Hello Again

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I don’t seem to be posting as much as I had hoped, these two are keeping me pretty busy. It’s been a jam packed full couple of weeks.

Riggs has attended lots of classes, finishing up our puppy class, starting the Bachelor (everyday) Obedience class, and now Pre-Agility. We’re both really enjoying both of these classes at the moment. Riggs has been doing awesome, and I’m so pleased with how easy he has been to train. He still very much has the puppy attention span, but he’s really coming along and seems to enjoy learning all his new tricks. We did the tunnel for the first time in our pre-agility class this week (since we missed the first week of class). It took him a bit to figure out to go through the tunnel – even though Cathy had one in with them as puppies – but after his first go through he didn’t want to quit! Practically begging “just one more time!” We also tried a drop in disc dog/ Frisbee class which was excellent. I learnt a lot that will improve my throwing, and Riggs did pretty well considering I had really only shown him the disc a few times before the class. We’ll look at entering our first competition in the fall if possible.

Both dogs have now been microchipped so I can apply for their CKC papers, which means I can now show Riggs in the conformation ring. We’ve been attending a few handling classes as time allows, and his first show is next weekend. So I’m hoping things settle down a bit after that. I’ll try to get some photos of him at the show, but he seems to be growing into his body pretty well, not nearly as awkward and gangly as Tess at his age. Hope that’s a good sign!

I’m trying not to overdo it with him with a bunch of classes, he’s in a little more than I would like right now and they all seem to be back to back. So I’m looking forward to taking it a little easier on the training side after the show. We’ve been practicing for the classes a little here and there, and I’m still trying to take him to new places and practice focus in new busy and distracting environments. At home he’s doing pretty well. I went away for about a week to go visit my parents out of town and he went to the kennel while I was away. I realized on coming back how much he has mentally grown, I was still babying him a little too much, so he’s enjoyed a little more freedom upon me coming home. House training is still a work in progress, but he’s got it most of the time and is telling me when he has to go out. Occasionally I don’t hear him ask to go outside, or he gets distracted outside and comes in and has an accident. But overall he’s doing great.

The biggest puppy issue we’re working through right now is jumping on people and counters. People wise it’s a bit of a catch 22, he is much more friendly and interested in people than Tess ever was – which is great – but the down side is he still thinks the best way to say hello is to jump up. So it’s a work in progress. He’s driving me crazy jumping at the counters, but is slowly getting the idea that it isn’t allowed. Too many good things up there to make it worth trying!

The only other real “issue” that’s popped up is car rides, he seems really good in the car. Mostly laying down and hanging out quietly, but balks at getting into the car. He always gets treats when he goes in but that doesn’t seem to be enough, so I have some work to do with him on that.

Yesterday was really hot here so I took him out to Barrier Lake (by himself this time) to see if he’d swim. I couldn’t believe it but we had the place to ourselves again, which was nice. The water was quite low so it was nice for me to have a non-rocky beach to walk on. He was interested in the toys I brought but the puppy attention span didn’t allow for fetching. He really enjoyed running through the water and finding sticks to eat. Thoroughly enjoying himself. Here’s a quick video of Riggs playing at Barrier Lake.

He got good and muddy since the silt there is very slippery and clay like (and he had a few tumbles in it), which meant a bath coming home. He’s had a few at my house, but he’s now too big for the kitchen sink and I struggle washing him in the tub. So I took him to the self-dog wash on the way home from the lake. He was a little unsure about the tub to start, but like with most things seems pretty resilient to new situations. A few treats in and he was a pretty happy camper, went through it all like a trooper!

Today he gets another fun day at daycare, this has been such a godsend for me! It’s been nice to be able to do a few things around the house without him underfoot, and get some visiting in without a 5hr (potty break) curfew! He loves visiting all the staff, playing in the doggie pool and making a bunch of new doggie friends. Last week he was so excited to see Sonia when we got there he jumped out the car window while I was putting it in park, didn’t even look back – yeah thanks Riggs way to make me feel loved!

Tess on the other hand has really been trouble lately. Not behaviour wise, but we’ve been struggling with her allergies a lot. I decided to try her on a new food a few months ago, and all hell broke loose. Long story short I’ve been making her cooked meals for over a month now. Which was a pain while trying to get away on holidays; the kennel she stays at is excellent and is well set up to deal with special needs but it was sure an unneeded time suck fitting in cooking extra meals for her kennel visit on top of all the other things I had to do to get ready to leave, and squeeze in all the training classes with both dogs. She did well at the kennel but since coming home has been worse again. I took Tess in to the emergency vet earlier this week after a few days of diarrhea and finally extreme lethargy, she’s on some new meds and seems to have improved. Much less lethargic and more like her normal self. After chatting with my vet about the issues we decided to run a battery of tests to see if there isn’t another underlying problem. We should get all the results by early next week, but I don’t really know what the good news is here. And I’m not sure what I’m hoping for, I guess just that we can do something to help her feel a little better. The allergies alone have been enough of a struggle to deal with for training, so I hope whatever it is doesn’t reduce her choices even further. But I really just want her to feel better, so hopefully this give us some answers and we can do that.

On a more positive note, Tess is really enjoying her barn hunt practices, she’s really great at finding the rat, less great about telling me when she has! So we have been working on her indication a lot, and building more drive for the rat. Like most things with Tess it depends on the day, and what she feels like doing! She’s a challenge alright – but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

I’ll let you know how Riggs does at his big debut at next weekend’s show!

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