There are still a few fireworks going off tonight, but, in general, I’m calling Hubbard not too patriotic – it’s been relatively mild in the fireworks department. Navarre ended up doing surprisingly well. When we first started hearing fireworks last week he was pretty worried, would go hide in the bathroom, very concerned. I figured that would get worse as the noise escalated, but, this year at least, it didn’t happen.


I had bought him a thundershirt and an anxiety supplement in preparation (he didn’t like the New Years fireworks either), and I think they both helped. It’s also possible that the supplement may have been the equivalent of doggie viagra to Navarre – it took me a bit to connect the two, as I had to actually put him in a crate at night as he was whining and obsessively grooming cats all night long. That did start pretty much when I started giving him the pills at night. Still, it only helped distract him, so, hey. Hopefully he will come out of his current horny funk, as he was actually literally peeing on poor little Pixel this week – and not accidentally.


But I think being surrounded by dogs not concerned about fireworks is helpful, so when we were at Anne’s on the 4th there were a few loud ones, which concerned him, but didn’t freak him out with all the other dogs there as they didn’t care. And at home that evening Heidi and Dove were there, which was also a nice distraction to have. So lots of tugging and playing when the fireworks went off.

So he still doesn’t like the fireworks, but I was worried we would have a meltdown – knock on wood, we seem to be holding steady at this point. I assume it will get worse as he gets older, but time will tell. We made it through this year.

Speaking of knocking on wood, Navarre’s mysterious limp has not returned. He was not a fan of yet another do nothing week, but we started going back to the park and then agility yesterday (and many hours of romping at the BBQ!) and no sign of any issue. Still don’t know what that was all about, but we’ll see if it returns.


In the meantime, trial this weekend! Navarre and Bright, AKC, should hopefully not be TOO hot, but it’s mid-80s. Our last trialing hurrah until Fall, I imagine. We do have a couple other agility events this summer, including a Justine seminar which hopefully won’t be 100 degrees. Note to self: Buy sunscreen, still not quite used to this summer thing yet.


And Haku is entered in another obedience trial coming up, I’m always the last to know about obedience stuff and how to find and enter it. But it’s at the expo center, which I assume is air conditioned and should be a busy environment – which always makes for a more excited Haku. I keep waiting for our luck to run out with the whole UDX quest, we’ll see what happens.


Haku is turning 8 years old this month, not old, but definitely well seasoned. I thought he was getting fat, but he’s just getting the mature dog chest pop. He is getting that scraggly looking ‘old dog’ hair though, weird hair growing in weird directions. He has slowed down, but I do think without Fenwick he lost a lot of craziness. Now he feels like he needs to be the mature influence in the household.


Oh, and speaking of obedience, exciting announcement in AKC – getting rid of out of sight stays in Open! That makes me really happy, just not an exercise I’ve ever supported. And one would think that those that have competed in obedience for many years would love not to have to do the stupid stays at every competition. They are leaving them in Novice, which I think is a nice compromise – and keeping preferred, I imagine. Or certainly hope so.

I did find it interesting when someone was asking whether I cared about titles in agility I’m like, “No, though baby dogs’ first titles are always fun.” Yet in obedience, that’s really the only thing I’m working for. Obedience competitions are not really ‘fun’, but is it challenging to have goal to strive for. Now, we are trying, theoretically, to get better in obedience – to do better than we have before, but I’ll take qualifying over pretty in obedience. 😉 Of course, with the whole scoring being totally subjective, I don’t put much stock into it anyway.


I do sometimes wonder if Navarre will ever compete in obedience, as it does take a special type. Well, to enjoy it. And I don’t see the point of competing unless your dog is enjoying it – and that IS the challenge, can you train your dog to enjoy an activity that is not intrinsically rewarding and you can give them no feedback and encouragement, and still have a happy worker for 5-10 minutes of difficult behaviors with no reinforcers. Navarre is just such a weird fellow with motivation, he has RULES, and one does not just easily change his mind about anything. We will continue to work on it, as training anything is always fun – but competition, yeah, that remains to be seen.


We have achieved Navarre actually running to me with speed and enthusiasm. Cracks me up that Navarre and Dove thought this was a stupid exercise from the time they were 8 weeks old. Never seen two puppies that thought restrained recalls were totally uninteresting. So perhaps not surprising that Navarre has struggled with the concept of the recall in obedience. At least, with any sort of enthusiasm. However, we have hit a milestone that he now drives to me with speed. You would think just running to me and getting rewarded would be a really easy exercise … but not with Navarre. Dork.


Navarre and Dove are growing up, and very much like how I predicted when I met them at 4 weeks. Dove is now way more of a ‘border collie’ than Navarre. She’s growing up to be the party girl, while Navarre is the more laid back ‘good dog’. Really been interesting to watch those two mature, and they still have a ways to go – they’re still just big puppies. So many dogs need a long time to grow up – 2, 3 or even 4 years old is still so young for a lot of dogs.

Random video from a few weeks ago, with bonus Kip video – miss the little squirt!



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