12 October 2007

The dog crate is just like the spacecraft now.

Here's the little darling here. Seated in the bathroom. Why, you ask, you must have gotten your camera fixed if you can take charming photos of dogs laying on the bathroom floor. Oh, no, I would answer, that would entail having a non leaking office with a roof again (something we do not currently posess). I just drag the computer into the bathroom and use the magic computer cam to take photos of dogs on the bathroom floor. Who needs the camera when you can drag the computer around and lay on the bathroom floor with it to take a picture.

Gustavo has been learning many new things. Which is good, because last week he ate my reading glasses. He has also learned rain, the bad water that is in the air, is no good. He will swim in a pond, run into giant waves, but water from the air or a bathtub is horrifying and makes him shake like a leaf. Baths and rainstorms not something that he encountered in Mexico. But he sure does love seal carcasses!

It turns out, he also sure does like the whole agility thing, and the screaming and carrying on at trials is a good thing because he thinks agility is crazy and wild and something to get all worked up over. That's ok with me.

So what have I been teaching him? To go slow. The real fast dogs, you teach them the brakes right away. So he is learning how to stop and hit his nose on a target, which will eventually be added on to the bottom of the a-frame and the dogwalk (for you non agility fans, that was the thing I showed me shooting Otterpop off of the other day).

He is also learning a dog game that I came up with from watching space movies. You know in space movies, they are always shooting the accessory space pods out to explore something or shoot the evil aliens out of the big spaceship? And then it gets sucked back in with tractor beams-I have seen Star Trek, you know. I did have a boyfriend that had Every Single Episode on tape.

So that's how I'm teaching him all the cool moves the big dogs use, and the equipment basics. So when he's ready to actually do it, he didn't even know he was learning how to do it. Sneaky!

He's learned to run into his crate at full speed and do a little swimmer flip inside there and stick in there. Wait til I go somewhere else and then shoot out again. So I just move his crate around the agility field, position him to where I can show him how to slice a jump, or front or rear cross a tiny sequence of jumps and tunnels. So he's learning things like Greg Derrett hand and rfp and crosses just from shooting in and out of his crate. He's also learning that if it's in front of him, you take it. Then I use whatever (I am totally working to be consistent here) signal from me will mean turn or take something else or whatever he needs to do. He's just like a little accessory space ship blasting in and out of the mother ship. It's pretty funny to watch.

We're using really super low jumps, and tunnels and plastic flower pots right now. Very high tech. Everything else will come after I have actual handling that will work so I can get him to do the real things right from the beginning. We'll see. I like it that he likes it and he is learning from the beginning that everything you do you do fast!

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