About Those Walks...
I finally decided that the right thing to do was to set my alarm clock for the crack of dawn and take Marge for some early morning walks. Thus far, it's worked. We walked on Friday morning, Saturday morning, and this morning. The temperature is lower, there are no fireworks or construction or any other comparable noises. It's NICE.
I've decided that, for the interim at least, I'm better off avoiding her worst noise triggers (fireworks, etc.) rather than working through them. Some have suggested that I get a behaviorist to help me out - but I admit, it's really tough to convince myself that it's necessary, since we really only have big problems for two months out of the year. Thankfully, this summer does seem to be going better than last, so perhaps each year will get a little better on its own.
I don't plan on doing it every day, since getting out of bed every morning at 6:30 AM is really hard for me (definitely not a morning person), but this new walk time still likely means an additional two or three forty-minute walks every week. Add that on to the shorter walks we take, our training sessions, playing with toys in the yard, meals in treat toys, and going to class, and I feel pretty good about the amount of exercise Marge is getting based on the fact that it's the middle of August.
The above photo was taken on the same day that Louie and I went plane spotting. We took Marge down to the boardwalk for a stroll, and although it was pretty busy, she handled it OK. Bringing along her favorite treats certainly helped.
Back in the Show Ring
On Saturday, Marge will be back in the APDT Rally ring for the first time since April. I'm really excited. We'll be running in Level 1B (to start accumulating some Championship points for our ARCH title) and Level 2A (to try to get our first qualifying leg out of three for our RL2).
The Level 2 run will be a brand new thing for us. We haven't yet finished our Rally Advanced class, which covers the Level 2 signs, but I am confident that we have practiced enough and know enough of them to put in a good effort at the trial. The only sign I might avoid is the new Bonus exercise that they added, in which Marge must recall to me while the judge basically walks alongside her. We haven't practiced it and it's not mandatory, so I'll omit it if it's a part of the course (it may not be).
It's going to be a bigger trial than the last time. I'm figuring there will be around 20-30 dogs there, which is more than she's ever experienced at an indoor trial. Fortunately, I'm going to the club the night before to help set up (I'm in charge of lunch at the trial), so I'm going to take some of my stuff along, too, and get Marge's crate ready so that when she gets there the following morning, I have one less thing to worry about.
Wish us luck!
Things have been going pretty well, lately. Though I hate the fact that I'll be going back to school in a few weeks (and also hate the fact that I'm spending those last few weeks being VERY busy), I'm thankful that the summer is beginning to wind down and Marge's life is starting to get colorful again.
P.S. - Thanks for all of your thoughts regarding Competition Obedience in my last post. I'm supposed to be going to observe a class at my club tomorrow night, as long as I don't get sick (feeling kind of run-down today...). I'm excited that this may be a new avenue for Marge and I to explore and bond together in.
And, thanks to our new friends at Furbaby Chat for this lovely award!