Sunday, November 8, 2009

Visitors' Day - Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ahhh! Aren't Pina and Legend a cute pair??? Legend may not be making direct eye contact with the lovely black beauty by his side, but he does have her paw gently held beneath his own!

Well, I committed two crimes today here at Doggie Camp! Both were with absolutely no malice of intent, and, in fact, both were done with the very best of intentions! With no classes today, and not expecting visitors until the afternoon, if at all, Pina and I were a little bored. So I took her to the classroom to do a little review work on skills. Bad, bad Linda! The dogs were supposed to have the day off today! One of the trainers from one of the other programs "caught" me, and explained, very kindly, that I wasn't supposed to "work" Filey (oh oh! I meant Pina!) today! Misdemeanour #2 occurred about a half hour later, when, with Pina on leash and Halti, I happened to hear Alex, his mom, and Pesto having a "play time". We all thought that it would be nice for the siblings to have a chance to play together for a while. Wrong!!! Another trainer "caught" us, and explained, again kindly and gently, that we were only to have the dogs have playtime on their own, unless the trainers were there to supervise - we have had two "group" playdates, but, yes, that was under supervision! The other "bad" thing that happened during this unauthorized playtime, is that Pina and Pesto were having a grand old time playing "tug of war" with a rope toy. "Tug of war" is ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN for Special Skills Dogs! Since they are so highly trained to retrieve items, and give them to us, any "tugging" game (especially as it gets quite rough and intense with another dog) is counter-productive! Wow - I still have lots to learn and only four more days to do so!
We were encouraged to "crate" our dogs in our rooms for up to an hour today, and leave them there with a marrow bone, and a radio playing, as a practice to avoid any separation anxiety. My own separation anxiety was dealt with by "scooting" on this glorious sunny day to Tim Horton's (three blocks away), to have my "usual" (for those who don't know me well, that's a small French Vanilla Cappuccino and a double-toasted cinnamon-raisin bagel with butter), and a chance to start reading, for the first time since coming here,"Three Cups of Tea".
And then, I did have visitors this afternoon! Andrew and Norah stopped by around 3:30 on their way back from Toronto to Kitchener (they had gone to the hockey game last evening, and stayed with friends), and then Lindsay and Lee showed up at about 5:30 en route to Kitchener to pick up their car/return Lee's mom's van (which they had been using to move things to their new abode in Toronto). It was wonderful to see my children (and their "significant others")and Pina was generally impressive with her behaviour and showing off a few skills. I felt badly that David wasn't able to come today. When he was here last Sunday, we had only had the dogs for four days, and interaction with anyone else was discouraged. Today, we were told to first make sure that our dogs were controlled, and then to let them interact physically with family members for a couple of minutes. This really is going to be one of the most difficult challenges - having a "working" dog after having had a family "pet" dog! Four more days of classes!

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