Archive for August, 2012

Perfect Drive

amywink August 12th, 2012


This is the GPS track of a perfect drive. Not in the sense that every move is exactly correct, but in the sense that the entire drive went fabulously well. Though we had to work on getting our diagonals straight, we worked on getting our lines straight. Blessing responded to everything I asked her to do. While she started out not yielding to the right side, when I asked her to pay attention, she did and yielded to the right. While she didn’t appreciate my insistence that she move over ever so slightly to move straight (with a commentary flick of her tail), she moved over to go straight. Though we made a few circles a bit wide, we made a few circles with only a bit wide. Everything was smooth and relaxed and even, calm and peaceful. She responded to my hands and I remained relaxed. I didn’t lose contact, or let my reins get overlong, or forget Francine’s directions. Blessing was a good mare, suddenly mature and confident in her work, but not bossy or fussy. Such a perfect drive.

Here are the progressions of our diagonals.


Then a diagonal and a straight line with a half circle to C and straight down the center line:


Then some circles, in both directions:

Lily Goes to School

amywink August 12th, 2012


Lily’s education continued this week with a trip to my college class Tuesday evening and a trip to Puppy Kindergarten on Thursday.

She was excellent at her College visit–greeting every student enthusiastically and also sitting relatively quietly while I spoke to the class about the ending of the summer session.img_0991.jpgimg_0990.jpg
I was quite pleased with her behavior and she was thrilled to go with me instead of head into her crate, as usual. Her resigned face lit up when I got the leash instead of saying “crate” and she sat perfectly when we got ready. And I think you can see the excitement on her face as we got set to drive out of our driveway.

She was a bit more apprehensive at the start of Puppy K. than she was at meeting my students since there were big dogs barking out of sight in the strange building we headed into.


Once she saw the people and the other dogs, she was ecstatic. She enjoyed the free play a great deal and she did fairly well at everything I asked her to do. HOWEVER, she did come away with the new title: “quite the puller”. And yes, she is. For everything else I have asked her to do, she seems determined not to learn to stop pulling at the end of the leash. So we will have something to work on for the next 6 weeks and I hope she is able to “get it” or that we may at least work out a decent compromise.

Why, Miss Lily, You have a License!

amywink August 5th, 2012

“And now, there she is, a full-grown lady. Wearin’ the greatest honor man can bestow. The badge of faith and respectability. ”

Lily got her Rabies vaccine (and tag) this week and I couldn’t help thinking of Lady and The Tramp when Lady gets her collar and license. Of course, Lily is not a Cocker Spaniel, but there is a resemblance. It is, of course, also a great relief to have her fully vaccinated and we can now commence with Puppy Kindergarten! I visited a prospective class this week and I think Lily will benefit greatly, though she does already knows some important commands already….no need to skip a grade and get into trouble! We’ll begin this week and see how it goes. I think she might also enjoy Rally/Agility and so when she gets to be 6 months old, we’ll try a class in that. Sometime in October!

She is learning quite a lot and took her first neighborhood walk this week. With that experience, comes training to exit the house. She didn’t take very long at all to figure out we weren’t going out the door unless she sat down and waited until I said “Okay.” She has some issues with leash-walking so we’ll focus on that for a while as well. But she is doing extremely well with our weekly trips to the barn–a very very important skill to learn. This week she stayed in the dog pen again and got completely filthy racing around in the dirt.


But she cleaned up well after she dried off. whew.

Instead of riding along the carriage this week, we watched from the shade, observing both a nice carriage lesson and Malen exercising her beautiful mare, Lista.


All of the time at the barn is working to make her comfortable with horses and dogs and other odd experiences that go along with a “barn lifestyle”. It’s a lot for a puppy to take in but she is doing extremely well. I was very pleased with her ability to be still and wait quietly while we watched the horses work.


She only had one bobble when Malen rode Lista toward us and Lily decided that was quite alarming and she had to bark like a big dog. Lista just thought she was amusing.

Though I’m spending lots of time writing here about Lily’s adventures, I am now driving Blessing regularly and we are working well together. This week, we worked on our half-circles so we’d eventually be able to work on circles, which we both had issues with last week. I remembered to put my GPS on this week–last week, I took it but left it in the car…the week before, I left it at home. And this is what our work looked liked this week.
picture-2.jpg Fairly decent. Blessing is very finely tuned and we are working to get together on my cues and her work but I see steady improvements with her and myself.

Best. Dog Toy. Ever.

amywink August 1st, 2012

Thanks for the Easy Pour Jug, Tidy-Cat! We love it.


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