16 April 2017

Tuggy bunnies, for a happy Easter.

Big bunny, little bunny.

A lot of beginning agility class involves me trying to get people to play with their dogs with toys like they've got a dead bunny in the grass. Activate a little prey drive. They didn't sign up for this. They thought we'd be learning the weave poles and dogwalks like they saw on tv. Instead, they drag their toys around, drag them away. Faster! There's running and flopping. Somehow I decided this is what dead bunnies do, when really, if it's dead, it's probably laying there immobile and headless or gutless or missing some limbs.

Oddly, most people totally get it, when I'm yelling about the dead bunny. So it's not just me, who can envision the spectre of the bloody baby animal trying to get away. Sorry, Easter Bunny. A popular idea, a sacrifical rabbit, standing in with candy eggs and Peeps for a bloody Jesus, dying for the sins of all mankind, the mankind that believes in that, at least? At least believes in the seasonal Cadbury egg and mocktail flavoured jelly beans.

"Dead bunny! Dead BABY bunny!" Because BABY makes it that much more, um, what?

The lady runs away, dragging the furry thing tied to a tennis ball on a rope along the grass. The dog is pouncing. This was the dog that didn't want a cookie. And was sort of blah earlier. But now it's gone a bit manic.

"Make it MORE Dead! Not that dead! Dead but it's running AWAY!"

Bam. Success. Dog grabs the toy and tugging is on. It kind of almost always works.

A lot of people try to start playing by flapping the dog toy in their dog's face. Which is a sure way to get most dogs to right away be all, not gonna happen. Even Banksy, who's over the top in sometimes not such a great way about tugging, does not want a toy flapped around in her face. That is saying a lot. Yuck. Too much pressure, too much whisker and sensitive fur hitting.

"Your bunny's an asshole! Don't be a scary bunny! DEAD bunny!"

Toy goes back on the ground, gets fastly drug and wiggled some more. Maybe it squeaks. Oh MY. Dog usually will go after it that way. Not always. But a lot of times, yes. Much of the time, the person is breathless and drops on the ground to play with their dog some more, because it's exhausting, manhandling a dead bunny on a string.

I have a rag tag collection of fuzzy ducks on ropes, furry stuffies on strings, bungee things with balls and rubber nubbins and god knows what in my toy bag. People trip and fall down. I'm screaming about the bunny. The mellow dogs start to get worked UP! I've explained at length that agility involves chasing the person, and I'm bloody, dead, baby bunny serious about this. And I'm a vegetarian.

Happy Easter, Easter bunnies.


Terry A said...

LOVE this!!!

Karissa said...

I would so love to post this on my training page, but somehow I still don't think my students would get it. ;) But it's genius, pure genius.