The adventures of SD Juno and SDIT Kaline (and their human, Colt).

12 August 2012

Going to the horse show (and Saturday Class No. 4)

I think Kaline and I were both a bit tired for Saturday morning class—we stayed up really late watching the Olympics! So I was not too surprised when 10:45 hit and he couldn't concentrate very well anymore. He did a lot better on his heeling! I'm trying to use "let's go" for when I want him to just walk with me informally (i.e. not looking directly into my face 95% of the time) and "heel" for the formal heel we'll use in (hopefully) obedience competitions. I've been having to lure his face back up a lot, but at class he pretty much stayed locked on that treat and kept his head up! Hurrah.

Recalls went okay. He's not breaking when the other dogs go, which is really nice. He still has issues coming in though. We're working on it! Every time he did kind of a half-assed front, I'd back up little steps (sometimes repeatedly) until he was in straight and close, where he was supposed to be. Meet and greets went pretty well; long sit-stays and down-stays at the end of class were kind of beyond him.

After class, Kristin got out the dokken she just got (a pair of fake ducks with floppy heads) and Freddie tossed one for Kaline. He was so intrigued! He would chase it down with great enthusiasm and then bark and playbow to see if it might be alive. On the last throw, he finally mouthed the duck and we all cheered for him.

In the afternoon, Sonja and Chief came and she, Dad, Juno, Kaline and I all went over to the Circus Club to see a bit of the horse show. I was amazed at the number of people who came over to me and said they had Dobermans at home! They're just not real common here. Sounded like everyone had reds though, haha.

Kaline was already tired, so he did pretty well at the show. I'd woken him up from a nap to go, and then the walk there was pretty hot, so he was perfectly content to lie down anywhere, pretty much whenever I stopped moving. We met some lovely people and dogs at the Muttville booth—Muttville is a rescue for senior dogs, how wonderful!

We took a stroll down the aisle of booths, most filled with insanely expensive horse stuff, and met tons of nice dogs. There was a baby black Lab about Kaline's age who was adorably asleep in his ex-pen; there was a very handsome Corgi with actual legs; and a nine-month-old stunning black Great Dane named Bella, who Kaline was a little unsure about. He'd go up and smell her, then kind of dive back under the table—"She's really big!" I joked with the owner that Bella could take some of the attention off of Kaline's enormous paws.

We had lunch from one of the stands, and all the dogs chilled out under the table. Chief had been a little unsure about Kaline at first, but soon they were great friends and Kaline was rudely swatting Chief's face with his paw under there. When he could find the energy, that is. Kaline handled all the people and dog attention with no problems.
Miss Junebug
Adorable Chief.
I am so used to protecting Juno's space that I kind of have to remind myself I don't need to protect Kaline's in the same way. Juno does not appreciate strange dogs coming up in her face; Kaline really doesn't care, as long as they're nice, obviously. And pretty much all the dogs we met were nice—something about horsey dogs, Sonja says.

We went to watch the hunter-jumpers for a while, which was fun, and then we walked down past the ends of all the aisles of temporary stables. All the dogs did just fine with the horses, which seemed way larger than I remember (I used to do horsey things forever ago). The endcaps of these aisles were fascinating—they were like portable living rooms, from really nice houses. Nice couches, nice chairs, usually with bright green grass/sod underneath and possibly some nicely arranged bricks. There'd be tables and framed photographs and ribbons and usually a dog lounging on one of the very nice couches. One place had an actual fountain! Yes, we were among the 1%. The dogs had a good time, though they were definitely hot.
Portable living room with cute dog.
Kaline in the small-dog-sized judge's booth outside one of the endcaps. Soon he won't be able to masquerade as a small dog anymore!
Chief got to be carried most of the way home, because he was so tired (nothing better than a tired puppy). Somehow though, he and Kaline found the energy for a really long play session once we let them go on the grass in front of the apartments down the street! They were so cute together. I don't think Kaline's ever really gotten to play with a dog significantly smaller than himself, and it was nice to see that he didn't play overly roughly with Chief. He'd practically flatten himself into the ground (yes, there were many faceplants, not all of them intentional!). They chased each other around, but interestingly they confined themselves mostly to the grass right in front of me and Sonja. We have to make sure they keep having playdates—I want Kaline to stay very gentle, and to stay anything, you have to practice!
Post-play session.
After we finally separated the puppies (they would've kept going, I'm sure, until they collapsed) we both went home. Kaline basically slept away the evening, which Juno certainly appreciated. There was much cuddling, which is also practice for Kaline's eventual deep pressure tasks. I figure the more he sleeps on top of me, and enjoys it, the more he'll enjoy doing tasks like "on me" (lie completely on top of me, head under my chin), "cuddle" (lie next to me with your back pressed into my chest/stomach), and "across" (lie across my lap and lean into my chest while I sit on the floor). There's totally a method to my madness. Promise.

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