Juno had already been up a couple hours, supervising set-up and the beginning of the garage sale, when Kaline and I got our lazy selves out of bed. Scoots had to stay home while I took Kaline to class, since Dad couldn't leave to come handle her. We hung out at the garage sale a bit; Kaline was actually shivering, so I got out one of Angel's old coats and put it on him. It's a little big (shocker!). He looked like a superhero. Or at least a puppy wearing a cape.
It was a big day at training—Kristin's last class before she leaves for freshman year at UCSD this coming Thursday. Kaline did pretty well, especially considering that I only brought a bait bag full of kibble (made higher value by some crushed up pieces of freeze-dried liver). He did some nice heeling and leave it; right at the beginning Freddie placed two plates she found elsewhere in the park, with nasty old pizza and such, in the middle of the arena. We had to walk past those, and all the other dogs, repeatedly. And he was pretty nice about it!
Then we did group sit-stays and down-stays, with the dogs grouped close to each other. This was the first week I not only dropped Kaline's leash but walked around with everyone else among all the other dogs. I even left with everyone else to stand on the stairs outside the circle where we train. And Kaline did fine! Hurrah. Then there was a dog-switch, but with Kaline I don't want to do that. Just like I don't want other people (except Kristin, Freddie or Anne) giving him treats. I don't want him viewing other people as potential handlers or treat dispensers. Yes, I realize than in an emergency strangers might have to handle him, but at least at this point, he'd probably have no problem walking off with someone, as long as they'd brought him food or made squeaky sounds at him.
|Group down-stays, Kaline front left in blue coat.|
Kaline did very well on meet and greets. Our partner was Peter the Poodle, who has just come such a long way. He's like a different dog. Once the meet and greets were over, we had to go out of sigh in turn. I went first, and Kaline was totally fine; then when Dianne, Peter's mom left, only Kaline whined! Peter was a very cool customer. She's done an amazing job with him.
Last we did all kinds of recalls. It was pretty fun when the dogs all sat in a tiny circle, butts together, waiting to be called. The waiting was killing Kaline though, especially cause it was at the end of class and he was pretty much done. He just wanted to lie down and chill; having to stay up in a sit was hard for him, especially if I went too far away. So I just stayed in close to try and keep the tired little guy focused. He did fine on the recalls, I just need to work on my technique! It's always the handler, isn't it?
After class, we had cupcakes in honor of Kristin. Her mom and Freddie did lovely speeches about what a great trainer she has become, and what a magnificent job she's done with Ben, her Toller. He was a kennel dog when she got him, very skittish, afraid of men, prone to bolting randomly. Now, he's a total star, and just earned his CDX and rally novice title! Juno and I aspire to be Ben, haha. We're really going to miss Kristin, but I know she'll have an awesome time at UCSD. After first quarter, she'll probably get to have Ben with her!
Kaline and I headed to Gracie's house to pick her up after class—her family was settling one of the daughters in her new dorm today. We pulled up at home, Juno leapt into the car, and Mom sent us off to go grab lunch for everyone at Burger King. Finding places in the car to put four large cups of pop and two bags of food while ferrying three dogs is interesting, especially when you only have two cupholders. Thankfully Gracie and Juno have good leave its, and Kaline doesn't care about the food because he has never been fed any of it. So it was just a matter of not spilling the pop everywhere!
When we got back, Juno stayed outside with the adults, while Kaline and Gracie came in with me. Of course, they began an epic roughhousing session that has basically lasted all afternoon. Once I was done with the food, I came out to the driveway where the sale was happening and ground down Kaline and Juno's nails. I tried Gracie, but she was not having it. We came in, there was roughhousing, and then a lovely group nap—Gracie on the floor, Juno on her couch, Kaline on me.
|Gracie lets him do this. Then, of course, she pins him to the ground with her chest and lies on top of him.|
When everyone woke up, we went on a walk to downtown Menlo Park and back. Walking three dogs is a great way to get me to pass the used book store without buying anything—I feel awkward taking two dogs in there, and three is just out of the question. They have such a great WWII section ... Anyway, the roughhousing has finally ebbed away; Kaline is now chewing a bully stick instead of Gracie's ears. Seriously, this dog has the patience of a saint. Gracie's conked out on my feet, Juno under the table. Time to feed the hounds!