It’s been an interesting Weekend with Dogs.
Belle Cardigan Corgi: i don’t think you have to tell this story.
No, really, I do. It’s part of the whole weekend.
Belle: i will pretend i am not here.
Here. Just hide over here in your Princess Bed. Probably for the best.
The past weekend is proof positive: to live with dogs, you have to live humble. And be ready to laugh.
We started the weekend with the 0-dark-30 wake-up call, so we could head out to lay track before it gets too hot to ask the dogs to run it once it’s aged (we’re working Dart at two hours, Connery at anywhere from one to two hours, Zoom our BC friend between two and three, and Coz the little Papillion at thirty minutes. Interweaving the track laying & running is sort of an art.) This weekend we were at the UNM campus, which is where the VST is held and contains great sprawling content opportunities–concrete, asphalt, grass, gravel, mulch…
It also has a freaking lot of uncontrolled off-leash dogs, but that’s a rant for another day.
It also has automatic water sprinklers. These aren’t supposed to go off after 7am at a state institution, but as we found out while Coz was doing his little track…they do. They really, really do. (I present for your amusement the image of two handlers not only caught in this particular gantlet, but hunkering down to finish running the track, complete with outraged outcry as the sprinklers spun around to startling new orientations. Kinda wonder what the passing students thought…)
Well, as we said at the time: we weren’t hot any longer!
Connery took his turn to bravely handle a freaking off-leash dog and overcome his concerns to return to his track, and then Dart ran. For the past couple of sessions, Dart’s been struggling with the notion of tracking extensive hard surfaces–especially when it comes to concrete, which holds less scent than asphalt. It’s been obvious from his reaction to these surfaces that the scenting experience is so different that he doesn’t consider tracking over it to be the same task.
This time out, I deliberately laid a track that was mostly asphalt and concrete, with transitions from one to the other–including stairs. (Scent behavior on stairs is pretty outrageous, never mind concrete stairs.) On another dog, this might not have been a good choice, but with this dog…evil genius that he is…there have been too many times I’ve presented him with a giant leap of performance criteria only to see the whole thing click in his head.
Had you been hovering over the campus on Saturday morning, you would have heard:
And there was celebrating by all! Good boy Dart!
Belle: maybe she will forget about…well, nevermind.
Not much chance of that.
Dart came home to a bath, after which I took photos to use in the cover of the current Dale & Sully story. And here you go, a peekview–up above! Plus a view that I’m not going to be using, but can’t resist…
The cuteness factor here is far too great weapon to use casually, so it didn't make the cut for cover. But honestly--!
While Dart was drying, a fellow raw feeder came by with sheep bones that she couldn’t use. It turned out to be a sheep skeleton, which fits into freezer space somewhat differently than a bundle of bones–it’s an interesting visual–but it was all very much appreciated. Especially by the dogs, who will be exercising their jaws and flossing their teeth for some time to come.
Sheep bones come in handy another way, too, it turns out.
Door-to-door steak-selling Guy: Buy my stuff!
Me: Oh, so sorry…I just put a sheep skeleton in the freezers. No room!
Guy: *backs away…*
Hee hee hee hee.
Belle: she really did forget!
So, after this dogventure filled day, I was looking forward to a good night’s sleep.
Belle: oh. she didn’t forget.
Dart often wakes up during the night–half the time he’s fretting, the other half of the time he really has to go. So the first wake-up call is always treated as valid, and I generally handle this without lights, without glasses…if I can help myself, without opening my eyes.
Belle: maybe it is all dart’s fault.
Belle is the only one of the dogs who isn’t crated at night–she’s a bedroom dog. (Connery’s crate bedding routine helps to control his allergies; Dart’s crate helps to control…Dart.) Last night that bedroom door was open, due to the heat and need for circulation, but she’s a very good girl, so…no big deal.
Belle: it happens to everyone now and then!
Me, toddling out to the kitchen to pull Dart from his crate and put him out through the mud room…in the dark…without glasses…: *SQUISH*
Me, a little more awake now: That can’t be right.
Let’s just say I turned on the light.
Pets. Never a dull moment, eh?