2 Dogs

Gracie is still in prison and hopefully not getting in too much trouble.  Life here is quiet with only 2 dogs.  Gracie is always very calm in the house and does a pretty decent job of not stirring up trouble, but it's strange how much extra "work" a third dog takes.  Slightly less time of holding the door open for mosquitoes to fly in.  Only one dog on each side for walks.  Nobody for the Corgi to try and herd/be a snot too while I'm dishing up food (as the Toller doesn't bother to get off the couch).  No need to have two separate toys and worry about body slamming during fetch.  Only 1 dog in the kiddie pool.  No one supervising us in the bathroom and no one sleeping on the pile of clothes while I'm in the shower.  It's odd.

In other news, I've finally seen the results of Lance's photo shoot a few months back for Target!
It's the Corgi!

And I'm coming up on the deadline of having to decide what to enter Vito in for the upcoming CDSP trial.  I had set a goal several weeks ago to try and be ready for Utility in order to push my motivation and work with him on the exercises.  For the most part I can say mission accomplished.  Vito has a pretty thorough understanding of all the pieces and has seen all those pieces finally put together to form the completed exercises.  Yay!  The exercises aren't quite the way I want them to be, precision wise, but that doesn't bother me too much.  Attitude first, precision second.  

What is still giving me pause is his confidence with the exercises, especially in new places.  While I've been doing a little bit of obedience in new places recently (like shopping centers and patios and such), his quality of effort in those new places aren't yet consistently high.  Continued work on choosing to engage, block out the world, stuff.  I am happy with how he's progressing and his ability to work with me (high rewards, very short work), but I am still doing quite a bit of ending of work for him not being ready.  And since Utility is all about confidence, and confidence at a distance, I'm a little concerned about rushing it.  At least Open is very well known and we could just practice more of ring=fun stuff we've been doing.  If I choose to enter Utility it would simply be as a reward for my part of the equation.  Utility is fun and I've been doing Open with Vito for a very long time.  Not so rewarding for me.  And I would try and manage his side of the equation by showering him with treats and praise in the ring (as CDSP allows) and likely the issue of his confidence wouldn't even be an issue.  Decisions...

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Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.- Roger Caras

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