing alongside the tunnel to "support" the sides. Took her out and over the a-frame to run toward the tunnel. Held my breath and .... she did it!!!! Vegas took the tunnel on the course, publicly, in front of other people!!!!!! I was so proud of her I could hardly believe my eyes. I beat her to the end of the tunnel and dumped out the remainder of the bag of cheese I'd brought along as a jackpot reward. 

H A P P I N E S S !!!!