Sunday, September 27, 2009

What I meant to do

I meant to spend this posting with deep thoughts of Sophie's training course. But I was delightfully sidetracked by the posting on All Horse Stuff. So I had to run outside and look at our grape plants.

Here in the desert, our grapes don't provide fruit until May/June. But our plants are healthy and strong and have survived the summer.

When it comes to a fire-place pit - ours won't be used until much later this year. Often in the winter, we have 'no burn days' when fire places aren't allowed to be used. This law includes not using fire pits or chimeneas. We suffer from winter 'temperature inversions' when the dust, smoke and air pollution can never lift much above ground level. When we lived in India, we had a similar winter phenomena, called 'smit'. Mornings started stinky and cloudy, and as the day warmed up, the smit became thicker and stronger. I need to ask Unseen Rajasthan if this still exists. We spent part of one winter in Jaipur, but I only remember living in the 'smit' in Delhi.

Anyway, I did work with Sophie on her training lessons. This week's lesson is impossible! The technique to teach 'park it' is to have her figure it out for herself. She is supposed to problem solve that standing on her bed leads to sitting on her bed and staying there. BUT I just want to jump ahead and tell her to sit and stay. On her bed. Until it makes sense to release her. Sometimes that is hours...

So I took her for a walk to the neighborhood park. There, we practiced 'sit and stay'. She is excellent at that! As you see, she wears a gentle-leader when we walk. She is very much used to it and feels comfortable in it.

Here she is in a 'casual sit' (her way of sitting) and 'stay'. She is really tolerant at watching me turn my back and walk away. Not a flinch from her until I call her to come to me.

Toby joined us on our exercise. He, too, wears a gentle leader when we walk, but once at the park he enjoys relaxing 'au natural'. He's our goof-off doggy. But well behaved when he can hang out at the park.

"You do not own a dog, the dog owns you." - Unknown


Christy Pinheiro, EA ABA said...

Nice pictures! I miss my dog.

allhorsestuff said...

Love your dogs! It is great to know those who love the dogs enough to teach them wonderful manners and lessons, as you do.
Hey---thanks for mentiong me on your blog..little gift it was to me tonight!
Yea..if it were a especially hot day here..and the smog alerts were in force...we should NOT burn either.

Hope the grapes and the times of fires will be coming your way soon. These grapes are for wine..and they are uop near our house but the neighbor wons them. he is from Lebaneese and uses the large leaves for lamb and rice wraps...very tasty they are. You pick the leaves while they are young(not tuff yet) and freeze them...then you make spiced rice, lamb or beef.and wrap them up in the leaves and steam it all!YUM!


altadenahiker said...

Happy fellows, and I love the at-ease sit.