Wednesday, September 18, 2013

a busy weekend for a young dog

I have a post planned in my head, but I need to pull photos off my home computer to do it and I haven't powered it on since the thunderstorms last week.  Hopefully tonight I'll get around to doing that, as I do have bills to pay and that's something that can't wait any longer!  We've had a busy few days, especially for the young dog, so there's plenty to post about today even without the planned post-to-be.

Last week I decided to be brave and try taking both of the merles out for my short run together.  I'm using the CanaCross belt, harnesses, and leash that Chris ordered to use for his runs, and they work really well together (although the belt is a bit big for me).  The dogs were nicely responsive, even when a couple of dudebros were ignoring their little yipdogs who raced out into the road after us, and I didn't fall, so I count this as a win.  We did about a mile and a half according to Runkeeper, which is enough for Martok at this age but not nearly enough for Ezri, so she was annoyed.

Martok also got his first sessions with the Manners Minder, which is basically a remote control treat-dispensing robot.  He wasn't scared of it at all, unlike la princessa who still thinks it's evil incarnate, and he was sold when he realized it dispensed treats.  Martok stayed quietly on his bed (or next to it, he's kind of flaily like that) for well over an hour while we played board games with friends, rewarded every couple of minutes with a treat.  It's such a great training tool!

On Saturday we joined our friends from the Jet City Jumpers to do demos at the Riverdog festival in Issaquah, and we had a great time...once we got there.  While traveling down 405 on our way there, one of the back tires on the truck blew out entirely!  I safely got us to the side of the road, and we were all set to change the tire but the wheel refused to come off - which according to the internet, is a common problem and just needs a sledgehammer to knock it loose.  Seeing as we don't keep one of those in the truck routinely, we had to wait until AAA showed up an hour later - two taps of his sledgehammer and the wheel was off and we were ready to go just moments later.

The demo was a lot of fun, although the grass was damp for the first session so only the older/slower dogs were able to race safely.  Jadzia was happy to fill that role, and Ezri ran in the second session after the grass had dried out a bit.  Our friend Paul got a great shot of her leaping into the box, I just love the concentration on her face!  Martok did training as well, including single-jump recalls on the grass without gates, and over/back training with the jump board and touchstick.  And to wrap up the event, both Ezri and Martok tested for and passed their Canine Good Citizen tests, which will add the CGC title to their names as soon as I send in the paperwork.  First title at six months - not bad for a little border collie boy!

Sunday morning brought flyball practice, of course, where Martok did very well with his training and we'll be adding more to his plate next week.  After practice was over, Gallia and I headed out together to take the ferry to Vashon to go to the herding trial. This trip involved a lot of new things for the puppies, including their first time on a boat!

Martok was a little unsure, but did pretty well and was happy to walk around outside on the deck and up and down the stairs inside.  I think he liked the breeze from the movement of the boat over the water.  And of course, a game of tug with the brother makes it all better - Gallia got this great picture of them playing!

We had a good time watching the herding at the trial, and we stayed for about three hours and enjoyed the event, luckily without getting rained on.  The boys at first were way more interested in playing and romping with each other (much to the other attendees' amusement), but eventually they both caught on that there was something else going on in the field, and then there were lots of pictures like this as they watched intently.

Both puppies did very well, and got to meet a sheep up close as well as see a horse, so it was a big day of firsts for them both!  They were passed out in the car on the way home, and were both tired the remainder of the evening, so it ended a great weekend in a nice calm manner.  Sadly, no such big plans this weekend, but soon there will be flyball tournaments again and lots of fun with friends we haven't seen in a while!

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