We’re easing back into agility, and some dogs need more reminders than others. Navarre appears to have forgotten all his wrap vs rear work. That’s okay, we’re starting with low one jump work, and going from there. Our big goal as we get back into it is no more thrown toys, no more frisbee in agility (at least, for a while). We are playing with long chasing toys out of my hand only and working on getting Navarre to chase me. Bright is also along for the ride.
So far the dogs have been keen on this new game, which would not have been true when Navarre was younger. Navarre has never been one of Nature’s Chasers, and when he was younger he was lukewarm about driving to a tug. More mature Navarre is having a great time though, sometimes letting dogs grow up is the magical solution. So chasing and tugging, which means Heather gets to run. There is a reason we didn’t work this during the summer. Stupid 100 degree weather, it was gross out today – but the backyard actually got used for agility, which was a first.
Working on bringing the dogs gradually back up to full height in the next few weeks, with particular emphasis on wraps and driving out of turns. Working his verbal discrimination with his different jump cues is also on the list. Hopefully the dogs will only need a quick refresher on weaves and contacts, we’re all excited to get back to agility.
Meanwhile, we are still working on our summer tricks, and all three dogs have now mastered the ‘treat on the nose – flip to eat’ trick. The nose part was easy, the teaching them to catch it on release was much harder! It was pretty hilarious the different methods we tried with that, but in the end just plain competition seemed to do the job. You practice this trick in a group and the dogs want to make sure they actually get that treat! Other tricks we have yet to play around with, adding independence to both crawling and backing up, need five feet of crawling and 10 feet of backing up – I have neither.
In kitten news, now there is a bonus tabby kitten! In kind of a fortuitous series of events, I had brought Lulu into the shelter concerned about mastitis she had so much milk that the kittens were not drinking (they’re doing great on the kibble). Someone found this little kitten and brought him into the shelter that day, so we stuck him in with Lulu and family and she immediately adopted him – just the sweetest thing. I had no idea cats were so accepting of orphans! New kitten is happy to have a mom and siblings, just a great situation that now he’ll get a good environment to grow up in. He’s not quite as confident as the black kittens though, and probably a couple weeks younger. Lulu’s kittens seem like giant beasts next to him, kittens grow up so quickly, it’s amazing the difference between them now and when they arrived. New kitten is in a ‘cuter’ phase, he’s quite the purrer and he loves to follow me around – he’s a charmer. He HATES the dogs though, they’re all terrified of his tiny baby spits and hisses. We’re working on it.
Of course, he’s got nothing on Lulu, who also very much hates dogs. If she even sees them in the backyard she attacks the window. I don’t know how much is her protectiveness of the kittens though, Lulu takes her mom duties SERIOUSLY. Black kittens may be getting about ready to adopt out, they go back into the shelter for worming and flea meds next week – and to get weighed. If they’re big enough (and they seem like big fat kittens to me!), they’ll head off to neutered and then should be ready for adoption. New kitten won’t be far behind, I imagine. Did I mention they grow up quick?