Friday, July 18, 2008

good dogs, good owners

good thoughts to caralea and freddy, her 7 yo vizsla- catahoula mix who was just diagnosed with stage v leukemia. it's in his bones and maybe his organs and they'll be lucky to have another month. i hope it's a good month.

this is lemp street between 15 & 14. nice, huh?

today's count was neck & neck, but ended up at 8 with and 12 without (dave, you should have brought daisy with you!) lots of bike activity this morning for some reason. everyone polite & well mannered.

more pink skies. getting light later in the morning, which really makes me aware of the passage of time and that we're headed toward fall.

echo was on the hunt all morning. we have a young raccoon who has decided that the silver lace vine over the trellis is a good spot to live, and he drives the dogs crazy.

this morning i saw echo on the porch in hunt mode (see the "dunce cap" photo- when his little pointy ears go together we call it his dunce cap because he is clearly thinking thoughts that will only get him in trouble.) when i saw him try to open the screen door by pushing on the latch with his nose i knew i'd want to keep a close eye on him this morning.

sure enough, he was looking really hard for something, but thanks to our work with paula, i can call him off and he listens. for me, it's about watching him and intervening before he gets engaged.

mentioned because for me training makes all of the difference in enjoying the trails. as you may have noticed, i can't say enough good about training with paula mccollum. i have friends who speak equally highly of other trainers in the valley.

we got echo as an adult, and he knew that when the leash was off he didn't have to come back. i knew i wanted to be able to hike off leash with him, so i started looking for a training method that i could follow through with. good at consistency, not so much at mind numbing repetition. my dogs don't respond to that so well either. so i asked around and called some trainers and talked to them and did a consult with paula and here we are with a solid recall.

we're not perfect, but we keep working on it and learning. i see lots of other dog owners out there doing the same.

happy friday!

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