Sunday, April 18, 2010

On The Road (again)

Today was another stunningly gorgeous day, and Zachary and I headed On The Road (again (again)).

Once (again) we were back at the Library to test Training Levels 2 Come (On The Road), but this time I picked a sidewalk along the side of the building where it appeared I could get the whole 40' somewhat safely and Zachary had never been there before. The "safely" turned out to be a bit of an illusion, as it was just shrubs forming one side with gaps between that looked much larger when you were beside them than they had appeared when I had spotted the path from a distance.

Still, with options limited, I decided it would have to do.

I need not have worried. Despite some rather interesting shrubs and bark quite close to the path, Zachary galloped to me with ease...

... at least, as easy as he could with a leash tangling around his legs...

... my bad...

Thankfully, it didn't make a difference in the end other than slowing the return down a bit.

(Editor's Note: Wow, you can actually capture a single frame from an MP4... as shown above... and you can click on it to see it larger.)

Next stop was back to the outdoor Cafe to work on out-of-sight stays for Canine Good Citizen. There are several nice (bolted to the ground) metal benches about 20' from the Cafe, and the doors of the Cafe are tinted glass so I could see him and he couldn't see me.


I practiced going in and out, in (pause) and out, in (pause, pause, pause) and out... etc. for a few minutes. He made it up to one minute before he stood up, and (most importantly) he didn't appear to whimper, or even think of whimpering.

As a bonus, the older gentlemen playing chess inside seemed to find it a spectator sport and were watching with great interest to see what he would do.

I then gave Meet-n-Greet a few minutes, but with the sun on the benches and no customers in sight, I quickly abandoned hope and took off for the local big-box hardware store. I practiced Loose Leash with Zachary amongst the rows of flowers (he was quite interested in the place but generally listened, although his sits were glacial.)

Finally, taking pity on my panting puppy, I took him just inside the sliding doors to enjoy the cool cement and the lovely air-conditioning.

And there, finally, after way too many failures...

... we found people.

Friendly people.

People who wanted to say "hi" and pet my dog. Old people and children and teenage girls... wonderful people who (after I explained to them that Zachary needed to learn to stay seated to pass his Canine Good Citizen test) stopped petting him every time he stood up and started every time he sat down.

Was he perfect?

No, of course not, but by the end he stay seated when the friendly young woman took both hands, ruffled his ears, and cooed at him in that impossible-to-resist teenage girl voice.

I think my local big-box hardware store has earned a loyal customer for life!

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