Rush and the curly girlies went off to stay with friends for a week while Jay and I visited his family. While I desperately missed the dogs, it was nice not to have to devote every waking minute to making sure Rush didn’t pee in the house. Rush stayed with a friend and her golden retrievers and border collies. I gather he did well and would be welcome to come back. Dancer and Elly stayed with the Poodle Goddess (my friend Cat), who has known them both for years.
This morning was the first day back to the morning training routine. Elly got up during the night and I took everyone out at 4 AM, so all dogs slept until 7; that was nice. As soon as Rush and I got up, we started the morning training routine. He practiced balancing on the Bosu; he did some lovely retrieves and recalls; we worked on the Reinforcement Zone by walking up and down the sidewalk in front of the house (new distractions!). He was lovely and focused.
After a break to have some breakfast, Jay helped me get his face, feet, and rear shaved for the first time. Jay fed him a continuous stream of treats while I did a quick shave. He looks a bit shaggy, but overall, not too bad. Next time will be easier!
Yesterday I took Rush to his first agility trial, outdoors at Brownsville. He got out of the car and was so excited! All those dogs! And he could see tunnels (he loves tunnels!). He started to bark but quickly quieted down and observed calmly. Many people admired him and gave him treats. Heidi even did some RZ games with him. He liked that a lot.
I had an exciting training moment with Rush today; every time the girls bark (sadly, they bark often), I’ve been calling Rush to me and giving him treats. My hope is that he won’t learn to bark. Today, when Dancer started to bark (Jay was using the shop vac and banged it into the front door), I looked toward Dancer–and was nearly knocked down when Rush ran to me and slammed into my thigh with both paws, demanding his treats right now! He got them, of course. (I notice that the girls have started showing up as soon as I get the treats out for Rush. Maybe they’ll learn not to bark, too. At least I’m being a lot more consistent than I used to be.)
Elly is having a rough time right now. I think she may have overdone it a bit while staying with Cat; she’s limping on her left shoulder. I’ve been massaging it and stretching it gently. I hope that will help.