Navarre is in that sort of weird stage where he's half puppy, half dog. Well, maybe 3/4s puppy. I was just thinking about today how he definitely passed the stage where I'm worrying about exposing him to things. He's been there, done that - for the most part. I'm hoping to take him to the new indoor swimming pool in Hillsboro in the next few weeks and see if he has any interest in dock diving, and he gets introduced to sheep this weekend - but I'm pretty confident that he will take new things in stride.
All of the sudden the whole concept of heeling just sort of 'clicked' with Navarre. He really didn't grasp the concept for a long time, and even then you could see he just didn't truly get it. Now he GETS IT. He's not perfect at it, but I can change speed and direction and he's like, "I try to stay here!" No more body slamming, biting or tripping - though he can be quite the crowder. His sit is getting more automatic, and he's really making some nice choices coming into heel on his own. So I introduced the figure 8! We've been working right turns and about turns, so that part wasn't an issue, the inside turn sort of blew his mind. He started out pulling a move Haku used to do on inside turns, where he would actually walk on the backs of my feet with his rear feet. Kudos for pulling the butt in - but maybe not THAT much. Really cool to see him thinking and trying so hard - doesn't look good yet, but so much fun to finally be able to, well, walk with him.
We even did front cross flatwork in puppy class today! I truly didn't know what he was going to do, as we haven't worked on it because he was so bad at it when he was younger. But the heeling and the cone work paid off, no issues. And he even did a little sequence with the chute in class, which was cute as he's never gone from the chute to anything else. Slowly but surely, he's coming along. Not always super focused, but he has some good moments.
We are auditing Justine Davenport's new agility foundation class that started today, I don't expect things to be too much different, but hopefully will be fun things puppy can do. I really like how she breaks behaviors down and it's always motivating to me to see the progress with the other dogs in class. I'll admit, way more excited to do the first exercises in her class than Navarre's european puppy class, where we haven't worked on those exercises much at all. That class just hasn't jived with me - which is not a bad thing. The point is to be exposed to different ways of training and then decide if they're right for me, and, if not, why is that? Always something new to learn, and it doesn't mean one way is better than another - there are so many different ways to train agility.
I will say, my favorite online classes have been Silvia, Polona and Justine. They definitely have some things in common, there aren't a lot of 'rules', they don't micromanage, and they're about finding out what's right for the dog. A lot is left up to the handler - they're not going to hold your hand through every little exercise, or tell you how to train it - they leave that up to you. I don't like to be told what to do. Navarre's european puppy class has a lot of rules about almost everything from what you're rewarding with, where you're rewarding, how you're rewarding, very specific verbals for every type of reward, the type of tugging and play, when you can throw things, when you can -well, you get the idea ... doesn't suit me. ;-) But obviously it works very well for many people too!
Making my bed this morning, I found all these toys, a chewed up sock and this cat in my bed - what on earth is going on at night? I wish my toys looked more attractive ... but they all look like this.
Knock on wood, Dragon seems to be continuing to do well. I was super sad when I found some urine on the couch the other day, but then I remembered I had accidentally left Eva loose - and unfortunately as soon as she falls asleep, there you go. So Navarre hasn't had a peeing incident since Navarre arrived back in June, and I took him off the prozac in August. He's definitely way jumpier and nervous off the drugs, but also much sweeter and cuddlier. I'm feeling cautiously optimistic that he's outgrown his weird tendencies - but I know it's still a possibility.
I think that I mentioned it, but SS kittens turned 5 years old last month. Still little weirdos, but they do grow on you.
Girls are always about drama
Truly has no idea what's going on - ever
The cats get along pretty well, with Isis and Dio doing their thing, and Fizban and Dragon having wild parties as well. The two groups do sometimes meet, and they all snuggle well together - but SS kittens are just too weird, the maine coons don't know quite what to do with them. I never intended to have four cats again, but I still say that the SS kittens don't count. I do love cats, they make me very happy. Even the weird ones.
Chickens are still molting, but at least the one girl that looked really scraggly is actually now ahead of the game as the other girls are now quite homely. Been keeping them, well, cooped up for the most part since our coyote incident. The neighbor chickens are spending quite a bit of time over at our place - I'm not sure how that would work. Would the two groups have a chicken rumble? Become best friends? The nursery also has a rooster now that I hear, but I never see him - will my girls be drawn to his manly call? Things I don't know about roaming groups of chickens. Don't tell the ladies, but I'm very curious to hear how it goes with Heidi's meat chickens and how the processing goes. Certainly our set-up would be good for raising meat chickens if it's something I decided would be worthwhile ....
Everywhere I go I keep running into Afghans - and I love them all. I think it's a sign, obviously not soon ... but someday.