Well, where do I start? When I first decided to join the fun of “Train Your Dog Month” from Something Wagging This Way Comes, I couldn’t get the badge to work. And I haven’t had the opportunity to get back to it since. So, I’ve just been going on my merry way, working with Callie and Shadow to maintain their “foundation skills” of – like Jodi over at HeartLikeADog – sit, wait, and leave it. So far so good, especially since I’ve worked with them out in the back yard a few times when no one is home on either side of us. The older girls know their commands and are good about “training”. Sometimes, though, they’d rather be doing other things like chasing squirrels, birds, the neighbor’s cat, or each other.
Earlier this afternoon, I took advantage of the relative quiet outside. I brought them out in the back yard and worked a little bit on their recall/automatic sit. They did great, although if I hadn’t switched to something else when I did, they probably would have gotten bored with it. I had them “follow me” to the upper driveway (we used to keep our boat in the carport in the upper yard, but now the boat’s gone so I have more room to work. ). Then we worked on leave it. Shadow did great, but that’s no surprise…all she wants to do 99% of the time is make me happy. Callie, on the other hand, was in “sneak mode”. Ah, Callie! I know you too well for you to succeed at that much any more. I kept the treat clenched tightly in my fist, put my fist on the ground, and as soon as she stopped nosing and pawing at my hand, I clicked and treated her and praised her with “Good Leave It!” Did it a second time, she left my fist alone almost immediately, so another click-treat-praise. The third time, she looked at my hand but never touched it. Good Girl, Callie! Of course, by then, Shadow was ready for more treats. So I worked her a little on the “leave it” and as always she did great.
What about Ducky you say? Well, she’s at doggie daycare during the day, so I work with her in the evening. She’s still learning her place in the pack. Sometimes she “gets it”, other times she challenges it. Let’s face it, Sue, most times she challenges it. But heck, she’s still a puppy. She won’t be a year old until next month (the day before Valentine’s Day is what the shelter staff decided on). She’s still testing her boundaries, so we have to be patient – all of us, hubby, me, Callie, and most of all Shadow – but she’s been a lot better about it than she was before she started going to daycare. What I REALLY need to work with her on is “Quiet”! This is the most vocal dog I have ever had in my lifetime…and that spans back nearly 55 years! Sometimes it’s cute, sometimes it’s not so cute, and other times it’s downright annoying. Out in the yard when she sees another person – no matter how far away – she starts barking and growling and carrying on to the point where it drives me nuts. Her anxieties at work again. At least now it’s only people and the one neighbor’s dogs. It used to be anything that moved, including the branches of the oak tree just outside the porch door.
Oh, and this morning, when I came downstairs to get her out of the crate, I found pieces of stuffing from her bed dotting the bed around her. Ah, the little demon dog was at it again. Chewing on the bed again. I must have left her in there too long, or maybe Shadow startled her this morning. Shadow has a bad habit of howling inside the house whenever a train goes through the crossing up at the end of the road we live on. It wouldn’t be so bad if the trains went through a little later in the morning – like after we’re up and getting dressed instead of two hours earlier – but at least when I tell her “quiet”, she stops and comes in the bedroom to lie down next to the bed. Anyway, I just finished stufffing the stuffing back into Ducky’s bed and sewing up the hole she made. Luckily, I’m pretty handy with a needle and thread once I manage to get the thread through the eye of the needle. (That’s a whole other story! My poor eyes are showing their age these days! When I have my contacts in – as I do – I need reading glasses to see close up. But if I get too close, I can’t see either. So, I tend to get frustrated with the needle and thread and go take my contacts out. Luckily, I got the needle threaded before I got frustrated today!) Too bad I don’t have one of those little gorilla pods to put my camera on and take a picture of myself trying to thread the needle! I’m sure you’d all get a good laugh out of that video! I know I would!
Well, that’s it for the Adventures of Crazy Dog Lady for today. Maybe tomorrow I’ll get around to adding the “Train Your Dog Month” badge to the blog. Maybe I won’t. Who knows? I don’t. Around here, things get done on an “as needed” basis, so the blog usually suffers from lack of attention more than anything else. Till next time……………………………..