Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


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Obedience? Did someone say obedience?

Is it my turn yet?

Is it my turn yet?

Katie here.  Mom said I should tell you all about her first try at obedience.  She says maybe I can learn something if I tell you the story.  Huh.  Don’t know what, because I’m the smartest one in our family.  Whatever.

So anyway, I got my Mama up at 5:45 this morning just like I do most weekend mornings.  I figure the more time she’s up the more time we have to play.  Anyway, for some reason she didn’t seem to be upset and got right up.  I amble out to the living room and am doing my daily morning stuff when my Dad gets up!  Now I know there’s something up.  And I don’t like it.  Not one bit.  Whenever my Dad gets up early I end up at the kennel or worse, the groomer!

They keep telling me we’re going to school but I’m not fooled.  My Dad doesn’t go to school with me.  So I pant a lot in the car but other than that I stay really quiet, hoping they forget I’m back there.

We drove for about an hour and I knew it wasn’t school as soon as they opened the car door.  There were dogs and cars and motor homes everywhere!  I led the way inside a big building and oh my goodness, all these poor dogs were up on tables getting brushed and washed and they all looked miserable.  I got my Mama out of that room right away!  Didn’t want her getting any ideas that’s for sure.

Our room was way far away from all the commotion; it was really small, hardly bigger than the ring and only a few dogs and their people were there.  Mama and Dad and I watched 3 dogs try to do Utility (the highest level of obedience) and 2 dogs tried to do Open (the level ahead of me) and not one single dog qualified!  Oh man, my Mama was getting nervous!

In our class, Novice A, there were supposed to be two dogs, me and someone else, but no one else ever showed up so I had the place all to myself.  Just about everyone else had left, so it was me and my Mama and my Dad and the judge and the stewards.  It was real quiet.

I still didn’t think we were at school.  So when Mama and I lined up at the start and the judge asked Mama if we were ready I wasn’t really interested.  And the whole leash pattern I had my nose on the ground and wouldn’t look at mom and was about 3 feet away from her sniffing sniffing sniffing.  I sort of kept up with her but I left her alone to walk a lot too.  If I had looked at her I’m pretty sure she’d have been staring daggers at me, because she can’t, like she does at school, talk to me and remind me I was there to work!

Then just before the last about turn I suddenly realized I was supposed to be paying attention!  Well!  Why didn’t you SAY SO Mama!  By the figure 8 exercise I knew the game plan and I worked it.  Hardly any lagging and I was looking at my Mama most of the time.  She said she was relieved.  Me too, though I was wondering where my treats were!

And you know the stand for exam?  Where my Mama tells me to stand and stay and then she walks away from me and a STRANGE PERSON comes and TOUCHES me?  No sweat.  I already liked the lady that was following us around anyway, she seemed nice.  So I didn’t move a hair on my pretty head and my Mama was grinning like a crazy lady.  Which she is a crazy lady, but that’s another story.

Then we got to my favorite – the recall, where she makes me sit straight (I don’t like the straight part) and then she walks a real long way away and I get to come when she calls. I like that because it shows off my beautiful furs and because I love to run.  Especially to my Mama because she gives me treats.  But this time no treats again!  If I had known that I wouldn’t have done it so perfect and come in so straight and sat so pretty!  But it was too late, I didn’t know the no treat thing until after I showed off.

Then we got to do that heel pattern thingy again.  I guess because I had messed it up so much the first time.  But this time there was no bothersome leash involved. Mom wasn’t worried because I had made it clear I knew what was going on by then.  And you know what?  I nailed it!  My Mama was so happy!

I don’t even need to tell you that my long sits and long downs were awesome!  Mama says she nearly had a heart attack near the end of the long (3 min) down when I shifted to my other hip.  She knows that lots of time when I do that I’m about fed up with staying and am contemplating getting up to see what the heck is going on somewhere else.  But I stayed right there because she was staring daggers into me again.

So the long story short is Mama got her first leg (she has to get a total of 3) of Novice Obedience!  She is very excited.  I was excited about the toy they gave me.

My Mama got a ribbon, but I got the real prize!  A toy!!

My Mama got a ribbon, but I got the real prize! A toy!!

At home Mama tried to get a nice picture of me and my toy.

This is MINE!

This is MINE!

But I figured I had been good long enough.  I wanted to play with it!

So I did.

A girl can't have too many toys!

A girl can’t have too many toys!


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Lots on my mind.

It’s a full moon and the end of the month.  The combination appeared to make the mortgage industry  this week simply insane.  So I’m glad it’s finally Friday night.

This weekend will be pretty busy.  We are going to the Ann Arbor Symphony on Saturday night.  I’ve been so stressed I’m not even sure what they are playing, but it doesn’t matter.  I could so use some music therapy right about now.

And on Sunday morning Katie and I are going to attempt to earn the first leg of her Novice Obedience title.  I’m mostly freaked about her off leash stuff.  Unlike Rally where I can talk to her and call her back to me when she wanders, Obedience doesn’t allow talking other than the heel commands after each halt.  And there are a number of things we have to do, so our time in the ring is longer…without treats to keep her motivated.  I’m hoping that 6 years of school click in and she’ll just do what we’ve done for years.  If she is on her game…and if I don’t mess this up…well…there will be a jackpot waiting for her.  Between you and me there will be a jackpot  regardless of whether we “Q” or not…just because we love her.

So anyway, after a very stressful week at work I’m now sort of stressing about the weekend.  And next weekend I’ll be in Washington DC at my 5th Sorrow to Strength.  I need to get prepared for that too…but I can’t seem to think about it too much until I get past the Obedience Trial.

Sometimes I wonder how I get myself into all this stuff.  But really?   It’s just that almost everything interests me and if I could have my way I’d be doing even more things.  But for now I’ll focus on the symphony on Saturday and on getting to the trial on time for Sunday.

I’m sure Katie will take it from there.

What you talkin about Mom?

What you talkin about Mom?