Bring on the bubble bath, cookies in bed, and all my other guilty pleasures! Join me if you will!!!
Close your eyes and picture me here in my pink bathrobe and shower cap. Why, you ask, do I need a shower cap when I'm taking a bubble bath???
To ensure that my ears are dry when the Mom gets home... of course!!! But I digress...
Tonight is the first night of Reufus' new class... Beyond Basic. You might wonder, as I did, what is involved in "Beyond"... And here is the course description:
Beyond Basic See spot come, jump and sit up! During the six-week session, you will teach your dog to go through, up, and over obstacles. As your dog becomes proficient with the jump and sit, you will introduce him to a variety of tricks. In addition to teaching new skills and tricks, you will continue to enhance your relationship and rapport with your canine companion by reinforcing the skills introduced in previous classes. After mastering the skills and concepts introduced in this class, your dog will be ready for Hollywood!
[My the Aunt Karen sent us some new photos that she took at last week's graduation... so I thought I would use them to illustrate his experience tonight.]
Having eaten half of a koozie on the trip, The Reuf arrived... did small business outside, sat politely at the door until invited to enter... and then greeted his favorite trainer, Tracie, with enthusiasm!
Reuf was pretty wound up, as he discovered that NONE of his friends from the last class were joining him... but the arena began to fill with other, fresh and new friends (i.e. distractions)!
Here he is, fully engaged with the Mom, as he is supposed to be. In truth tonight... at least at first... he was checking out new pals, that included:
Lab / Lab Mix
Golden Retriever Mix
Who Am I Missing?
First, there were loose leash walks... varying speeds with sits. Reuf did pretty well, but did have some distractions. Next... the group gathered in a circle. Each dog connected with their person, as one by one... dogs took turn weaving in and out of the circle, an arm's length from the sitting dogs.
Reuf did great with the distractions (or make that he AND the Mom didn't get it right away... but they did learn with the help of Sandy and Tracie)... just like he did last week, when Tracie was his distraction!
Next, the students demonstrated their SPINS and REVERSES. This happens to be a favorite of Reufus. And he did it over and over and over... with enthusiasm!Next... a new trick was introduced... "the wave".
The Mom worked with Reufus. Sandy worked with Reufus. And Tracie worked with Reufus. Sandy and Tracie were able to identify small measures of compliance, and they rewarded him. The Mom promised them that she would continue to work with him at home...
And she did when she got home. The first time she waved at me... I waved back. She waved with the other hand, and I waved with my other paw.
She turned to Reuf, and said... "Seeeeeee?????"
The Reufus loves to be an example in class, as he was in class last week... but there was no need for his volunteering spirt this week [in part, due to the maturity of the other dogs... and also because the other dogs and their people seem to be focused and on point. My the Mom worries that this is too much too soon for the Reuf... and she worries that she won't be able to keep up!!!]
Reufus did GREAT with the A-FRAME (42"-48" high), up and over, quickly and then recall. He also did great with the BOX. Sit until release!
And Christy worked with him on his SIT/STAY and JUMP. The Mom is also grateful to her for addressing the LAZY SIT. I think it's safe to say... this will be the primary focus of this next week!!!
Ok... that and the lazy lay. This is not the lazy lay. This is the just hanging out, chicken / frog leg lay. And this photo was taken of Reuf last week when he was letting it all hang out... after his obstacle course. He was proud!
Reuf leaves you with another glimpse of his lazy sit. And if I know my the Mom, she will be asking that I fill my blog with his newly learned pretty sits. We'll see. This is MY blog, after all, and not his!!!
And for now I leave you with a tender "Good Night". And the Reufus is just asking to be put to bed.Knock on wood: Reufus is slowly and quietly assimilating into every day life. Once last week... and again once this week... the Mom missed him, sought him out... and discovered him relaxed, just hanging out like a normal boy! I kinda think that a normal family is in bloom for the three of us!!!