Sunday, May 3, 2009

Our Little Graduate

Today was Abbey's final day of Beginner Obedience Training - and she passed her test with flying colors. She's really improved her performance in class in the last few weeks. She even got to wear a ridiculous little hat!

In truth, she does better in class than she does at home. When I have the treat bag and clicker in my hand, then she listens when I say "Leave It." But if I don't have that treat bag in hand and she sees the cat wandering around the room, "Leave It" is really just a noise she ignores. More work to do.

We'd like to sign her up for the intermediate class soon, and continue with the advanced class and maybe even the click-a-trick class. And then, one day, maybe we'll sign her up for a tracking class - put that nose of hers to work....

With every dog I've had in the past, the alarm going off in the morning has been their signal that it's okay to lick your face until you get up and play with them. And food in the bowl meant they ate immediately and until it was gone. Not with our little girl. She's very like Bobby in this way - not a morning doggie, and not ready to eat until a few hours after she's been up. When I get out of bed to start the coffee pot and tea kettle, she doesn't follow me - she takes my spot and cuddles up to Bobby.

Reading a little about a relative dog breed on Wikipedia, I came across this statement:
"They love to nest and cuddle. Getting a walker hound out of your bed,off your couch or away from your fireplace will be a feat in itself. They love to sleep after a long day and are the perfect dogs for watching television."

That so sounds like her!

We've been to the dog beach with her a few times now. The first time we let her off the leash she bolted about a quarter mile out of pure excitement, but she mostly stays close now, and gets better each time we go. She wants so badly to play with all of the other dogs, and is often quite vocal. We clearly have some training that needs reinforcement.

Leaving the house is really exciting for her, because it means we are going someplace fun. Sometimes it's PetSmart, sometimes it's the dog beach, and at least once a weeks it's Bobby's parents' house where she can wrestle around with his brother's labrador, Jaeger, for at least a few hours. Everytime she sees us getting ready to leave, she gets really excited and camps out in front of the nearest exit, and jumps into the car as soon as we open it. And after a long day playing with Jaeger or on the beach, she sleeps - all the way home and once we're there.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Wild Women of Wine Country

Today was the Wild Women of Wine Country 5K Run/Walk, so Mom and I woke up extra early this morning and drove down to South Coast Winery in Temecula, CA to meet up with Freida and her other recruits.

I was surprised by how many women (and a few men) showed up to participate. It looked like it could have been more than participated in the March for Babies in Riverside last weekend, but that could also be because there was less open space in this parking lot.

When I checked the weather last night, it said something like 67 degrees with a 65% chance of rain, but once again the sun came out for our walk. It was still a little on the cool side that early in the morning, but that was appreciated after we'd been huffing along for a bit.

I particularly enjoyed walking so close to (and sometimes between) the vines. With my home vines in mind, it was interesting to analyze the way they grow the vines.

The walk was fairly brief - once we got started it took less than an hour, so we were done by 8:30am. When we decided to stay and have breakfast, I realized just how brilliant it is for South Coast Winery to host this walk - not only is it good PR, it brings in a huge amount of business pretty early in the morning. At 9am, there was an hour wait for a table for breakfast. Women were everywhere - eating and shopping... and having mimosas at the bar.

Mom and I received coupons for 2-for-1 wine tasting, but decided to save them for a day when Dad and Bobby can join us. We'd had some mimosas, but felt it was a tad early to drink any more than that...