Monday, June 14, 2010
A soggy weekend review
Ah, the best laid plans of mice and dog trainers (with apologies to John Steinbeck).
This was supposed to be my “totally free, nothing to do but spend quality training time with my dog” weekend. Since I was going to have all that lovely time on my hands, I was looking forward to taking Phoenix to some local parks to train Friday, Saturday and Sunday. After all, I would have lots of time to set up ring gates, jumps, etc. and stay as long as I liked without being on a tight schedule.
It didn’t quite work out that way.
Friday night was our only successful “training away from home” night. The Farmer even went with me! He went with me to our agility class last week, too. Hmmm . . . wonder what he wants. Maybe it was the allure of me paying for his supper at McDonald’s. I am not above bribing kennel help!
Anyway, I set up at the Conroy Park (home of the unexpected 5K run last spring, crazy people driving skidloaders and the idiot with the Dukes of Hazard car horn). Had a great session in spite of high heat and humidity. The Farmer walked around with Phoenix’s favorite squeaky ball, squeaking it and tossing it around and just generally being a distraction without even trying because Phoenix loooooves his papa and was quite fascinated that he came to train with us. So was I, for that matter.
Then a tractor pulling a hay rack full of little kids drove around the park twice. I think it was the vacation Bible school group from the local church. Wow, those little kids made a lot of noise. Phoenix only needed one reminder to watch. I was so proud of him! If he could ignore his papa with his favorite squeaky ball and a hay rack full of screaming children, really, staying focussed in the obedience ring should NOT be a problem. Probably. Maybe.
Saturday morning, we woke to pouring rain and some pretty spectacular cloud-to-ground lightning. So much for going to the Amana Park. We did train in the machine shed for a bit, but because of the heavy rain and the threat of severe weather, the Farmer had pulled all the tractors, hay rake, baler, etc., into the shed, which didn’t leave a lot of room for me and the Skinny Little Dog. We went out later in the evening and worked UKC gloves in the back yard. They kept disappearing into the grass we haven’t been able to mow because it never quits raining, so lots of good blind retrieve work.
Sunday, guess what? More freakin’ rain. Every time it looked like it might clear up, it would start raining again. Squeezed in another quickie session on heeling and recalls/drop on recall in the back yard after supper. I’ve been working jackpotting, especially on heeling, and think the idea is starting to click with Phoenix.
The weekend wasn’t a total washout. Got a lot of stuff done around the house, which is a good thing since I have agility or obedience trials the next four weekends in a row so being domestic really isn’t going to be a high priority. I really need a house elf.