Uh oh, Spring is coming



It's been such a long, cold winter one could almost forget that Spring is coming - and all that entails. But, out of the blue, we had a lovely 60 degree day today - just for Hiking Friday! I've had some pretty good luck with the weather on Fridays. However, as it was so much warmer than it has been, suddenly I'm dreading summer like crazy.

So today we went on an extra long hike because Summer Heather will certainly not want to. Winter Heather can go forever! Summer Heather is very whiny and wimpy, but Winter Heather is all hardcore. Well, relatively speaking. Heat really is my nemesis. Today was just perfect though, and the dogs had a wonderful time, as always. Then we came home and weeded. Ugh, more things you don't have to worry about in the winter. And the back already needs mowing - it begins.

Still, it has been just cold and wet and windy this week, dogs did not get much action. Still taking it easy with Bright, and Navarre is on agility-lite as well after our experiments at 24 inches. We've been working on obedience more than anything this week, and guess who got to play a little at obedience class? Bright! Bright will not be doing obedience, most definitely not her thing, but we were doing a little clicker training exercise to start with so she got to play with that. It was amusing to have Bright in 'obedience' though. Bright doesn't even know how to heel (gasp!). Well, not officially. She obviously can do circle work, fast and slow, and recall to heel, she probably COULD heel just fine. Really, Bright doesn't have a lot of back up careers, so she'd better be able to play agility. She would hate obedience, she's afraid of sheep, she's not going to go dock diving, certainly wouldn't like flyball. Hm, yeah, Bright likes agility!

Navarre thinks that obedience is okay though, and we've been continuing to work on his baby skills. He can do some good stuff! And then sometimes not so good stuff, but hey, he's having a good time. This week in class he did great with his group heeling for the most part, but reverted to forging like a maniac with his figure 8. I have created somewhat of a monster for fronts, as I have been rewarding between my legs. So now he comes to front and then if a treat is not forthcoming he tries slamming through my legs to find the treat. But he's not going slow!

Definitely a weird feel to Navarre lately, he's way more sensitive. While he has been better with the manly stuff, he's really decided to flirt with Fizban. There is much obsessing and poking and ear cleaning and speculative looks about what he can get away with. He occasionally gives it a try with Bright. She is having none of that. Both Bright and Navarre are hiding around the corner of the house if the small children are in the yard next door. I can only hope that having kids around all the time helps Bright with her issues, but I'm thinking she's just giving her issues to Navarre. His coat may be pretty, but that's too bad, he's still on the chopping block for May. Hopefully we'll make it that long.

As for Haku, he's my rock, and we're trying to make him into a rock for obedience. A rock that doesn't creep forward on his stay while I walk away in signals. We have decided that Haku does not actually know that this is a 'Place'. Haku very much knows the difference between his verbal 'Wait' vs 'Place', one of which he is free to fidget and scoot, the other is not. However, signals are obviously silent, so he's never really been officially proofed on what a silent stay signal is - which is a 'Place'. So back to the drawing board there, and this week we're looking at opposition reflex, using the silent stay cue and then gently pulling on a leash as I walk away. He's kind of got the game, but he's not solid on it yet.

I went to enter him in obedience at the end of the month - once again, no preferred class at that trial. Seriously? Preferred is the red-headed step child of obedience, that's for sure. And yet, the response to anyone that expresses concern about the safety of group stays is, "If you're concerned about it, go do preferred." Well, good luck with that.


A new game of Find the Brightness (hint, Navarre knows where she is!)


This one is slightly easier, as if you find Haku, you've found Bright


Stopping to admire the view


Filthy hiking buddies