Monday, March 5, 2012

Run, Haddie!!

My daughter and I seized the nice weather yesterday and spontaneously went over to my parent's house to Run Haddie. It was so! much! fun! It makes me miss a large, fenced backyard.

My parents live on a shy acre, fully fenced piece of property with all the perks that a dog owner would love. I could release Haddie and know that she would be safe to run her heart out - and wear herself out. I stayed outside with her simply to observe her. I didn't do much training.
I thought she'd be all over the yard exploring. I know that is what my Beagle would do.

No, Haddie was thrilled with their $1 Petco Frisbee. Over, and over, and over I would throw the Frisbee and she would fetch and come back. It was simple, but just what she needed. Her mouth was jet black with dirt and mud, and her tongue hung sideways vertical to the ground. She was so adorable even in that state of mess.
My dad was doing work in and out of his garage, and would come out to check in on Haddie. He took over playing Frisbee for awhile and I was so happy to see her working so well with him. I was curious how she would take commands from a "stranger" (meaning he's never ventured into training-anything with her), and she listened!!! I was actually surprised. She scored some points with both of us for her excellent behavior.

My parent's neighbor has a black lab that was playing ball with his owner in their own backyard. The fence between the two houses is black chain link with a bush-border. However, you can still see through the peak-a-boo sections here and there.
At one point the neighbor's dog went to the fence to fetch his ball - Haddie dropped the Frisbee as she stopped in her tracks to watch the property line. But rather than running to the fence to greet the friendly lab, she turned to look back at me, and then ran TO ME and sat next to me. She completely volunteered to check-in, even though she was technically on a Release and was allowed to check out the fence line - I had been staying quiet.
But, she did get a huge Chicken reward for making a great choice of checking in! I was so happy. I had brought the chicken reward as a backup in case Haddie decided that she wasn't through running when in fact I needed her to be through. Thankfully I didn't need to lure her back into the garage for her bath because she was dog-tired!! It was an easy, "All Done" command as I clipped her back to her leash with out any difference of opinion from her.
Then it was bath time. I had given Haddie a bath at my parent's dog spa when she was just little, and have been bathing her monthly in my walk-in shower due to time convenience ever since. I brought our bath supplies over knowing that she'd be a little rugged after a run on their property. Glad I did - her yellow legs were muddy brown. Sign of a good day!

She jumped on the platform and stepped into the tub in the garage, and reversed the order when we were done, as if she'd been doing it every month. I was pleasantly surprised. I am not sure why I internally doubt her so much - I guess never having a Lab that "gets it" makes me think she is starting from pet-status. I forget that she is bred to be smart and I don't have to work so hard in my mind to figure it out. Just let her do it!
After bath time Haddie did experience for the first time being looped into their dog grooming table. She was not too happy as she tucked her tail for the first few minutes and didn't dare move, but once she figured out that in fact she was not being choked she relaxed her tail and enjoyed the pampering.

And that's not all .... her learning adventure continued when my dad got out their dog ramp and had Haddie learn how to get in and out of the back of our mini-SUV. According to our trainer, pups should not jump out of the back of cars until after their first birthday to help avoid Hip Dysplasia.  In typical Haddie-style, it took her three hands-on tries before she was walking up and down the ramp by herself.
What a great experience for her! My dad insisted that I take the ramp home and continue to work with her to cement the idea of ramps. So sweet, thanks Dad! (okay, so I know you are really trying to save my back from lifting her out, but it does have a dual purpose). 

Such a FUN day! Thanks, Mom and Dad, for the spur-of-the-moment Haddie adventure. She loved to RUN full blast at a longer distance than what she can in our backyard. Thank you!!

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow - that sounds like so much fun for Haddie and what a great stress reliever and how fun for you to go home with a very tired puppy! :) And clean! And how neat about that ramp. Haven't ever considered that before.