I know these pictures are all starting to look alike, and probably you are bored of seeing them. But until I start doing some training again, I really don’t have that much to blog about! Well, I have a couple of in-depth posts I’ve been working on that I’ll get up shortly, but as to my daily routine with the dogs, right now it consists of them lying around the house a lot while I sit at my computer trying to write a dissertation, with the monotony broken periodically by short stints of running around in the snow.
I did start doing some training with my foster puppy. Just a little – a hand touch, sit, threshold work (i.e. not going through doorways or out of her crate without being released) and the start of some crate games. Boy she’s quick to pick stuff up. Tonight I took her out to potty without a leash, just like I do with the rest of the dogs. I opened her crate (which I keep by the front door, just like with all foster dogs – easy to get them out to potty until I’m sure they are house trained) and she sat and waited to be released. When I said “free!” she came out and went to the door. There she sat and waited for me to open it and release her. She then was supposed to stop on the front step – something I’ve trained all my dogs to do. She blew past it and down the walk, which I expected her to do. I had considered it a bad idea to just let her out because it would allow her to make this mistake prior to her having been reinforced enough to actually consider the right option. But I was lazy, so I opened the door and let her out. Off the step she flew, but all it took was one word from me (Kess?) and she came back and plunked her butt down on the step and waited to be released. WOW! That definitely exceeded my expectations. Time to start expecting more from this pup.
I continue to really like her. I had a little cuddle session with her tonight prior to putting her down for bed. I am tempted to let her sleep in one of the spare crates in my bedroom, but I don’t think Ross is ready for that yet. He’s still rather grumbly with her and I don’t want to push it to fast. There’s no rush.
While I was giving her her bedtime cuddle, I started to think about fate. Why did this puppy come into my life like this? I mean, here I was sitting in my kitchen, minding my own business, and Animal Control calls me out of the blue and asks me to take this puppy. They have never called me before. It seems so strange. I feel very strongly that she has come to me for a reason, but I don’t know what it is yet.
Of course they all come to me for a reason – I am a link in helping them find where they need to be. Usually it is very clear from the get go that they are not meant to stay. But every now and then I get one where it’s not clear to me what’s going on. In those cases, I just wait and see. So far, every time, eventually it has become clear where the dog was meant to go. By waiting, the right home opened up. I’ve had dogs where I was absolutely against letting them go, and then overnight that feeling changes and the next day the perfect home shows up.
I guess that’s what’s up with Kess because I had a visceral reaction to receiving an application for her adoption yesterday. I felt upset, almost violated by the thought of someone taking her. How strange, considering that it looked to be a very good home. Every fiber of my being said “no” – not to the home, but to her leaving here. So she’s staying for now, while we figure out where she’s meant to be. I’ve done this long enough to know to trust my gut.
Ok, now for those snow pictures… Skijoring to the park, sans skis:
Watching the dogs run in deep snow is like watching a dance performance. Today they had nearly all the elements for a classical ballet. The town square dance at the opening:
The solo by the lonely heroine:
The deadly duel:
The grand finalé:
Taking a bow:
Now, just in case you aren’t completely saturated by dogs-running-in-the-snow photos, here are two videos I took to show just how much snow there really is. You can’t quite tell from these photos how hard the dogs have to work to run. 45 minutes out in this and they’re down for the count for half a day, especially if I give them a good meal when we get home. Problem is, so am I! Today I noticed we were all much less winded at the end of our walk. Good thing, as we’re supposed to get another 10-15 cm in a couple of days. Oh joy.
The dogs had been running for a while already when I took these, so they were already getting tired, as you can tell: