Blue’s back cross progress

With tonight’s dinner Blue ran toward her jump, then ran back to get into heel position and walk excitedly with me to set her food bowl on the shelf. When I set down the bowl she ran to perform the jump just once, but then came back to my side and awaited my direction.

My first request was a post turn, dog-on-right, turning to the left.  Then her back cross, dog-on-right, jumping and turning to the right. She nailed both turns and seemed to be watching me!  I gave her about 50% of her dinner.

My second set-up was a post turn, dog-on-left, turning to the right. Then her back cross, dog-on-left, jumping and turning to the left. Oops!  No-can-do.  We finished her dinner with a couple of back crosses, dog-on-left, turning left and eating.

I was really interested in the fact that Blue has decided I’m worth watching now that we’ve transitioned from an obstacle-focus exercise (just “go jump”) to a handler-focus exercise (back crosses, post turns, alternating).

Tonight was fun run night at Country Dream, and I would usually say “I’m going to see if Blue’s jump focus improved with this new jump training.” But Bud’s blog (link at right) illustrates our driveway, frozen solid, with a 6-inch layer of snow/ice/snow/ice. Only one student called asking if we were ready for students and I didn’t encourage her. No one else showed up or called. They knew it wasn’t going to be a good evening for a drive into the country.

So I have yet to test Blue’s jumping skills. I’ll keep working on it and pray for a thaw.

In the meantime I was walking through the yard with the dogs this morning and re-injured my knee by hyper-extending it when my heel fell through the crust of ice and my toe stayed on the surface. Fortunately we don’t have neighbors. They’d have heard me yelling, crying, cussing.

I limped back into the house and have elevated my knee all day. We’re approaching the 11-month mark with this injury and, where there was no pain yesterday, I feel a little, sharp ache.

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