Sunday, October 31, 2010
On our way back from a successful training day in Jersey, we stopped at the Bostwick gin and came across the abandoned movie set for the remake of the 1984 classic "Footloose" which was filmed here in Bostwick a few days prior. The crews had moved on to Social Circle and beyond but left part of the set behind, and I really liked the ghostly yet festive and somewhat surreal feel it gave to the gin ("Beamis Mill" in the movie), with no one around.
Tessa was a little less excited and was in no mood to dance, and probably just wanted to go back to the bird fields. But no matter, girl's gotta pose on the movie set, for posterity.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
The kennel, a local vet actually, said she did wonderfully, had a good appetite, no diarrhea, and they thought she was just plain adorable. I had ordered one hour/day of playtime in the day care for her (it's $ 5 per hour) and they said she loved it so much and they loved her so much that she got more than the hour each day. I think trading the off-leash running for more attention and play time was a good call. It's easier to get a dog back into physical shape than trying to fix the mental toll isolation might take on my little social butterfly.
Routine evening walk in the fading daylight, our last for a while. I would be leaving for Germany the next day, and Tessa was headed for the kennel.
Due to the commotion of preparing for the trip, I forgot that today was the day that my first dog Yogi was born in 1990 - and also the day that she died in 2004. This was the first time I did not commemorate the day in some way or another. Which does not mean that I still miss that dog.
By then I was completely drenched and water was collecting inside my rain boots, and with no change of clothes on hand I decided to call it a day even though it was only 9 a.m. I drove home with the heater on in my car - indeed I was that chilled. By the time I reached Monroe the rain was so heavy that everyone was going 30 mph. At that point my passenger side windshield wiper came off. Pulled over to fix it, and wouldn't you know it, 5 miles later the driver's side wiper comes off! Huh?
Since my camera is not waterproof there are not photos for today's training day. This was taken at home, all cleaned up and snoozing away after that one hour of hard work!
Overall, she did well with locating the birds in the field but she's not the least bit steady and that is a bad thing. I had her on a 20-ft check cord which of course is useless when Tessa is 150 ahead of me in 10 seconds, so next time there has to be a different approach involving much more restraint. I have to proof her "whoa" before letting her run the field again.
When we left the field though, she was wonderful, I was able to heel her back to the car, and could have her off-leash with her staying close and minding well. In that regard, she has come a very long way. Just a year ago, whenever I unclipped her, she would bolt out of the parking area into the fields in search of birds and would not come back, and it is so nice to be able to relax more about this now.
Water work was more play than work. Tessa is nuts about the water, she gets so excited that she whines while swimming which a lot of people find amusing. Her water retrieves were better than usual today. After a while we switched to another pond where there were many live ducks, and let the dogs chase them. Ducks are very fast, and they fly and dive, so there was no danger to the birds, and the dogs had a good workout.
After 4 hours, it started to get hot and Tessa started to get tired. She folded into her crate in a weirdly twisted way and remained in that position all the way home (one hour) - passed out!
I left here thinking we'd be back some day in sunny weather. Little did I know it would be 5 years later with a new set of friends, a different dog and completely changed outlook on life - and death.
It seems like she had pushed up the gate pole that was anchored in the gravel. After this incident, we padlocked the gate.