Pixel is staying with us for a couple weeks, which I figured would be super easy, and it has been. She’s a good girl, very quiet and well behaved. Once again, perhaps a little too much so! She stayed with us for a couple days a while back and it kind of freaked me out how quiet she was, and I think she was having a hormonal downswing at that point. She is spunkier this time, but still just way more quiet than I anticipated! Not in a bad way, she seems comfortable and happy, but she is a very young and high energy girl, it’s just bizarre how chill she can be when she wants to.
Pixel is SUPER FUN to train, she just loves it and is very operant and could just go all day. She LOVES agility and running her is a blast, and very easy – Carol has done a great job with her. We’ve been playing with her weaves and contacts while she’s here, as she just learned those relatively recently and she’s still figuring out the details. She’s very keen to do so though, so that’s been a lot of fun. Very different than the border collies, I really enjoy her learning style and enthusiasm.
My dogs have spent a lot of time around Pixel, and Pixel is super polite around the BCs, so they basically just ignore her. Occasionally Pixel gets spunky and chases and bites them, and they still just ignore her! Mostly it makes me realize how self exercising border collies are. We go to the park or the field and the border collies are doing giant outruns and running and moving … and Pixel is just trotting next to me, looking at them like they’re another species. She’ll chase them a little bit, but she doesn’t go far from me. Which I’m not complaining about, but I’m like, “Now is the time for running – GO RUN.” One-on-one Pixel is a bundle of energy and running and playing – out with the other dogs, totally sedate. I keep waiting to see if she’ll start joining in with their reindeer games, but, so far, no luck.
Same thing in the house, my dogs are really chill in the house, and Pixel is too. She’s super quiet and very polite. Even Bright can’t find anything wrong with her. Pixel IS very cuddly and wants to be touching you ALL THE TIME. This is quite a change from the border collies, I’m like, “PERSONAL SPACE, please!” She want to sleep on my head, as she doesn’t want to be close to the cats that sleep more mid-bed. The head thing doesn’t fly though, so she alternates between wedging herself next to me as far from the cats as she can, or sleeping on the floor next to the bed. The cats, of course, ignore her completely, so it’s kind of funny she’s so keen to avoid them. That has been good for Dragon though, he tried hard to be horrified for a couple days, but he kept forgetting she was here, she’s so unobtrusive – now he ignores her.
Enjoying my Pixel time, trying to do a lot of training with her, as that seems to really make her happy. Here she is doing a bit of sequencing yesterday – such an awesome little dog! I even think the scruffiness is kind of cute now 😉
In other news, Bright came up three legged on Wednesday night. The next day, more of the same, sometimes three legged, sometimes toe touching, sometimes putting more weight on it … yeah, I was sure it was her knee. Made an appointment for her today, already planning her surgery and how I was going to handle it. Naturally, this morning she’s bouncing around only slightly lame, but I know about knees, that doesn’t mean anything. In we went to the vet – and it wasn’t her knee! Oh, happy days! I have never been so happy to have my dog be just normally injured! Her hock was somewhat swollen, but her knees felt great, the vet felt she may have sprained the muscle there running in the field. I can’t tell you how relieved I am after feeling just about sure we were in for an expensive surgery, recovery and probably eventually the other knee. Bright is on metacam and rest, but she already looks so much better than she did on Wednesday.
Hopefully this won’t be an ongoing issue, but something that heals up quickly. And the relief that it wasn’t a knee makes up for her missing the USDAA NW Cup this weekend, which is the trial I REALLY wanted to run in this month. Navarre will still be running, but Bright was in all the really fun stuff. Oh well – IT’S NOT A KNEE!
Oh, and totally random as well tonight, Bright also made the Power 10 for 20″ Border Collies this quarter – that surprised the heck out of me. Seems like there should be a lot faster BCs than Bright, but it was fun to see her name on there – god I love that dog.
Oh, and, yes, she is still SUPER DRAMATIC at the vet … but not as much as she used to be. And boy can she turn it on and turn it off when she wants to. So she had her exam where she pretended the vet wasn’t there and looked all sad and pathetic, and then as soon as she was done she’s bouncing around and rummaging on the counter demanding her after exam treats. Dramaqueen.
Navarre may get out of Starters this weekend. Only because I finally broke down to see our results and bought their Competitors Services at the USDAA site for this year. And they have all sorts of Qs that I’m pretty sure we didn’t actually earn, but I can’t really complain at this point. So according to USDAA’s records, he just needs one Standard Q to move all to Advanced. And he needs one more Advanced Gamblers Q to get to Masters Gamblers – the boy is good at distance, he came by that one honestly. So we’ll see, though Starters Standard has been our nemesis …
Haku’s obedience trial is coming up, I am looking forward to it. I was threatening that it may be our last, but we NEED to have things that are just about Haku and I. And we don’t have to do it often, but I do get more serious about our training and focusing on practicing when we have the occasional trial. And we’ll be goofy, and probably not qualify for silliness – but I think he’ll have fun. I think it’s important for me to have the occasional trial to keep me honest in making sure Haku gets just as much one-on-one time. I will admit, when we’re not actively working towards something I slack off. We may never get our UDX, or ever qualify again – but I don’t really care. Doesn’t mean we can’t just go and give it our best goofy shot now and again. Love my ever enthusiastic Haku.
Navarre is coming along in obedience as well, and he is the poster child for having faith that it will come together eventually. It was never the behaviors that I was worried about in obedience, but Navarre’s enthusiasm for the sport. Let it be said, Navarre actually runs with enthusiasm to get that dumbbell now! That was one long road, including taking time off and trying all sorts of different methods and training ideas to see what would bring out that enthusiasm. Little steps, tiny sessions, one throw and party, and letting him make the decision if he wanted to play obedience (and a lot of the time the answer was no!). Now, he’ll never have Haku’s enthusiasm for obedience … but I’m pretty sure Navarre doesn’t have Haku’s level of enthusiasm for ANYTHING. Navarre is having a good time though, he’s got the sparkle to him in obedience now … sometimes. This week I added the turn over the broadjump and he was like, “This is STUPID, why would I run when I’m just going to turn?” And then he would do the exercise at a walk. Which he could, because he’s one athletic dog – but, yeah, we’ll get there. Eventually.
His heeling is looking much better, amazing what can happen if you work on it. Which we have quite a bit while waiting to go into the ring at agility trials. Because then he doesn’t bark! We went through a phase where he really thought heel position was one foot in front of me. And we still don’t have a ‘fast’, but only because I’ve worked really, really hard to get him RUNNING in the fast – and now he just explodes and runs like 5 feet in front of me. We’ll fix that eventually … but, yeah, his slow is beautiful, naturally. 😉 We’ve introduced all the exercises in obedience, but some need a lot more work than others. I think I’ve been deliberately avoiding progressing on his go-out as I’m still traumatized by my experience with Haku. So not entirely sure what I want to do with Navarre, but I know he RUNS to a target with a food … so that’s all we’ve done. Just going with the flow, maybe if he continues like he is, possibly trying Novice when he’s three. But probably four. Good thing we’ve got agility to keep us busy!