Okay, I’m so done making baby animal videos. I give mad props to those folks always making these elaborate and highly entertaining videos. I find the whole process to be tedious and not at all fun or even worthwhile. With photography I enjoy the whole process, but videoing – ugh. I swear I don’t know how anyone gets cute things on the film in the first place, you basically just have to follow the animals around with the assumption they’re going to do something cute. Which I suppose is the same thing in photography, but I’m not sitting there FILMING the whole time, or feeling frustrated when the animals end up just doing normal not-very-cute animal things.
So first you have to sit there and hope to actually get something on video, and you can’t just wait until they’re doing something cute and THEN go get your camera, even if you HAVE your camera on you by the time you get it ready to video the moment will be over. Then you have wade through all the shit video, of which 99% of it is, or more, really. But when it’s a baby animal you can’t really just say, “Oh well, I’ll get it tomorrow”, because they change SO QUICKLY. So I end up keeping really uninteresting video because it’s all I have and I don’t want to have NOTHING of them as a baby. Then for me I have to upload it to the cloud, then download to my computer, and then wade through all this crap footage to try to find something that I think will be cute when they’re grown, and then put it all together. And fuck music, by that point I’m so done. Whatever horrible tv show that was in the background is just going to stay there.
While I would love to have all these wonderfully cute moments in the future, it’s so not worth it! With my actual camera I can still be ‘present’ in the moment, with video I feel like I’m not. And with my camera I can squeeze out a presentable picture in a minute or two, while video takes DAYS.
Anyway, so I finally got someone to help with videoing some Aja training. She’s 13 weeks old now and we’ve been focusing on our manners. She loves her crate and I can send her in from across the room and she’ll dive right in and lie down. She can also stay across the room while I put her food bowl down. This has not transferred outside yet though! But I do think we have a bit of a conflict as we’ve been focusing on her recall, especially out of groups of dogs. She’s been doing fabulous, and it fact just rammed right into Haku when she heard her recall and was so excited to get there she had no eyes for anything else. Luckily she was unphased and still loves her recall, SO much easier to work on with a food motivated dog! But I do think when we’ve tried to put her in line ups for cute dog pictures she just keeps bursting out and running to me, as she’s been rewarded a lot for that!
She got her first taste of the city and traffic and all that craziness and did really well, a little cautious, but nothing big. She got to see sheep being herded and wasn’t overly interested. Our ‘dog broke’ sheep are total assholes so not appropriate for baby dogs, so no sheep intros for her. I don’t think a 13 week old is going to learn much at this point anyway. She wasn’t afraid of them, so that’s something. Been sleeping in her x-pen at night in the kitchen since Marvin came and she’s totally okay with that, which I find surprising. If she needs to go out she gives a little whine, but otherwise is fine being off by herself at night. Hasn’t had any accidents in the house in ages. I have seen her go to the door, but mostly I just let her out a lot. I think she’s got the concept, she can also poo and pee on leash. She does kind of walk on a leash now, though I still haven’t used it much. Good with her nails, haven’t tried to brush her yet. Now that she knows a few more behaviors, it appears some of her behaviors have fallen out of her head – so I think she’ll be one of those kinds of learners. Really fast to learn, doesn’t necessarily retain. But once she remembers she’s good again.
Aja continues to great with the dogs without being too obnoxious. Everyone will tell her off if she gets too pushy and she listens, but all the dogs like her. Bright plays with her quite a bit, really has surprised me how much Bright has been okay with a girl puppy. My dogs like border collies! Aja tends to think all dogs like her, she has no problems meeting new dogs – it’s just the new people that she’s suspicious of. Knock on wood, she continues to recover pretty quickly and I will interrupt any obnoxious alarm barking she attempts which she’ll just escalate with if given the opportunity – that girl likes to BARK. But usually actually pretty appropriately these days, and will quiet if requested. She’s just vocal in a talky way, she’s got a vocalization for every occasion and I find it adorable.
Aja is doing better with Marvin because I did end up correcting her for lunging at Marvin while still in her x-pen. She seemed to finally get the clue that Marvin is not a squeak toy for her enjoyment. I have not let them out together, Marvin is ridiculously trusting – and probably always will be.
So, yeah, crazy busy week for Marvin, he’s really just made himself at home. First he conquered the dogs, then he basically made the cats his friend. He just has this adorable oblivious confidence that puts the other animals at ease. And that face, oh, that face – who couldn’t love this cat? He’s just been awesome. Marvin continues to be exactly what I hoped for, just so cuddly and fun. Fingers crossed he doesn’t outgrow his snuggliness as it makes me so happy.
We’ve had all sorts of firsts the last couple days. I moved Marvin out of the guest bathroom and set up a big crate in the cat room to keep him separate while he eats. He’s had no issues with this and as I put a big squishy bed on top of the crate right at window height it’s now THE place to be if you’re a cat. And as things had progressed so well with the cats, I have now started leaving Marvin out with them while I’m gone the last couple days. I got home yesterday and no cats greeted me at the door. I found them all in a big pile on top of the new crate in the cat room – so that made me so happy to see. And while the cats had been tolerating him, they hadn’t really played – and now they’ve been chasing each other around a little. And Marvin just goes right up and rubs up against Fizzy and Dragon and they try to look offended, but they’re running out of excuses.
Then tonight we had another milestone, while Marvin had been sleeping on the bed next to the dogs, tonight he cuddled up to Haku on the couch. I don’t know what it is about Haku that makes baby animals just think he’s the best, but he always draws them in. And he’s the obnoxious cat stalker, so I can’t explain it. Obviously Haku has been VERY happy with this new kitten, Bright has accepted him and Navarre is still being a little weird and pouting in the bedroom sometimes. Go figure.
As for the dogs, they’ve been somewhat neglected recently, we’ve been trying to make up for that this week. This was week two of International League up at Daisy’s, which we’ve enjoyed every time she’s done it. We’re a little rusty being off since Thanksgiving, but I figured we would enjoy this anyway. Week one went okay, but this week I was nowhere near where I wanted to be for my plan, which isn’t normally my issue.
The courses this year are just A2 courses, nothing super hard – and this looked pretty straightforward to me. There was an added challenge as there is no teeter at the moment, the #10 teeter was a jump, which did make it WAY harder as you had to rear cross the tunnel at #11, and at #12 you had better have a good backside verbal. This was pretty much a hot mess with my dogs every time I handled it, though at different places, so at least we kept in interesting. And points to Bright for going on to #22 on my verbal after her running contact with me like 50 feet behind. And then take those points away as she missed her contact both times. Heh. Then Navarre hit his contact both times, but never did respond to the go-on over 22. So that needs work.
Bright has missed her weave entrance both last week and this week, but then she seems to figure it out. Navarre has NOT popped out of the weaves, so fingers crossed that weird phase is just magically over. Our threadles have been terrible both weeks, though I do feel like I’ve been late with cues all over the place, so I’ll give them some slack. Until I REALLY try and stand still and shout and wave my arm and Navarre STILL doesn’t do it. Well, at least we’re ready for AKC. However, my next trial is with Navarre only, USDAA just doing team and steeplechase. With Bright we’ve been getting back into our conditioning routine, hoping to have her in good shape for nationals. I may need to look into something similar, so behind in that course, that just doesn’t normally happen!
Meanwhile, back to obedience as well today, first time in like 5 weeks. Just had so much going on. I started out with Navarre, thinking maybe this would be year we would attempt a trial at some point. Ended up thinking I really should just stop doing obedience with him. He just thinks it’s stupid. And he’s so excited about agility, to watch him in obedience is more painful from the comparison. And having a break clearly did not enthuse him. The funny part is that he is technically a much ‘better’ obedience dog than Haku – much more precise.
Haku was very happy to be back, I’m calling him healed from his obstruction and nerve damage, though we still didn’t do any jumping today. And he would move some feet on a stay or whatever and I just couldn’t even bring myself to fix it. I just don’t care about precision, and I’m totally okay with never competing in obedience again. But Haku had a good time, doubly so since I was all, “Eh, fuck it, move all the feet you want.” It’s his special time, but I have no goals with him. It would be fun to do something different, maybe I should look into Rally. Hm.
We did get to play with sheep this week! That made him very happy. We went and played with the non-dog broke sheep, which meant they would just run from one end of the property to the other if they saw a dog. But it meant we could work on some ‘driving’ and Haku thought it was all great fun. We’re actually going to a herding instructor down south this weekend. I don’t expect anything great, but hopefully will be a good experience.
Oh, and Navarre still has no feel for sheep. Just constantly running up on them, we worked on trying to get him to back off – it wasn’t really successful. He had a good time, but herding will never be his thing. Which is okay, you don’t make much progress with herding seeing sheep three times a year. 😉
Weather has been unseasonably and weirdly dry, but that means dogs have been hiking and running at the field and having a grand old time. 2018 has been a-okay so far!