2-minute dog trainer – making progress

After 8 months of training Tempest (he’s 10 months old this week) we’ve stalled out for a few weeks. I’m taking the long view with this pup, and am in no hurry to get him out to agility trials.

We continue working on “left” and “right” with his meals, and he’s a very willing student.

Additionally, I intersperse work on positions (sit, down, stand) from heel side AND from 8-10-feet away, facing Tempest.

By the way, I rarely refer to him as Tempest. “T” is a much easier name, and he responds beautifully to the sound.

In fact, this afternoon, as Bud and I worked on TDAA trial numbers — all start with a “T” — I’d call out a number and find a cute little face poking up between me and my worktable.

I’ve become a believer in the axiom, “it’s all in a name.”  The choice of name for a performance dog is more important, in my opinion, than most folks believe.

In the meantime, while struggling to streamline all the TDAA processes and bring them in-house, while trying to enjoy my family a little during the holidays, and while trying to keep training my puppy, I’m more and more convinced that the 2-minute dog training protocols fit into busy lives.

So, it’s Tuesday as I write this. Last Thursday Bud took off to St. Louis, MO, to meet with the author of TDAA’s software. The goal was to  1) understand the current “batch” entry system,  2) to discuss the creation of a new “forms” system better suited for a single-office operation,  3) work through a couple dozen dog registrations and trial applications that got held up in the old mailing system to understand the old system, and  4) come home with a current data file.

On Thursday afternoon Bud’s truck and empty trailer hit an ice slick west of Indianapolis. At 4:50 he called on his cell phone, as I was in the training building, to say “I’ve been in an accident and the paramedics are here getting me into the ambulance.”

He spent Thursday night in ER, with occasional black outs caused by a mild concussion. On Friday morning he was shifted to ICU and monitored constantly for drops in blood pressure. Friday evening he was moved to yet another room, then released on Saturday afternoon.

We’ll be forever thankful to our dear friend, Deb Auer, who drove from her home to Indianapolis, hovered anxiously awaiting news on Bud’s condition (I remained 5 hours away, at home), asking what she could do, and performing the awesome task of retrieving all Bud’s personal items from the truck.

Bud’s home now, safe and not-quite-sound, and telling me I’m going to run Kory and Hazard this weekend in a local USDAA trial.

This is a great indoor trial hosted by BRAG, in Columbus, Ohio, and features all the starters and advanced classes, plus 2 rounds of Steeplechase.  The trial takes place in their training building, where Hazard has shown in the past, and this will be Kory’s USDAA debut.

I feel bad that Bud’s missing this opportunity, but only one of us can go because we have agility workshops on Sunday.

So I’ll be running his dogs at the trial, and he’ll be teaching the workshops in my place.

I’m a little nervous (understandably) about the 2+ hour drive, the possibility of bad weather, seeing old friends, and not looking like an idiot running Kory. This pup is a brilliant, biddable boy, but the slightest mis-step on my part will result in a train wreck, and I’m not looking forward to that feeling.

It will, however, give me yet another opportunity to get ready for what I hope to see from my own youngster.  Cross my fingers and just hope Tempest is half the dog Kory has turned into.

Wish me luck!

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