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A tired dog, is a happy dog
Originally uploaded by egwenna.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for mommies.

Life has its moments, but lately few of them are much fun.

However, I did escape the routine and on Sunday I was a 'victim' for the Ramapo Search and Rescue team. Basically, you meet the team, they do their obedience drills and then team leaders drive groups of victims out to the woods, part way out on the trails and then they point and ask you to go hide, 'over there somewhere'.

You are advised to bring a book, tick spray, lunch an extra sweat shirt and something to sit on. All exccellent advice that I took, plus a sheet of plastic to keep my blanket dry. I've no idea how long I was out there, but it was a while and then I heard a bell....

I realized Lucy was about to find me and put stuff away and closed my eyes. She bounded straight up into my lap and stuck her face in mine as if it say "tag!" We played tug of war for a second (as instructed, they even provide toys) and then I let her win (also per instructions) and she took off with the toy to return to her handler and bring him to me. The other dogs bark to summon their handlers, so you don't play with them until they give their alarm, but Lucy doesn't bark, instead she goes and grabs him to show him who she's found.

What I found out after, is that Tom and Lucy had three people to find, but they didn't know that. Each handler gets an area and they've no idea how many victims are planted, they just have to work the whole area. Lucy also found 11 startled hikers. :)

It was neat and they were a cool group to spend a day with. That my canon has died was very unfortunate. When you're just sitting quietly in the woods, an amazing number of birds land near you, several of which I don't normally see. Such a bummer that I didn't have a camera.

I will probably volunteer again... possibly for November, but only if I can find a sleeping bag or something to stay warm in. The colder it gets, sitting for a few hours hiding in the woods is going to get way too cold for me. I don't mind being still and quiet, it's an amazing change of pace, but I detest being cold. So, we shall see.

Dexter is coming along. He is the class clown for our therapy class and the instructor has dubbed him "Thumper" because you can hear his tail wagging the whole class, and it goes double time if anyone looks at him.

I need to dedicate a little more time to training, but some days time to focus just isn't something I have much of, and while 10 minutes here, and 10 minutes there is better than nothing, I don't find we're making much progress on important things, like walking past other people and dogs without him hanging himself in his collar trying to reach them and being oblivious to my efforts to redirect him....

Date: 2010-10-27 03:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] djinnthespazz.livejournal.com
10 minutes here and there can be remarkably effective.

You may need to work with a prong collar on walking until he gets it. That said, I still need to work with MY mutt on this exercise. Bailey definitely doesn't 'get' it.

Date: 2010-10-27 03:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] djinnthespazz.livejournal.com
On "princess with pooch" - she's just another puppy to him, and it's all play.

Date: 2010-10-27 01:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] egwenna.livejournal.com
Yeah, when they're rolling around, they do look like a pair of puppies. But when she's putting out his food and tells him to 'sit' and 'stay', he listens and waits for her to say the release before he rushes the food bowl.

Date: 2010-10-28 02:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] djinnthespazz.livejournal.com
Good dog. I'm glad he's worked out for you. He's turning into a handsome critter.

Date: 2010-10-28 12:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] egwenna.livejournal.com
All my other dogs have been dark, so I wasn't keen on white at first, but he's grown on me. The ears still look a little goofy to me, but they certain fit his personality.

For the sitting for meals, I had to train Elly and the dog. She was too shrill and herky-jerky at first, he thought she was playing. Had to teach her to be serious and patient, not moving or saying anything else until he complied. But she gets the biggest kick out of saying "get it!" and watching him dash for his bowl and watching them makes me laugh.

Date: 2010-10-27 01:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] egwenna.livejournal.com
Several of the members on the Rescue team (with younger dogs) were using the prong collars, but I have the same reservation with them that I have with the head halters (which we also tested out). I'm afraid they present the wrong image. People have very clear, very negative assosiations with pit bulls and 'spike' collars, and to the clueless (which accounts for most people) the halters look like muzzles. We already get enough negative reactions that I don't want to do anything that increases that.

I got a chest harness which seems to be working, but I think it's too big since the strap is falling to the top of his legs instead of sitting across his chest. But I'll try it again today and see how it goes before I exchange it.

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