Wednesday, June 10, 2009

All Sunday, all dog

Last Sunday, I joined my dog training group for a small reunion of sorts. The first batch of trainers were nearly all there, minus L and K, and joined the second batch of trainers to work with some of the new dogs, and for a special case - our very first behavioral analysis of one dog (with owners in attendance). JI plans to get us to build skills towards helping analyze what makes problem dogs tick and it was a great training day for those of us; I wish I could stay on and do more weeks with this side of the program. JI will also be setting up a training academy soon, I'd join it in a heartbeat if I wasn't out of the country.

We also had a mishap with one of the puppies, 9 weeks old, and very bright. I was holding the puppy, and it decided that it was a cat, and leaped out of my arms 4 feet down onto a hard tiled floor. It landed hard, and took a painful spill. We worried it was a dislocated shoulder, but after the vet took the x-ray, we learned it was a sprained muscle. Such relief. With my own dog all bound up and in a cast, I don't think I can take more animal mishaps.

Unfortunately, we witnessed the sorrow of another family whose 10 year old pet had to be put down; a failing kidney and deteriorating health forced them to the painful decision. Owner, yaya, all were keening with sorrow.

We ended the long day at E's home, eating ice cream and talking about the future, observing her own dogs and the new puppy she's training, who was confident and full of puppy joy. Before we left, she showed us just how confident she was, falling into the carp pond, but swimming ably to the side to get herself out of her own predicament if not for E coming to her rescue. I think the humans were far more concerned than the dog! E's black lab decided that a soggy puppy was the perfect patient for his ministering tongue, that dog is a bit OC when it comes to cleaning!

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