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November 6, 2009

I took Lilly to class for the first time in seven weeks on Sunday. She did great, even though we did not know the majority of dogs and many of them were young and somewhat wild. She did snark at one dog whose self-control is still under construction, but that’s no surprise. This pup was straining at the end of the leash, hopping around and looking right at Lilly.

Lilly had a nice breakthrough moment when she hopped out of the car and immediately seemed calm in her Relaxation Protocol mode. She sat. I fed her treats. She seemed completely balanced with the first piece of food. Sometimes, we go through a bit of a Shark Phase, but not that day. She hopped out with a calm, confidence I was thrilled to see.

We arrived early and walked around a bunch, but as classmates began to arrive, we took up a position on a grassy median, with plenty of distance from the youngsters. (I fell instantly in love with the young GSP in class. What a handsome boy he is.)

{Doggone photos for this post got lost in a massive blog photo glitch. Sorry.}

As usual, we kept our buffer zone pretty big, except for the two dogs we knew, including Lucky (whose brown-and-white butt you can just see on the right).

Here you can see a happy Lilly waiting for classmates to complete an agility-dog-walk-like exercise on a raised ledge. We typically go first or last so that Lilly feels less pressure from the group.

We probably didn’t need quite this much space from our classmates, toward the end of the session, but Lilly is clearly content to hang out.

So, it was a nice experience. After being so cooped up from last week’s snow, Lilly was happy to get out and do something.

About the Author Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related.

I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

  1. I’m glad we missed class too … between the loose boxer and that golden that K “met.”

    There are lots of new people lately, which is great. I miss some of the others, though … especially Luca the GSD. Lilly liked and trusted him.

  2. We went to class on Wednesday and it was filled with almost entirely new dogs also! And, an out-of-control loose boxer kept terrorizing the class. I was glad that Lilly wasn’t there for her sake.

    But, after going to class for almost 6 years, it’s so weird to arrive and recognize almost no one!

    I’m glad that Lilly had a good class.

  3. GREAT NEWS! She looks excellent. I wonder what it was that helped her feel so comfortable, other than, of course, your undying dedication to her behavior training.

    I also think it’s great that she’s able to do that dogwalk-like exercise.

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