Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dog Days

My Grandfather used to talk about the Dog Days of Summer being the hot days when you didn't want to do anything but sit in the shade. Today was definitely one of those days. The temperature hit 90 and it was humid, too. I've had a whole week of not really wanting to do much. I was discouraged last week after class, so this week I concentrated on 'sits' and 'downs' with the pups. I didn't think they really had it yet and I didn't want to move on until they understood what I wanted. I worked a little on 'sit-stay' with Fudge and on 'down' using only a voice command and no hand signals. We really didn't do as much practice as we should have.

In class tonight I was prepared to be embarrassed, but Lola did pretty decent 'sits' and 'downs'. Although her attention didn't last all the way through class, she did last longer than she ever has before.

Fudge was wonderful. He did great 'sits' and 'downs' with only voice. He did a good 'sit-stay' and did a fair 'down-stay'. He even did a good 'heel'. There may be hope for that boy yet. He seemed to be tuned in better than he has been in the other classes.

The other pups are doing pretty well. Bailey, Sky and Norma Jean will do 'sit' and 'down' on voice command. Noah will 'sit' , but needs a cue for 'down'. Still he does it. Tess is having some problems with all this. I added 'down' too soon for her and now we've had to back to 'sit' and work on just that for awhile. If we go too fast, Tess gets all excited and starts running around in circles and jumping and becomes uncontrollable. I have to adjust to her pace.

Today Splash and Grace came to visit. J had some business to do in town, so the dogs spent the day with us. Splash was pretty worried about his Mom and kept running to the window to check for her. He was so distracted that he let Gracie have his stuffed kong.

After a couple hours he calmed down enough to perch in his favorite place, the back of the sofa. He also discovered that Rob is a great source for snacks. They shared an apple and he had a few doggie treats.

They even managed a short nap. They stick pretty close together. It's wonderful to see how well Grace has adjusted to her new family.

All in all it's been a pretty good ending to a blah sort of week.

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