Friday, October 2, 2015

Exactly Where We Want to Be

I feel like I've been absent from the FitDog world for ages--even though I've only missed one week. Barley and I decided to take the week off last week--we were in rut with our walks; they were getting done, but they weren't exciting because were just squeezing them in between mountains of grading. We were getting in our runs, but we hadn't had any new revelations other than the fact that it gets harder the longer you try to do it. I figured if I was bored reflecting on our week, everyone else would be bored reading about our week--so we just took a break.

Then our post for this week got pushed back because of plans this morning and a power outage from all of the crazy wind that we've had for two days, but I think we're back in business now.

Every year, the first weekend in October is Goblins in the Garden at our very favorite place, the Holden Arboretum and since it's always the weekend of my birthday, I consider it my birthday party. Barley and I can't go to the official event because she wouldn't handle all of the children and other dogs well, but we always go on the set-up day so we can still enjoy the scarecrows and other decorations.

Lots of local groups--garden clubs, camps, libraries--put together creative scarecrows and I always love every single one of them. They also give us lots of opportunities to practice sit-stays and reactions to distractions. 





The praying mantis made Barley a little bit nervous.

This is the weirdo my uncle Ben is named after? 


Hey, buddy. Where'd you get that cool cap?
Some of the scarecrows made Barley a little nervous. She did not like sitting in front of the praying mantis, but once we moved out in front of the rest of the installment she felt a little braver. There were also many kids at the Arboretum on school trips, so some parts of the adventure worried her a bit, but there were other parts where I could build a little distance to get more of the fun scenes. Even on the spots where she was a little nervous, we could work on calming and focus activities to keep her brain working, too.





Will the Pirates give me a win for my birthday? Time will tell.
We were both thrilled to be back at the Arboretum. After my car got hit, I had a rental for 3 weeks. Barley wasn't technically supposed to ride in the car, so we avoided big adventures during that time and we had missed our happy place.

Barley got to reunite with her litter mates ;)


It wouldn't be a birthday party without silly selfies.

Trail closures had kept us from this spot for almost a year. Barley didn't want to leave this perch.

Hey guys, where did all the rum go?

Barley enjoys speaking for the trees.
It was cold--50 degrees, cloudy, and very, very windy--but we were both exactly where we wanted to be. We had an excellent 5.35-mile adventure filled with elevation changes, balance activities, stretches, and mental exercise to keep Barley and I happy and healthy as I ring in 31! Thank you to the Holden Arboretum for throwing me another wonderful birthday party this year! Happy FitDog Friday everyone!



18 comments:

  1. Happy, happy birthday! So glad you had a fun day! :-)

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    1. We can't wait to go back with you and Maddux soon!

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  2. This post is so fun! I love Barley! She's so cute! :D

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    1. Thank you! We had such a fun day and she was such a trooper posing for all of the pictures :)

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  3. Oh wow! Those are some serious distractions! What a fun place!

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    1. She handled them all so well! I was so proud of her :)

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  4. What a great display - so fun! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. We love the arboretum year round, but this particular weekend is always my very favorite time to visit.

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  5. Happy birthday! I love that Barley didn't want to leave her favorite, newly re-available perch--so cute! And what a smart idea to visit a festival while it's setting up to avoid the crowds!

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    1. Thank you! The festival set-up day is the perfect amount of distraction to give us good training opportunities without overwhelming Barley. There are usually just a lot of adult volunteers setting everything up and they always ooo and ahh over her and give her lots of loving, which she eats up!

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  6. Happy Birthday! That looks like a great place to celebrate, and you got some great photos! I imagine a lot of dogs would be nervous of some of that stuff (I'm sure mine would), so it looks like Barley did very well. Hopefully this helps to get you back into the swing of things too!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

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    1. Thank you! Barley is used to having to model with weird things, so she handled most of the displays very well--I was surprised by some of them. The dragonflies in the fairy display were blowing in the wind and she sat and smiled without any signs of anxiety. The only things that really made her nervous was the big praying mantis and then the few field trips worth of kids, but even with those she was willing to work through the distractions with me. I was so proud of her.

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  7. Love the Minion pumpkins! Our arboretum only allows dogs one day a year, so we never to. What a fun place to celebrate.

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    1. We loved the minons, too! They also had some old tires stacked on top of each other and then painted like minions with grassy plants sticking out of the top for hair--I guess that I left that one out, though :) It's too bad that your arboretum doesn't allow dogs more often--dogs are allowed at ours all the time and there are just a few trails, like through the wildflower collection and on the newly built canopy walk, where they aren't allowed to go.

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  8. Uuuh, that giant spider would have worried ME ;-) I can't stand those creepy crawlies, real or fake. But it looks like you got a lot of socialization and obedience practice done, which is fantastic!

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    1. I thought the spider would make her a little nervous because it was a pretty windy day so he was moving quite a bit, but she was happy to sit and stay while I backed up enough for a picture (but she didn't delay at all when I called her to me after taking the picture!). It was a great day for reinforcing some of our training :)

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  9. Minion pumpkins!! Very cool. It sounds like you had a fun time :)

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  10. What a fun time! I always love going to fall festivals!

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