First of all, I, along with Luna, Mouse and Orso, would like to wish everyone a very healthy and happy 2011! I returned from Mexico a few days ago and it truly has been a challenge to get caught up with our daily life. Our washing machine has been working nonstop since Tuesday night and we cannot seem to find the hours to catch up on much needed sleep! This will be a long entry, since we will be updating you on everything that has happened since our last post on December 30, 2010.
We received updates from Mary & Nichelle and all the dogs are doing well. Orso is adjusting to his new food quite nicely.
Luna and Mouse decide to give me an New Year’s gift – the gift of destruction. Poor Nichelle came home to find that one of our sofa cushions had been destroyed, see below. She also mentioned that Luna looked more guilty than Mouse. Everything else seems to be OK.
“Orso is doing very well. I took some video of him practicing Rally this morning. I’m not thrilled with his heeling (he has done better for me), but it was very hot – around 80 degrees. It was taking a lot to convince him that anything involving moving around was a good idea.
It’s hard to tell in the video, but there is no treat in my left hand. I have one in my right hand at times, but it’s only to have a quick reward ready. I have been teaching him to heel without watching the food – watching me, yes, but not staring at the food while he walks.
Check out your “little” boy (video).
“”Show dog??? Who said I should smell like a show dog??!! I love my stink! Mommy, Daddy, come get me please.”
We got home tonight pretty late and were happy to see Luna & Mouse – they seemed pretty happy to see us aswell, although they usually have such a nice time with Nichelle that we don’t get much enthusiasm when we get home.
I went to pick up Orso today. He was so excited to see me, which made me happy because I was afraid he’d not missed me. I went alone to get him and spent over 3 hours with Mary reviewing everything she had done with him. She sent us home with 20 pages of information that she wrote specifically about her time with Orso!
From a developmental standpoint, Orso is huge! I think he gained 10 pounds while we were gone. He is starting to look like an adult – his expression, his body, his head – wow, what a head! From a training standpoint, he has advanced a lot. It is obvious how hard Mary worked with him. All aspects of his training show considerable improvement – obedience, conformation, even shaping exercises! His trot for the show ring is also coming along beautifully! Thanks, Mary! Below is a video that is about 6 minutes long showing Mary working obedience with Orso. I also took video of her working conformation with him, but they are too shaky to post. Enjoy!
Today started with a shopping spree at Petco. Orso has outgrown his crate, so it was time to invest in a new one. We also had a list of other items we needed to purchase for him. $337 later, Orso was fully stocked with all kinds of new stuff. Below are a few photos of him with an extra large tennis ball that lasted all of 20 minutes before it had to be thrown in the trash.
At night, we took Orso to dinner with us at my parents’ house. We worked on his “place” command, which is essentially a down-stay in a specific place, for the entire time we were there. He was such a good boy. All of Mary’s work definitely shows.
Orso ran some errands with us today and behaved very well. We are starting to get a little confused with some of the commands and how to deliver and mark them, so we called Mary for a home visit. She’s coming tomorrow to save the day!
Mary came over this afternoon for an hour and a half and went over everything with us again. She worked with us on his obedience and conformation and cleared up most of the confusion we had. He learned so much with her that it’s very overwhelming for us to keep track of it all. Both of us are scared we are going to mess something up!
Orso ran errands with us for a few hours. He has become so much more comfortable in public settings. He responds very well to our commands – both verbal and hand signals – and stays very calm in strange settings. We enjoyed our day with him and made a decision to enter him in 4 conformation shows that will be held in Lakeland, FL, which is just outside of Tampa, during February! I definitely have my work cut out for me, but I am looking forward to getting us both ready for the conformation show ring! YAY!!!!
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