News from the 2-Minute dog trainer

This is Hazard’s time to shine. My hope is that, after training and trialing with me for a few weeks, she’ll turn back on to agility and be more confident. And my hope is that Hazard will run for Bud at the Petit Prix, at least some of the time.

This week I’m beginning little teacup sessions with Hazard. Our training will include narrower jumps (instead of 4-foot jump bars we’ll work on 2-foot wide jump bars), weavepole motivation and speed, but not a lot of contacts. Hazard’s 2o2o contacts have transitioned naturally to lovely running contacts and I’m not messing with that. We’ll also be doing some distance training.

In other news, I found a fiberglass double utility tub at a yard sale for $10 and Missy Holmes (formerly Richards) plumbed it for me last week in exchange for private agility lessons for her cattledogs, Gracie and Gunner.

I’ve had a terrific time in the last few days, washing 1-3 dogs a day, getting their shedding hair out and removing months’ worth of grime and grease. Aussie and Shelties don’t require much bathing as a general rule, and I know at least one sheltie person who claimed to have never bathed her dog — just brushing and trimming — because shelties really don’t get a lot of oil or smell in their coats.

A major transformation happened on Saturday when I spent 2 hours with Ringer, our 11+ year old rescue with the MAJOR black tri coat. I thinned, I de-matted, I clipped, I trimmed, I hacked away at this horrible over-the-top aussie coat. Then, when all the excess hair was gone, I bathed this boy for (probably) the third time in his whole life.

Ringer lived the first 3-5 years of his life in the bottom of a stack of crates at a puppy miller’s torture chamber. He was one of 150 or so dogs to come out of a puppy mill raided in Spencer, OH, many years ago. We fostered him and then adopted him.

Ringer was a mess when we got him though rescuers had already bathed him a couple of times. The smell of urine and feces didn’t go away for many weeks. In order to save herself work the puppy miller had removed the steel trays from the crates that sat on top of Ringer’s, so all the upstairs neighbors pooped and peed on him. To this day the slightest sprinkle of rain sends him running indoors. <g>

Ringer is undoubtably the most “grateful” dog we’ve ever had. He has several behaviors to express this gratitude including coming to give me a little kiss on the hand after every meal, visiting each of us once each evening for his hug (he’s the only dog I know who actually craves hugs — the tighter you hold him the more he delights in the contact). Puppy mills are an abomination and should be outlawed.

Today I got Banner’s toenails trimmed (a major achievement since she’s deaf and mostly blind and tends to panic attacks when her arthritic feet are touched) and I’m off to comb and bath Bogie and Birdie, Bud’s 13-year-old shelties.

I’m hoping all this grooming will relieve my house of some of the dirt and hair plaguing us this summer.

Bud’s been on a cleaning frenzy, starting with the installation of the washtub that required movement of some stuff in the basement. This led to a clean-up of the whole basement, hauling tools and tables to the green shed where they will reside from here on out, and organizing the green shed.

In between cleaning episodes, Bud’s digging down through 40 years’ worth of stacked building materials at the lower cottage. My Dad loved to save old bricks, cinder block, stones, fencing, lumber and wire. Unfortunately it was mostly stacked under some trees in the woods adjacent to the cottage.

After 40 years it takes a minor excavation to reveal exactly what sort of pile you’ll find. So far Bud’s found rotten wood piles (great, soft soil which he added to his garden to break up the red clay), brick, chain-link fencing, and field stone.

All have been dug up, hauled up to the house, and stored for future use. Hopefully we won’t need to excavate it again in 20 years. <g>

My Mom, Sister, and I drove yesterday to central WV to visit some really beautiful state parks. We started by checking out Hawk’s Nest, overlooking the New River, then drove on to Babcock State Park and the gristmill there. On our way home we stopped at Hawk’s Nest for lunch, and Glen Ferris for pictures of the lovely falls.

The lousy economy means lots of folks are doing “staycations,” but the state park system still shows signs of financial woes. But Bud and I own about 20 acres of woods and I know the battle between tame and wild that occurs whenever you try to carve civilization out of wild woods. So I guess the state of WV is doing an okay job. I wish the owner or manager of the dining room at Hawk’s Nest was a little more of a perfectionist.

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One Response to “News from the 2-Minute dog trainer”

  1. sligo Says:

    So, if you were wondering about the Gosselin’s dogs still…

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