Thursday Night Practice

Tonight, later than earlier, I took Baby out to practice. Our back light has been working regularly since the latest Mercury Retrograde has passed. She did very well on all the moving exercises, so after the recall, she got a big reward. I pan fried nine chicken tenderloins Wednesday night, cut them off, mixed them with some Kong Tots, and I fed her a nice handful of those pieces from the large baggie of them I had in my pocket. One by one, Baby got a jack pot.

I then brought out Leissl, Pippin, and Luigi. The two girls are trained in Novice, and Luigi’s on his way, but learning the stays, which is what we were practicing. So I put Pippin, Leissl, and Baby across the yard on stays, and Luigi was on a leash near me. Baby was the only one who did both stays flawlessly. I mean flawlessly! She was magnificent. Everyone got treats from the bag in my pocket, and we celebrated each other’s place on the learning ladder. Then I opened the back door and everyone else got to celebrate.

That’s when it happened. Somehow, and it’s not because I had had two beers, but somehow, the whole packet of chicken pieces I had lovingly cut into nice-sized training pieces and Kong Tots fell out of my pocket. It was right by the back door, so it happened as the indoor subset of the FDSP joined the outdoor subset to make the whole set. My packet had not been securely closed. There were treats all over the back door welcome mat, and dog snouts quickly realized what had transpired.

I started picking up little pieces as quickly as possible. I saw the packet sitting there on the faux grass welcome mat as I furiously picked like a chicken, but thought I needed to pick up the little pieces first then stash them in that packet. During that thought, I saw the black-and-tan snout swoop in, grab that packet up, and depart like a stealth Dober. That’s when I stood up, and said, “Luna! Luna Verte, you drop that right now!” It took another repetition of what I had said to get it done, but Luna did drop it. Several steps away. I told everyone just to leave that stuff on the mat alone till I got back. Did they? Well, mostly.

I got back there with the packet, and finished picking up what I could, but I was not as motivated to get the Kong Tots, as I was to get those chicken pieces. So once I got the chicken back in the packet, I called it a wrap, and let the foraging go full speed.

I had seen something like that happen in a clicker class once. I laughed my head off being it was someone else who clumsily competed with her dog to get to the treats that spilled out of her treat bag onto the floor. Their snouts are faster than our fingers when it comes to that, you know?

My snout’s faster than your fingers!

And this sort of thing is so much more entertaining when you are watching someone else in the throes of trying to out gather treats before their dogs.

About Helen

I'm a Southern California living in South Florida. I've been here for 10 years as of October 1, 2007. No matter where I live, I'm a dog lover, and my breed is the Dobermann Pinscher of the Working Group. I am also fond of the Australian Shepherd of the Herding Group. My life revolves around my dogs, which is something those family members of mine don't understand. So I'm an island in that respect, but have built friendships with those who are doggie lovers and respect the canine as much as I do. Some do rescue, some train in, compete in, and judge AKC trials. The common thread is our dogs are family.
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