Astute readers will notice a decrease in postings last week. My brand new computer, which did not have a back up system installed, had a melt down. And while I got it back last weekend, it's taking a while to get all the systems in place and recover what I can off of my old computer. Sigh. Always back up.
While we waited for the computer to be fixed, I figured I'd soak up some vitamin D so I lugged out a beach chair. Juno jumped up on it and began kissing me and before I could say, "Get your own beach chair," I had 2 dogs sitting on the back of my chair with me hanging off the front of it. The one draw back of training your dog with "props" is that they think everything is a prop that will get them a treat. So I got the camera.
"If I just do a little doga on this here chair, maybe she'll let me stay on it."
"A great big sibe smile always makes her cave. The chair is mine now."
"Ahh geesh. Who invited him? Move over stud, you're gynormous ears are blockin' my rays."
Saturday, Juno and I attended Santa Cruz's Woof to Woof Dog Show event. Our trainer had a booth and a demo-team exhibiting on and off-leash obedience. Juno was the only husky to represent at the entire show and the only husky on the demo team among several of those goody-two-shoe retrievers and GSDs. Ok, so she had a moment of stage fright among the hundreds of people and dogs and loud music. She popped up like Jiffy Pop from her down-stay and had a brief Mexican-Jumping-Bean moment as she frantically looked for me in the crowd but when she heard my voice, she darted directly to me, even as smells of hot dogs, handsome boy dogs and plenty of squirrels tempted her. She made up for her boo-boo with beautiful off-leash obedience for the rest of the show and impressive recalls jumping right through the ring side tape. She made me proud. As it turns out, Juno wasn't the only one to crack. Other excellent dogs cracked under pressure including a toy poodle who wouldn't sit from a distance, an excellent novice search dog who almost exited the ring entirely and froze and a protection dog who almost accidentally bit a protection helper who wasn't wearing any protection equipment at the time. Thankfully, the obedience in the dog was there and just as she was going in for contact, she heard her handler call her and pulled out in the nick of time. Other than those small snafu's, the show went over very well and there was plenty of impressive obedience and service dog demonstrations among the team.
Backstage, Juno signed autographs and gave fans their own encore of her special talents. That damn sibe has more admirers than Rin-Tin-Tin these days.
"Hey Big Boy, I believe that seat is taken."
"It looks like there's room for two on that chair Princess."
"There may be room, but I'm not in the sharing mood, so scram!"
"Here's a little reminder bite to let you know who owns the royal chairs around this joint."
"And that is how the chair is won."
Sunday, Loki went to two search classes: SAR and Article search. On our first SAR search, we had to pair up with another dog, which sent me into a panic knowing that Loki can be naughty when he feels pressured. We went with our friends Sierra and her handler Christine. I knew Sierra was playful which worried me because Loki can be a butt-head with playful dogs but I also knew Christine wouldn't hold it against me if Loki was a dope to her beautiful GSD. Nothing like a "get out of jail free" card for my bully, Loki. So off they went. I released Loki first and Sierra went next. As expected, Sierra engaged Loki in play and Loki grumped at her so she backed down and he went to work while she took a moment to yahoo and figure out what she was supposed to do. Loki alerted pretty fast to the victim, however, he did not go into the victim at all, instead he chose to walk away! Some SAR dog! Remind me never to get lost or hurt when on a hike with Loki. He's likely to go look for the local pub and leave me stranded. Sierra eventually grew tired of her solo play time and when she went to work, she did a great job at finding the victim!
After a few more solo searches, we moved on to our second class, Article Search. Loki is making progress. His search drive and ability is good, but he's got a little work to do on his alert. He won't lay down in front of the article. I also train Juno at home in article search and surprisingly, she's better at it than Loki. She not only puts her nose to the ground to find the article, but lays down beautifully in front of it! So now it's time to pull out the big guns for Loki. The only question is: what size skillet is best for the job?
"Hey Handsome, it looks like you found that chair just fine!"
"Very funny Princess."