Friday, July 23, 2010

my rock star

Thank you to everyone for your advice & support on our relaxation protocol issues. I'm proud to report that we completed day 7, with minor changes. Instead of going through the door, I simply went to the front door and either touched the knob, or turned the knob. Success!

One place where Oreo DOES relax is in his acupuncturist's office. He walks in her office and immediately hops up on the faux leather bench. That's his spot. I must say I get slightly jealous when Oreo looks up lovingly at the doctor, then sighs and drifts off to sleep. Wish I had those magic powers. He has even begun to relax in the waiting room. He lays down, rather than try to jump through the floor to ceiling windows. The parking lot is another story, but that's for another day.

Oreo had his dreamy acupuncture/chiro spa day on Wednesday morning. Then, I brought him home to nap until agility class that night.

Well, I don't know if it was spa day or the steak I was doling out, but Oreo was a rock star in class.
Granted, we made a few mistakes on the courses, but he had some amazing moments. He snuck behind me and drove to the off course tire (INDEPENDENCE! YES!) instead of jump #3. Then, we made a hairpin turn to the weave poles. I didn't even say weave, was nowhere near the poles, but my dog, yes, my dog, flew by me and whipped into the poles.

I said, "Wow! Nice entry!", like I would when watching someone else run their dog.

It was incredible.

Then, Oreo decided to do the weaves again, in reverse, on the way back to jump #6. My teacher thought Oreo had such a fabulous idea, she had my classmates try it! Oreo's such an overachiever.

Then, we tried this exercise. The only part where we messed up was between #4 & 5. I tried to cross, but didn't have enough time and Oreo skimmed the jump, rather than go over it. Then, we did a fun standard course. I brought my clicker and steak with me. I clicked and treated for the first tunnel, and then on the A-Frame, because he stopped for a quick sec to look at my teacher who was acting as "judge". Next up was the teeter. I thought he'd check my teacher out again. She was standing real close.

Nope, he was staring at my hand!

Oreo was saying, "Click! Steak! Now!"

I laughed at the absurdity. What have I created? A food obsessed dog on the course? Great!

We did 12 weaves, a tunnel, then a back to back serpentine of jumps (how fun is that?).

Then, the second to last obstacle was the dogwalk.

OMG, Oreo RAN across it, and did not look at anyone! He was focused, and plowing ahead to the last jump (and more steak)!

Wow. I couldn't have asked for a better way to end the night. I've been dreaming of dogwalks like that. I was so proud of him.

Best part? We both had fun. The whole night. Oreo was calm, cool, and relaxed.

Was it the morning acupuncture, steak, or the time I spent before class, clicking for his attention while people got settled? I don't know, but it sure felt good.

Our bond got a tiny bit stronger on Wednesday. What more can you ask for?


Priscilla said...

We're so proud of both of you!! I'm sure you couldn't be happier either!
Huge congrats. Oreo is such a clever boy :)
It's amazing how much Oreo loves acupuncture. I myself haven't even tried it!

Ricky the Sheltie said...

WooHoo! Congratulations!! Oreo is a rock star for sure! Those were some really difficult weave entries but not for Oreo! We know what you mean about how good it feels when your dog takes off on the course without you or does a faster-than-ever dogwalk! It's totally awesome!

Glad you had such a great day! And glad you kept going on the protocol and got past the hurdle from the day before!

Diana said...

Wow Sara thats awesome!! I so happy that class when great and all your hard work is paying off. Diana

Marie said...

That is such great news! Everything about that post was positive, but my favorite part was when you said that your bond got a tiny bit stronger on Wed. too. :-) I think that's the ultimate goal!

Jules said...

Yay!!! What wonderful news!! I bet it is a combination! :-)

LauraK said...

That is so awesome Sara- sounds like a fantastic day!

It's always such a great feeling when you're clicking with your dog on course and you know that they are loving their job! Yay for Oreo being a ROCKSTAR!!

Kathy said...

WOW, Oreo is REALLY coming along, you have to be so proud of yourself and your little Rockstar! The best you both had fun the whole night, isnt that what it is all about, good for you!!! and good for Oreo!!!

PS we just got Breezes accupuncture appointment and she is not a fan of being handled by anyone, but when we go on for the accupuncture/chiro appointment she just flops down on her side and starts to relax, sounds just like Oreo, it is so cute.

Nicki said...

That's great! Whatever works right?

AC said...

You are BOTH rock stars! Oreo seems to be growing by bounds. I'm glad you came up with a good RP solution and where able to continue working.

Agility sounded like the perfect night for both of you. So happy for Team Oreo!

Dawn said...

Wow. I love it when that happens, when everything clicks! Probably part of it was the acupuncture, part the steak...OK maybe a big part was the steak, but I bet some of the connection is also the time you're spending with him on the relaxation protocol every day.