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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Things We Do for Dogs

I'm fighting my way through the first cold in a year. A nose-dripping, throat-scratching, eye-aching, muscle-fatiguing cold. Third day. Yesterday morning, I took Pepper for a half hour walk. Yesterday evening, I just couldn't get off the sofa, so I put on Peppers harness and Karen took him for a walk up to our home site and back. Tea, chicken soup and Sudafed got me through the night, and after breakfast today I was able to take Pepper for an hour walk up to the top of our property and down. Today, he was in better shape than I was, and I really looked forward to coming back down.

After a nap and lunch, Karen went to Post Falls to visit our mothers in the Guardian Angel Homes assisted living facility. I took Pepper into the back yard to continue his obedience training. It's going to be a long process.

Pepper really can sit. Sometimes.
Last Friday, we had our first session with our obedience trainer, Lori McCallister, who operates SmartDog Training in Spokane. It was really a getting-to-know-you session, the you being Pepper. Based on his responses, Lori's pretty sure Pepper's got some gun dog training; for example, when he goes down, he goes down flat rather than lolling around on his hip. He also responds better to hand signals than voice signals.

Today, I worked with him on "Come," "Sit," and "Down." Pepper's not bad on "Come" (though he'll also come to his name), and he doesn't differentiate well between "Sit" and "Down." To him, right now, both mean down. I'll keep working with him, and I'll have Lori come out again next week.

Geordie, the world's handsomest cat.
After about 15 minutes of training, I threw him a tennis ball within the back yard, and watched him race around with it (while I cleaned up his food residue). Now he's sleeping in the living room while Karen and I watch an old episode of Antiques Roadshow. Both indoor/outdoor cats are in the room with us, Harry tucked in with Karen, Geordie sleeping on a wing-back chair. They're all getting along much better now.
Harry, the cuddle cat.

Still some chicken soup left, but really looking forward to the leg of lamb roasting in the oven. Perhaps a salad, Indian lentils, and terrific COSTCO strawberries.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jay, I'm a volunteer at the Sanctuary and I have been following your adventures with Pepper. At first I found myself doing a lot of wincing but things seem to be settling in nicely! I am so happy that you are getting the obedience training that Pepper so badly needs, it is something we wish we could do for our dogs but there are just too few of us. I'm also happy to hear that he is settling in and getting used to the kitties. He is such a lucky dog to have such a patient and caring owner who is willing to go the extra mile!