Before we get into this month's mileage, I have to take a second and brag about my baby girl! As I've mentioned before, we got into agility after starting training to deal with Barley's reactivity. Even though we'll never compete in it, it's a good way to be around other dogs in a controlled setting and give Barley a chance to practice being calm in a high-energy situation.
|Being calm is a rare quality in Barley's life. I cherish the moments like this.|
We got a new classmate this week--our trainer had given us the head's up the week before and said that this golden retriever was a very nice dog, but also the definition of a "dumb blonde." The new dog showed up about 10 minutes late and left about 20 minutes early, but it was the perfect introduction to her. The new dog was absolutely beautiful, but she was like the stereotypical sorority girl in any comedy movie--bubbly and spacey and overly enthusiastic about everything. Which is exactly the kind of dog Barley likes least.
From the moment the new dog came wiggling through the door, Barley was interested. Her ears were perked up. She went from her relaxed down to sphinx position and her tail, which always wags, started picking up speed. We immediately started doing some touch games and other focus activities. Our trainer helped us out by telling the new owner to go into the crate room while we were on the floor for our turn. When it was the new dog's turn, Barley and I stepped behind this little gate that leads to the hallway and front door so that Barley could have some down time.
She was such a good girl. Even though she was distracted, she still did all of the exercises well and never tried to go into the crate room to visit the new dog. She didn't bark. She didn't lunge. She also didn't start nipping me instead of going over jumps, which she's been interested in doing the last few weeks. I was so very proud of her. This was a good experience to keep me from letting my guard down too much, but it also was a good experience for showing me just how far my baby girl has come in our almost 4 years together.
Walking was equally good this week! It's starting to get darker earlier and earlier, so soon our post-agility walks will be coming to an end, but we had a lovely sunset walk along the river after class.
We also got in a sunset walk along Lake Erie before my Wednesday night "virtual office hours" for my online class. I didn't pick a dog with a good color scheme for sunset pictures--I had to either go with making Barley visible and the sunset less vibrant or having a dark, shadowy Barley and a beautiful sky. I guess I'll keep her anyway.
We're also gearing up for the biggest event in our town--the Grape Jamboree. It's hokey with a 2-hour long parade, lots of fair foods, vendors selling things nobody really needs, but it's delightful. I've mentioned before that at times my town feels like Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls and Jamboree time is definitely one of those times.
|I love when they hang up the Jamboree signs and the flower arrangements that look like bunches of grapes.|
|There's another cart with more wineries. This thing is a big deal.|
Barley and I don't get to walk in our neighborhood much during the Jamboree weekend because the vendors are smack dab in the middle of our route and there are too many kids and dogs that aren't being well supervised to make it worth walking through the area, but we always get some good "leave it" practice after everyone packs up and goes home because there's always popcorn, nachos and cheese sauce, and funnel cake pieces on the sidewalks for a few days afterwards.
Barley and I decided to celebrate grapes a little early and stopped by the grape vines in our neighborhood to see if there were any grapes growing. There weren't many but the ones that were there smelled so good!
|Barley thinks food she can't eat is not worth sitting still for.|
|But she was happy to pause at the State Park and read about the grape industry in Ohio.|
|We're ahead of schedule and I'm feeling good!|
We're looking forward to hearing about how everyone else has been keeping fit in this lovely fall weather!