The first time Lilly played with her new Tug-a-Jug, it took her more than 2 hours to figure it out. She tried everything she could think of, every toy method she’s learned to date, but still the mysteries of the Tug-a-Jug endured.
An essay by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen from the July 2, 2007, issue of Time caused a stir and a growing pile of hate mail, it seems. In “Demoting the Dog,” Lisa describes how her dog went from pal to pet to pest after her daughter was born. That’s where the uproar began.
Sometimes, out of the blue, there’s a moment of connection that catches me by surprise. Like love at first sight, except it happens it’s more a reminder than an instigation. It happens in a flash, but my heart recognizes it nonetheless. This summer, I find, some of these moments arrive as tactile messages. Call it … warm weather, warm heart.
I took the day off to volunteer at an agility trial today. I haven’t seen the news, but I suspect the temp hovered around 100 degrees. It was brutal. I don’t know how the dogs even ran. Just a couple quick notes … Being a worker bee that few know or notice is an interesting experience.
After much consideration and feedback to “Take my poll, please,” I’ve decided to skip this summer’s agility camp in Colorado. I really want to go. Yet, I’m torn. So, I took the advice I often give my single friends about relationships … “You either know, or you don’t.” Waffling, any on-again-off-again tendancies, signal a problem when it comes to love (and marriage). Maybe it’s the same with agility training, or any kind of dog training for that matter.
Thanks to the iPod nano that Lilly and I received as a prize for raising money last summer for the Humane Society of Boulder Valley I have a new appreciation for music lyrics. There’s something about being audibly cocooned with songs that allows me to hear the lyrics in a way I don’t if music just plays in the background. Here’s a song that struck me as a good agility road trip theme. So, in honor of all of you who will be traveling to big trials all over the country heading into Independence Day “weekend,” here’s a little tune.
You know you’ve been a home-body when the simple act of putting on pants with a zipper or shoes that tie causes jubilation in your dog. It was a long winter here in Colorado. The snow started in October and remained fairly steady through just before Memorial Day. Thanks to three huge back-to-back storms around the end-of-year holidays, we had 7+ feet of snow on the ground at one point. Needless to say, we didn’t get out much since clearing our football-field-long driveway takes some doing. I didn’t realize how much my hermit status affected Lilly until the sound of a zipper begain causing chaos in the house.
We teach our dogs “Watch me” for a number of reasons. I, for example, mostly use it to distract Lilly from anything that might upset her. Since her list of scary things is ever growing, we spend a lot of time looking at one another. Truth be told, she passes the better part of every day monitoring my every move and every word. Lilly is the queen of watching me. Yet, there’s a bigger reason we want our dogs to watch us.
Last year, I interviewed the director of canine resources from Guide Dogs for the Blind. As you may know, they breed their own service dogs. I shared a little background on Lilly with her, and in support, she basically said that there are some dogs who come out of the package and you can do nothing wrong. With others, she admitted, you can do nothing right. Since I often wonder what exactly I did to mess Lilly up, this perspective provided some comfort.
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