Tuesday, June 23 – Day 4
Every day’s schedule has a quote on it, and I liked today’s – it’s so true! ‘Don’t make the mistake of treating your dogs like humans, or they’ll treat you like dogs.’ – Martha Scott. It’s so true! My boyfriend’s aunt and uncle have 2 cocker spaniels that they treat much like humans – they get tidbits of everything, and are allowed to literally and figuratively walk all over them (and the furniture, and the car, etc). They have no control whatsoever over them.
We had an obstacle course to do today. I went first. Hudson did everything for me, and hardly balked at all (though it was difficult to get him to sit or lay inside of a hula hoop – he backs up when he sits, and he moves more than that to lay down). While we were not the fastest by far (that honor went to a C.,former dog groomer who has trained obedience dogs and her dog Gwendolyn), neither did we have any of the challenges that some of the dogs presented their people. K had an extremely long battle to get Lucas up on a platform they were supposed to lay down on – it took over 5 minutes, and a lot of creative re-positioning by her. D and Brett took a while at that station as well, though D kept doing exactly the same thing (which doesn’t work – if one approach doesn’t work, you try another!) I suppose I might have gotten through at a time closer to C’s if I’d been trying to impress people – what I really was focused on was getting Hudson to pace me and do what I asked, and rewarding him with praise and treats for doing so. Oh yeah, and I pulled a trick that no one noticed – I had Hudson walking on my left part of the time and on my right part of the time. I’m the only person in the group who really won’t have a consistant side the dog works on, so I wanted to see if he could do it. And he did, so smoothly that no one noticed. You’ll forgive me if I gloat a little, I hope. This is a very difficult thing for a dog to do. Having watched for a couple of days, I begin to understand why I was paired with Hudson – I think he’s one of the smartest dogs in the class, and quite possibly the most sensitive (his trainer says he’s very sensitive). As my pace is wildly inconsistant and I need him to be able to work on either side of me, I’ll be hard to walk with – so a dog who is smart and sensitive is needed.
Right, after that we did some basic grooming – just brushing the dogs, partly to get down on the ground and bond with them. This was really when my heart started breaking over Hudson’s aloofness. Everyone else was snuggled up with their dog, and Hudson was just barely letting me brush him. He did decide to play with me when I was down on the ground, which I had to stop as he was jumping at me open-mouthed near my face. Eek!
Next came the health care lecture. Urk. I had not realized how serious a problem bloat is for dogs, having never faced it. It’s something I should tell my father – one of his dogs likes to play hard, even immediately after dinner, and that can cause bloat. So far, the dog has only puked, but oh man, the idea of Cody…and they probably wouldn’t know the signs…AGH! All dog owners should know about bloat. If you have a dog and don’t know the signs and seriousness, please PLEASE read up on it. Your dog could go from acting like its stomach hurts to dead in literally minutes. If reading my journal never changes anything for you but learning about this, then I will have done something worthwhile.
Then we loaded them into our cars – something Hudson did perfectly, though others struggled terribly. One quick turn around the block, and it was time to learn to trim nails! Grinding nails with a dremel is really quite easy, but some of the gals who were using clippers struck the quick! N got Claire, who yelped and acted very hurt though the trainers assured us that it wasn’t bad (which made poor N even more nervous than she had been!). While I didn’t see it, I was told that R got Baby far worse, and it bled rather badly. We fed our dogs, and then it was off home again.
And oh, my host Nancy (who is in her 80s) can cook! Yum! It’s too bad the boyfriend is gone tonight – Nancy made fried eggplant as our veggie. I detest eggplant, but the boyfriend loves it and doesn’t get to eat it often.