Saturday, July 22, 2017

Tess Update

Tess is now 7 months, 1 1/2 weeks old.  Ish.  Her birthdate of December 28 is a guess on the rescue's part.  She was pulled out from under the abandoned building at around 4 weeks old so I have a reasonably good guess at her age.  She hasn't had any accidents in the house since she was 4 1/2 months old so I'm declaring her housebroken.  Actually I declared her housebroken many months ago.  Can't remember what age Lola was housebroken at.  I'm guessing this is fairly typical though it seemed kinda early.  Not complaining.  It helps if you're home a lot.

Photo from today.

And when we first brought her home.

She's looking more and more like a real dog these days.  Still all ears and legs.

She's doing well with walking through the neighborhood and nearby trails, mostly excited and curious rather than fearful and learning not to pull when she does get overexcited.  I do believe there's a fear aspect mixed in with the excitement so it's encouraging that she can often focus on us in the face of that.  There are still times when she can't though.  She was unexpectedly unhinged by a walk on a bike path that went under a loud highway.  It was early Sunday morning so not too busy but I realized that we seldom walk near busy highways.  We also took her on a trail that goes through a prairie dog town and their high pitched 'eeps' made her a little crazy.  She seemed a bit interested in the critters themselves (not nearly as crazy about them as Ruby is) but was unhinged by their cheeping.  She's scared of woodpeckers pecking as well.  I finally worked out that that's why she didn't want to go in the yard in the early mornings.  Oddly enough she's not scared of thunder or fireworks though she will  bark a little if either get really really loud.  Weird to have dogs that are o.k. with thunder and fireworks, Ruby's not bothered either.  Poor Strummer was a wreck with both of them and got worse as he got older.  Both the other dogs were bad with them too but poor Strum, he suffered the worst.

More photos from today.

She's been to two agility classes, the first was a private lesson so the instructor could see where she was at and we could see what she'd be willing to do at the facility.  Apparently I'd painted a picture of doom and gloom because the instructor was expecting something way worst than what I'd described.  Tess was nervous and excited but she did o.k. and was willing to work with me and mostly focus on the tasks at hand.  We did started with some simple little games (throw the treat on the ground and tell her to 'Find It', shape her to put front feet into a dog bed) then progressed onto 2o/2o on a small, slightly elevated plank as well as the Offering a Jump exercise.  There were probably some other things that I don't remember.  The instructor felt she was fine to come to class so she went to her first group class last Wednesday.  Again she did fine.  Her biggest challenge was waiting in the car when I took Ruby out for her turn.  Oh the barking.  Next week I'll bring more Kongs and hopefully she'll get used to the routine.  It's important for her to learn to be calm in the car without Ruby.  Ruby is her rock.

In class Tess worked on a nose target, more 2o/2o on the plank, sending through a straight tunnel to a food bowl and introduction to the low dog walk (Just walking up and down the plank and along the top plank.  She bailed a few times and then got more comfortable.  She seemed funny about her back feet being on the planks, maybe something about the feeling of the granulated rubber since she seems fine on my wood planks at home).  She seemed fine working in the facility, took her a little bit to go through the tunnel which was longer than my little 10' practice tunnel (maybe was 15').  I think this will be good for her, pushing her limits but not pushing too far.  The instructor Nicole has been awesome with her.  I hate that 35-40 minute drive to and from Arvada but this has turned out to be a really good fit for both dogs and I'm learning a ton and enjoying the One Mind methodology. 

Interesting to see how much she grew in 11 days.

July 11

Today (July 22)

Hmmm, hard to notice much in those photos without something for scale but in real life she seems way bigger and more mature somehow. 

More from July 11.

Coming up next, some hiking adventures.  And of course more puppy.

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