Debby…on a Sunday morningPosted: May 17, 2009
Everyone can write…a little. That’s the title of an online course I’m taking. Write…a little. A little. That’s a challenge for me. The concept of the class is too encourage scrapbookers to write. Photos are great, even better when the story is told. Many people have trouble coming up with the words to tell the story. Not so with me! I can be one wordy person! Some months back I joined Facebook and, a bit later, Twitter. I did this to help myself understand all that communal action I was noticing on websites (ergo, the blog as FFT’s homepage). On Facebook, I also discovered my nephews, nieces, their young children. By frequently answering one simple question – what’s on your mind – I stay connected to my distant family. Facebook allows 160 words per entry. Twitter – what are you doing -allows 140 words. I don’t Twitter, although I follow Science Friday, Camera Dojo, Scarlett Lillian and Lab Spaces. I do answer the Facebook question at least once a week. Simple answers – like Debby Rothman is stoked to hear the hummingbirds. Facebook’s format helps me write. A little.
My coffee mug is full of hot, tasty Columbian coffee, sitting right here. Today I’m not going to write…a little. I’m going to write whatever, however I feel like writing.
And I’m going to share what I’ve been doing this past week…or so.
Edie graduated from Rally, with what would have been a qualifying score had it been a real competition. If it hadn’t been for the human part of her team, she would have placed first! I missed several classes, but thought I understood all the Rally signs. Not so! See this sign:
The dog is suppose to move with you as you take the steps back. I forgot one fundamental rule in Rally! The dog always comes with you! Edie wanted to come with me, but I told her to stay on each of those steps! Later Kathy, our instructor, said she wanted to say, “no, she’s doing it right!” Even though I had walked the course four times prior before actual graduation, including 1 step back, 2 steps back, 3 steps back, whether she should stay between each step didn’t occur to me until we were actually running the course. Obviously I made the wrong decision. Maybe next time I should trust my dog!
The Year of Dog Training, 2009. I’m loving it! Thursdays and Fridays are almost like mini-dog shows, alone. Alone, with my dogs. Thursdays I load up the dogs in show coat, along with whatever dogs are going to training class late Thursday afternoon. Closing at 2pm, Thursday is a short day at the shop. My client load is kept minimal. Show coats are done Thursday. Between 2 and 5 the dogs ride along while I do important errands….like getting my nails done. Or my back adjusted.
Thursday classes are in Evergreen, taught by Ana, Training With Grace. Family Dog, Thursdays at 5pm with Edie. Puppy Socialization at 6pm. Margo has been five or six times. As of this past week, I’m rotating two puppies each class, working two at a time. Working isn’t really the right description. This class is different than any puppy class I’ve ever taken. In between puppy playtime, we sit on the floor in a tight circle and pass the puppies. Each puppy is to calmly lay upside down in your lap, back against your chest, while having feet, ears, mouth touched. A rather interesting exercise in one’s ability to communicate with each puppy! When the puppies are released (and, yes, ‘release’ is an actual cue), play is heavily monitored, Ana pointing out canine body language, teaching us how to use body language to monitor inappropriate play. At various times, in the middle of the chaos (think 10 puppies running around the room), we are instructed to get close to our puppies, call them to us, hold their collar and treat. I am amazed that each and every puppy will do this!! Every darn one! Ana may have us release our puppies again to play or instruct us to get down on the floor, calming the puppy. What great foundations!
Friday, I head down the hill, again with a load of dogs. Now that Edie has graduated, we’ll be on the road even earlier for Rally drop-in. That’s a goal I’ve been working towards since the beginning of the year. Yippee! Between Rally drop-in, 9:30am, and Conformation drop-in, 12:30pm, Blue Springs and Katydid Training Center switches between Rally Course and Basic Obedience. So, why not enroll another dog in Basic Obedience?! So, I did.
Hey, if I’m going to compete in Rally, why not with 2 dogs! Practice what I’ve been preaching! Get titles on both ends of the FFT dogs!
Early yesterday morning, AEV, held a field exercise. Rather than going out in the dog trucks, this time I volunteered to be Team Leader. That person is at the staging area, coordinating AEV volunteers, dog trucks going out to evacuate animals, staying abreast of the fire situation with CACO (command animal control officer) and others up the chain of command.
After the field exercise was done, I told the rest of the volunteers that everyone should do the Team Leader job once. It gives you a totally different perspective! The first thing I did yesterday, coming home, was print out the new manual. You can bet I’ll be studying that!
Before I stop writing…not so little, I just have to share what I shared with Nate last week: