Weekly Training Update (April 3)
Lilly’s trip to town Sunday went better than last time, where noises conspired against us. She never went into flee mode from fear, but there were several times that my sweet, fearful girl became molasses s-l-o-w, which means she’s stressed. The problem was Trail Hogs. But, the day got better when we ran into Tom and talked him into taking us to lunch. And, when we went for a walk with Katie, Lilly’s best dog friend.
Trail Hog (noun): An oblivious person or group of people, with our without dogs, who either stop somewhere, block the entire trail or split and move to BOTH sides, which requires anyone else passing by to run the gauntlet up the middle or swing way wide to get around.
Most times we ended up going through these many groups of Trail Hogs we came across because of muddy, wet, sloppy conditions following last week’s non-blizzard snow storm made going around them daunting.
You’d think these clueless people would catch on they are in the way when:
A) I slow down, call Lilly to me, and look at them expectantly to offer a speck of trail.
Praise, reward with food, and lure Lilly through the tiny sliver of space we can find.
But, no, they mostly laugh and loom at this poor cowering beast trying to make her way through the crowd.
Maybe I should try the trick bikers use and holler, “On your left.”
After our walk, I popped into a store to look at some things, and I ran into Tom. He was out running errands too. Neither of us knew the other was stopping at this particular store.
Lilly LOVES to find Tom when we’re in town. She is so accustomed to it just being us girls that she goes OUT OF HER MIND to see Tom away from home.
So, we snuck back out to my car so that he could surprise her. She screamed, jumped, wiggled, and kissed him. She even started howling, which made people all over the lot stop and look.
We used our girlish charms to convince Tom to take us to lunch. I’m not sure he’s ever had the chance to see Lilly show off her Patio Dog Skills, so he was very impressed with how sweet she was, just laying at our feet. It wasn’t challenging at all because it’s early enough in the season that there were few people choosing to eat outside and no other dogs around.
Still, it was totally fun.
A Walk with Katie
Miss Katie, Lilly’s best friend the Borzoi, is on restrictions due to a swollen wrist, so she cannot play willy-nilly, but she can go for leash walks, so we went over and grabbed her when we got home from our date in town.
Being so cooped up, Katie was a WILD MONKEY, so it took some concentration to deal with her and Lilly at the same time since I almost always have just one dog with me. I’m happy to report that Lilly was a ROCK STAR and stayed perfectly at my right side, without any fuss.
That helped a LOT, since I had Katie on my left. We didn’t go far since Katie is nursing a boo-boo, but it was nice for the girls to have some time together. Katie only did a few bombing pokes with her needle nose at Lilly, who just smiled.
As research for an pet magazine article, I got some really good advice on teaching scent work. We hope to start working on it soon, so I’ll try to shoot some video to help explain what and why we’re doing what we’re doing. Stay tuned!
The first couple days didn’t go so well. Maybe I’m terrible at teaching scents, but we’ll see. Either way, it’s a shaping game.