Always an Adventure
I feel like I’m a bit behind with… well, pretty much everything. I’m blaming it entirely on Puppy Girl. I mean, seriously, Maeve is quite the distraction as evidenced by the picture gallery on my phone. It’s a most delightful distraction, however, so I’m okay with it because who doesn’t love puppies, am I right?
Maeve and Finn have become great pals. I had hoped they would. Finn loves to play and romp and though Dillon will play and romp with Jig (who actually tolerates his antics), Finn? Not so much. Dillon and Finn used to be buddies, right up until Finn started maturing and threatened Dillon’s place in our little pack. There are still times when Dillon breaks down and gives in to Finn’s persistence, but the play sessions are short-lived and generally end with an equally short-lived tussle or Finn seeking shelter between my feet as Dillon postures. Dillon really has nothing to back his bluff and has been handed his ass on more than one occasion. You think he would learn.
So our morning routine has adjusted to accommodate the changing dynamics. Dillon goes out with Dave and Jig. Jig plays chuck-it, Dillon circles the house or stands by the garage door and waits for me to come out. Then Finn and Maeve get a walk along the trail. Finn is very gentle with Maeve. He taught her his favorite game, Tall Grass Zoomies. First it was more a case of Where’s Waldo, with Finn hiding in the grass and Maeve wondering where he’d gotten to. Now that she’s older and braver, she barrels through the grass with him and they emerge, dripping dew, tongues lolling, and totally ready for round two.
Tall Grass Zoomies, before Maeve was brave enough to follow Finn into the unknown.
See why I’m finding it hard to focus?
On the training front, I had the opportunity to work with Diane Sobel-Meyer at a clinic here a couple weeks ago. I think part of being a good trainer (and I’ll only go so far as to say most days I’m adequate) is being open minded and willing to try new techniques. You can never have too many tools for the box because you never know when you’re going to need them. I will admit, I was skeptical going into the clinic because Diane uses a line for a lot of her training and me and long lines… Let’s just say if roping yourself was a sport, I’d rock it! Thankfully Diane was very patient and I learned a lot. I’m not going to try to relay that all here. I’d suggest if you get the opportunity to go to one of Diane’s clinics, even if just to audit, you do so. She’s awesome. Suffice it to say, I will be incorporating more line work into my training regime as Diane’s techniques blend nicely with my current methods. One of the biggest things for me, personally, is that the line takes away the fight. Not that I go out intending to fight. I’m just hard wired to go in with my energy a bit too high and if I think my dog knows something then, dammit, he’s gonna do it.
Okay, maybe I’m not that bad. Some days are worse than others, though, and I hate the feeling that I’m battling with my dog as opposed to training them. I’d rather be guiding them in the right direction then bludgeoning them into it. And, no, I don’t literally bludgeon my dogs, though I’m quite certain there are days they would pay someone to bludgeon me.
I’ll get into some of my other observations and a couple ‘duh’ moments in another post. Right now, there’s a puppy staring at me and I currently have no will power where’s she’s concerned.