Sunday, January 4, 2009
My Dog Ate My Truck....(well sort of)
So, we made it to Julie's to work dogs and have our lessons with Robin Saturday, and happily, Robin told me exactly what was going on with Chris, just as I had suspected, I have been a wimp, and not correcting her when I should have. I had been allowing her to get away with things, and cheat me. Just exactly where I went wrong with Lex so long ago, and it seems old habits die hard. Lie down, lie down, lie down, is NOT one command, (and really, Ive known that for like eons) although Chris was beginning to think so. So we got her sorted out and she responded well, pretty quickly and she worked oh so much better her next time around. Chris is a smart little dog, and will obviously take advantage of a situation, so I am just going to have to start making sure she doesn't get away with things any more. What I considered some thing small and inconsequential, taking the down, but 5 to 10 feet from where Id originally asked her to, grew and turned into some thing much worse, very quickly. Chis is a very talented little dog, and one I'm sure that would have benefited from having a much more seasoned and intuitive handler than I, but she is a very forgiving dog, and in training her, she has and still does, teach me so much. It is a bit distressing to know that she has just turned 5 years old, and has yet to set foot on a trial field, but Ive got a feeling this just may be our year, and she will be out there kicking ass and taking names, so chewing up my truck aside, I think I'll let her live to see another day.
Bear, oh what can I say about this wonderful dog? My head still swims every time I think of how he ended up with me. I feel so lucky to have him. Bear is a very talented and natural dog, one that makes even the most bumbling of trainers such as myself, look good. He wants nothing more than to do the right thing and be a team player. I simply adore this dog. Robin says he is ready for anything now and to throw as much at him as I can. So aside from the outrun home work we have been given, we will continue to work a little at driving too. Some thing Bear appears to really enjoy and seems to be a natural at and holds a very nice line. AND! He didn't eat my truck!
So yea, I guess I should talk about that eh?
Well, I loath crating my dogs while I travel. I don't know why, but I do. They are all very well behaved, and always pick a spot to ride and stay there, not running around and jumping around in the truck, and I enjoy their company. Once in a while one will come and lay a head on my shoulder to say hi and then go back to their self appointed seat. Now I have been into dogs way to long not to know and understand the value and benefits of a crate. So any damage that was done to my truck, I am fully aware was no ones fault but my own. Up until yesterday, I felt that I had provided my dogs with a very nice and comfortable crate, in the form of a 25,000 dollar 1 ton Ford diesel truck, complete with leather seats and electric windows. But I can assure you, after yesterday, though I may continue to allow them to ride free in the truck, as soon as we get to dog work, they will quickly be deposited into crates that I will not be so lazy to load anymore when we go. So what happened was this. Chris and Lex were in the truck. I pulled Bear out for his lesson. I, in my infinite wisdom thought it a courteous thing for my dogs to be able to watch the goings on and so parked the truck in the strategically placed spot for them to do just that. As Robin and I are out on the field working Bear, all the sudden a horn starts honking, and we all hear yap yap, honk honk. Chris had figured out how to use the horn, and in doing so had also realized that she could get peoples attention by doing it. Personally, though I'm sure there were folks that found it annoying, I thought it some what humorous, and just the kind of thing Chris would do. Now the reason she found the horn, was because she was going frantic in the truck, wanting it to be her out on the field working and not Bear. Had I not locked the windows before exiting the truck, rest assured, she'd have never figured out the horn, because she already has the knowledge to push the window buttons and would have let herself out of the truck toot sweet the second she wanted out. Been there, done that. Chris is no dummy. If she watches you do some thing, you can bet she will remember and replicate what she has seen, the second it becomes a useful tool to satisfy her needs, and she watches me a lot. Ive come to the conclusion,that Chris doesn't need thumbs to achieve her goals. So, as Robin and I are on the field with Bear, and having a little amused chuckle about Chris honking the horn,.....(amused? I meant embarrassing) I hear some of the on lookers hollering to inform me that not only is she honking the horn repeatedly, but she is shredding the interior of my truck! Well, at that point, I was to far away to do much about it, and in a snap decision, decided to finish Bear's lesson and deal with little Miss Rip and Tear when we finished. My approach to the truck was cautious, did I really want to open the door and see the redecoration of the interior of my truck? And open the door I had to, as she and Lex had the windows so slobbered up, that I was hard pressed to see in them to start with.
As it turned out, the damage was quite minimal. A nick in the dash and a small tear in the steering wheel. Nothing a new steering wheel cover cant fix/hide. Oh, and a whole bottle of Windex, so I can once again see out of the windshield! LOL
Needless to say, at that point, as I'm sighing a big sigh of relief, as I know from past experience, from another dog that actually DID shred an entire interior of another truck, (you'd think Id learn) that it could have been a lot worse, and so Chris, Bear and Lex got a one way ticket to crates ville. Our lessons went great, and I am very proud my of dogs, they are coming along nicely thanks to good friends and great instruction.
Other things that were fun, was the impromptu Birthday party for Robin. I wish Id have known, but there were some folks on the ball, and they had even baked a cake! A yummy cake! We sang Happy Birthday, and then sat down to enjoy some. Robin gave me a late Christmas present, a beautiful turquoise colored cap with the Shoofly Farm logo with a picture of a sheep dog driving a lamb. I really like it and especially the color, and have a feeling it is quickly going to replace my old favorite cap.
I brought my grooming tools and table up, and we got Laura's little turdietude Ginger shaved down. She did so much better this time than she did the last time I groomed her, and showed much more patience and compliance when it came to doing her feet and legs. The really cool thing about doing Ginger for Laura, is that Laura is going to make me a beaded lanyard in trade for the grooming. (stinker that she is, sneaked and bought my lunch without telling me too) So now I reckon Id best get my butt in gear, and start getting serious about getting whistles on my dogs so I can wear it and show it off! I like doing trade work, much better than friends paying me for grooming, and I'm sure that every time I wear it, I will have fond memories of Laura, and the day. Much better than just buying some thing like that for yourself, I think.
There were no new faces today, but it was nice to see all the regulars and their dogs and the progress they are making from one lesson to the next.
Becca had just gotten Ted back from Christine Henry, he had been there for the last 4 weeks in training. Man! What a lovely job she did. Ted is looking so good! I thought about being jealous, but decided Id let their progress inspire me instead. LOL I am very, very happy for Becca. Ted is a really nice dog.
On another note, for this lesson, I was actually able to stay erect, and not fall on my fanny, and that was a good thing. Being flat out is never a good feeling. Also on another good note, some of us loaded up in my truck again to go for lunch, and the tow-mater behaved and allowed all persons to enter and exit with dignity. Maybe I should have had Chris chew on it sooner! Next stop for the dogs, well Bear and I, is the Jack Knox clinic this month! I'm pretty jazzed about that.
- Resolve verses Persistence who Will Win?
- Twisted Funny Fella!
- The Waiting Game
- Hanks says: Bear is an A-Hole! Grrrrrrr
- Snow Day, Snow Play
- 40 Things About Me Cause 50 Is To Many.
- The Hard Lessons
- Day One of the Jack Knox Clinic
- Ahhh Sooo Grasshopper
- Fire! Fire!
- Rain sucks too. But on a lighter note....
- Some Peoples Children! Geeze!
- My Dog Ate My Truck....(well sort of)
- New Tunes Yea! And Some Other Stuff
- ▼ January (16)