Thursday, March 18, 2010

Busy busy busy!

It has been a busy couple of weeks for us! This past weekend (March 13-14) my parents came to town to visit and see Mesa, since I haven't been home since before I got her in January. And of course, along with them came Smoke (my mom's Swedish Vallhund) and Lacey (English Cocker Spaniel), so fair to say it was a packed house in my tiny apartment! The chaos started first thing Friday evening with Smoke, Dally, and Mesa ripping and racing all around the apartment playing with each other with big excitement. Yes....Dally was playing with Smoke!! My mom can see a big change in Dally's demeanor in the way she wants to actually play with Smoke...not completely ignore him. So, the puppy has been a good thing!

Saturday I ran in the Shamrock Shuffle 3K for my friend's 30th birthday in downtown Lexington (16.3!) and then had to work a hunter/jumper show in Frankfort, so mom and dad "puppy-sat" Mesa while Dally went to Lakeside with me. During that time, mom worked on teaching Mesa to sit up on her hind end (unfortunately she was teaching her with the same hand signals as I teach for a sit, so I'm trying to come up with a new hand signal for "sit up") and laying down. She was a little rock star for mom, but she was greatly missing her mom. She'd run from bedroom window to living room window every once in a while looking for me and wondering when I'd return. As mom said, she's definitely already my dog and is attached. This means time to work on separation...not fun.

Thankfully I didn't have to work on Sunday, so I got to spend the day with my parents, which meant going to IncrediPet to buy Mesa's new crate. All this time I've been borrowing a pink plastic pet carrier from Mesa's breeder, Debbie, as well as a bigger crate from an agility friend (wire, longer than Dally's). Mesa was sleeping in the pink crate and spending the day in the larger crate, but I was wanting to shrink the number of crates in my room from 3 to 2, as well as work more towards house breaking Mesa during the day. The new crate, which measures 18" wide, 19" tall, and 24" long (Dally's is 18x20x24), comes with a divider so you can change the size of the crate--perfect for crate training!! Mesa now sleeps comfortably in her new crate (I put a blanket over the sides at night) and has kept it clean the entire week! This even includes during the day! Yay! (I might have just jinxed us...)

Monday evening saw a trip to Jodi's where Mesa and Dally got to run around the backyard and all around the house while I baked cookies and vented about the tumultuous day I had at work. Jodi also finally finished her wobble-board that she was attempting to make for Maya, but instead put it out in the middle of the living room for Mesa to try out. Moving floor underneath?? Not a problem for a fearless Vallhund like Mesa!! She didn't give the fact that the board was tipping back and forth under her...there were treats being tossed on the board! Then, we brought out a kiddie tunnel (the kind you get at Toys R Us) and Mesa enjoyed following Dally through it, then proceeded to run thru and around the tunnel, jump on the wobble board...rinse, and repeat. So far, introducing her to agility has been fairly easy and painless. (Once again...jinx...)

Tuesday saw our first agility class of the year at Melanie's. I always enjoy taking classes at Mel's because most of the time it's our "Small Dog Posse" and we always know how to have a good time. After two good runs with Dally (after a few corrections on my end, of course), it was time to let the pups play. Mesa spent the next 10 straight minutes running in circles, chasing Rupp (Mel's Chi pup), running through tunnels, herding dogs through the weaves (she'd run on the outside of the weaves) and jumping 8-inch jumps. She also attempted to climb the A-frame until I ran up and put a stop to that. Thank goodness for a quiet night after that--exhaustion for a puppy is a good thing!

This weekend is the Louisville Cluster (a big AKC dog show with conformation, rally, obedience, and agility) and Dally is entered in Nov FAST (going for her title), Exc STD, Exc JWW on Saturday, and Exc STD and Exc JWW Sunday. Mesa's going, of course, but she has a full plate as well, as her breeder will be there with her daddy (Toby) and litter mate (Hannah). She'll have a Vallhund play date with her sister and I'll see if I get Debbie's seal of approval for my rearing of Mesa so far. I'll report back after the Cluster with many more tails, and probably more videos to share.

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