|Barley in front of Ansel's Cave.|
|We couldn't see a bridge without taking a picture.|
|Oh no! Tragic falls!|
Then we went to the Chapin Forest Reservation because the ledges are neat and the view from the overlook is really pretty. After a couple hours of walking, Barley was a tired girl yesterday.
I was exhausted, too. In addition to talking more than observing, I also had to adjust to someone else giving my dog commands. It's hard to get people to understand our training when people haven't seen Barley at her worst (not that I have any desire for anyone to ever see Bar that way again). My friends have sort of been along with us on our training journey--one of them was there while I was making decisions to start training, they've both seen Barley's improvement with each class, they've let me vent when we've regressed and celebrated our successes, and, unfortunately, they've seen Barley at her worst (but they still love her!). They understand if I have to quit telling a story mid-sentence and tell Barley to watch or if I have to pull us off the trail and sit and wait for another dog to pass. They never get involved until it's time to shower Bar with love and praise.
When new people are along for the journey, it's hard to explain that we're always in training. Barley doesn't get treats along the walk because she's spoiled (ok, well, maybe sometimes she does); she gets treats periodically to remind her to stay focused on me. When I'm trying to get her to focus on me, she doesn't need other people calling her name and whistling--of course, it's always good to practice reaction to distraction, but it confuses her when multiple parts of her group give her different commands. When we're focused, petting her and grabbing her tail (hey, I understand, she's got an awesome, curly, plume-like tail that does seem to yell "Grab me!") break our focus. I know for most dogs, these types of things are all normal and fine, but for Barley breaking focus is dangerous if there's even the slightest chance of seeing another dog. So, I was on edge a lot with our adventures.
|Getting a 'tude with her mama|
I decided that rather than looking for new places to explore, we should hit up our old favorites. We met a dog that we'd met with our friends at North Chagrin Reservation (an aussie-minpin mix named Skye) and stopped to chat about training--Skye is a few months younger than Barley and has also been doing reactive dog training--but for the most part we didn't see anyone.
I could say more, but I've said a lot already, so I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves because I'm feel refreshed and ready to start Week 2 of the semester.
And one last video--because even at her least graceful, my dog is still relaxing and peaceful.