I've been up late reading a book given to me by an awesome lady friend whom has just accepted a position at the Born Free Primate Sanctuary in Texas. I am so proud of/jealous of her! (seriously though, WAY TO GO RAYCHEL!!)She is an inspiration. The book I am so glued to is "Kicked, Bitten and Scratched: Life Lessons at the World's Premier School for Exotic Animal Trainers" By Amy Sutherland. If you enjoy not just dogs but all sorts of animals and if animal training is of interest to you this book will fill you with an intense realization of what opportunities there are for animals trainers and what it takes to be a good one.
It's hard to believe I have any time to spend reading at all. I am taking steps to begin college courses next fall, applying for volunteer positions with animals, taking two physical fitness classes now and hoping to add another 5k to my schedule, still working full time at the group home, planting in the garden, running daily with Bugsy and hiking every other day with Comet in the pull harness. Also, next week I will excitedly return to Camp Bow Wow to take a position as a "Camp Counselor". As a camp employee I will work with groups of dogs. I will monitor play, as well as do a far share of poop scooping, cleaning and feeding.
Comet and I have been hitting the trails as time allows. I attach his leash from his pull harness to the waist belt on my back pack and I hike hands free. Comets eagerness does not fade as we climb hills in the rain and neither does mine. As a matter of fact, if it is raining I'm harnessing him up and heading out because the rain seems to reduce the amount of ticks we bring home. When we are done hiking and arrive back at the car I work on Comets agility and encourage him to walk the wooden beams that outline the parking area with me(Bugsy and I also do this after our run). I remember in obedience class, both as a pup and later as a young adult, Comet saw the nearly 5ft high beam with ramps on each side and ran up then across it with ease and pleasure. At the park these wooden beams, only about 1.5 feet off the ground must bore him because he continually jumps off to sniff things. We are working on it. I can't help but think a trip to Penicon Ridge where the trails are not so well kept up and often we must navigate large fallen trees or leap over water ways might peak both our interests instead of these low flat beams.
Every day Captain surprises me by becoming more and more MY dog. He is continually opening up more and more.Wonderful on day one, 2 weeks ago, and even more so today. Dropping toys for me to throw instead of bringing them to me and circling around, tugging if I grab for the toy and not ever wanting to give it up. During our first games of fetch I kept 3 soft squishy balls in my hands because he wasn't bringing anything back to give up to me. Lately he brings toys to me and drops them near my hands. (of course, always the trainer, I am rewarding this behavior and ignoring the unwanted behavior) He sleeps, belly up, right next to me in bed if I let him. Or he sleeps on my feet and when not welcomed into the bed he makes himself at home on the dog bed, not usually the small one I bought just for him, but instead the matching one 3 times the size that is meant for the big boys. His joyous nature, somewhat reserved when he arrived is now peaking out more and more as he wrestles Comet, attacks a cat toy or launches himself 2 feet into the air to land on the bay window sill and watches the world outside. Each day I adore him and am glad I chose him for so many reasons.
Captain is a lazy bones and for this I am glad because if I had adopted a Jack Russel Terrier (I thought about it!) I would be exercising that dog to no end. My dear Captain, if taken on a walk to long will become so slow or just lay down that I have more than once now carried him home. This pleases him just fine. Busy, Busy me is pleased as well because when I leave him to run with Bugsy or hike with Comet he is as eager to take the piece of pig ear I offer him and nap my absence away as he is to greet me when I come back. Balance is being achieved with him in my home.
|Here is Comet on a break from our hike (in his pull harness).|