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The honeymoon phase is over for me and the “new” instructor in our obedience class.  Last night (2nd class) was about attention; how do you get it, how do you keep it, and how do you let the dog know that it is his/her responsibility to “watch” you until you say otherwise.  According to our instructor, if the dog looks away, you should “pop” him or her with the leash so that s/he will think a “gremlin bit” him/her, and that the only time the gremlin doesn’t bite is when the dog is looking at the handler.  I don’t “pop” my dog, ever.  Unfortunately for me, Devi and I had to be the first in the class to heel past the instructor as she shoved a giant stuffed lion in the dog’s face as a distraction.  Devi, of course, looked at it.  I did nothing, just waited for her attention to return to me.  The instructor told me I wasn’t doing it right, and I explained that there was a disconnect between where my dog is (there’s a giant stuffed lion in my face, must look!) and where you want her to be (ignore all distractions), and that I wasn’t comfortable bridging that with corrections.  I thought I did a good job of summarizing my issue while not saying anything negative about the instructor or her methods.

Apparently, the instructor did not agree.  She told me, and I quote, “you will never succeed in this sport if you don’t use physical corrections.”  She then stopped the entire class, pointed at me, and said “She wants to use positive methods only.  She is going to NQ at every trial she enters.”  The instructor then turned back to me and said “Please continue to enter our trials.  We want to take your money.”  I said nothing, but as you might imagine, I was fuming!  How DARE she!  I still haven’t decided whether I want to go back or not.  I think she does have some good advice on handling, which is why I didn’t just leave last night, but is it worth being held up to everyone as an example of what not to do?


Posted by on 07.05.2017 in Devi

Jake was in Chicago this weekend so Devi and I were left to our own devices.  Poor Devi has been a bit under the weather; she got a blister on her paw from running on hard ground, and when the blister popped, she was in quite a bit of pain each time she put weight on her foot.  A trip to the vet taught us that there’s nothing we could do except wait, but I didn’t think she’d be able to stand for 4 hours while she was groomed, so I cancelled her appointment.  Naturally, she was nearly normal by the time the appointment rolled around, but I wasn’t able to rebook until 2 weeks from now.  She’s going to be a very shaggy girl by then!

In other news, our in person obedience class started last week. I really, really, like the instructor.  This lady is new (to me) but has been with the club a long time.  In just one session she helped me figure out the root cause of Devi’s head sticking to my leg while we heel, and gave me a couple of really helpful tips on other things.  Not much else new with us – just enjoying some long-awaited sunshine!

On a mission to catch a squirrel.

Feeling sorry for herself.


Did you miss us?

Posted by on 30.04.2017 in Devi

As Jake has been reminding me, it has been ages since I have posted!  How is he to know what we’re up to without a blog post? 😉  We have had a pretty busy spring, thus far.  With the arrival of warmer weather, the jasmine in the park has bloomed.  Early morning runs with the smell of jasmine are some of my favorites, and Devi and I have been enjoying those.  It hasn’t been too hot yet, but Devi is scheduled to get her summer shavedown this weekend.  It has been months since she’s been groomed, and while I did give her a haircut a month or so ago, it was a bit sloppy.  It’ll be nice for her to lose the homeless Bouv look!

In other news, Devi and I resume our in-person obedience classes this week.  We’re taking a “novice” class again because it’s the only one that works in my schedule, but I’m hoping to train some of the open exercises on my own.  If we’re lucky, we’ll earn our CDX title this fall.  What we will do after that depends largely on how my riding is going, but I am sure we’ll continue to train in something.  Perhaps we’ll try tracking?  At the very least we will enjoy one another’s company and go for runs 🙂  In the meantime, I will try to be better about updating the blog.


Posted by on 02.04.2017 in Devi

We’ve had a crazy last month or so, which explains why it’s been so long since I have posted.  I was traveling for work, then got really busy cleaning up the mess that inevitably occurs anytime I’m away.  The most exciting news is that Devi turned 5 on March 27th!  We celebrated by taking a fun romp through the woods.  I’ve discovered a trail that is mostly deserted, is pretty straight and wooded heavily on both sides; even though dogs are supposed to be on leash, I feel OK about letting her off.  She has a grand time running around, sniffing things, and generally just being a dog.

In other news, I passed the half of the board exam I took back in February, so now I just have to pass the 2nd half.  I am debating whether I should take it in early August or wait until next February.  The only other excitement has been the arrival of spring!  The trees in the area are blooming, the crawdads are out, we’ve had to call the lawn guy to come and mow, and Devi got her spring haircut.  Goodbye to winter 🙂

Posted by on 12.03.2017 in Devi

Devi had a great time on Saturday playing in the SNOW!  When we got up around 6am it was clear and dry, but by 7am, snow had started to fall.  By 8:30 it was coming down in big, wet clumps.  The outdoor temperature was 36, so it wasn’t sticking to the roads, but it was sticking on the ground, trees, and cars.  Devi and I drove to the park and ran a 3 mile loop.  It was deserted so she got to enjoy some off leash time.  She just LOVES the snow!  I love it in small quantities, and IMO, snow that lasts <12 hours and doesn’t interfere with driving is about the best kind of snow 🙂

Posted by on 05.03.2017 in Devi

This was Auntie Becca’s last weekend with us, she returned to Kansas City on Saturday.  We all enjoyed having her with us, Devi included.  🙂  We were treated to wonderful weather yet again this weekend.  Highs in the 70s with chilly nights – the best for morning walks!  Devi and I went for a walk mid-morning on Saturday and encountered a half marathon.  We took a detour to escape all the runners and found some beautiful deserted trails.  Devi got to enjoy some off leash time (sssshh, don’t tell!) and we ran an easy 2 miles.  On Sunday we took a nice long walk in the park and both Jake and I noticed that Devi was pretty subdued.  She wanted to go for the walk, and was happy and peppy, but she wasn’t paying attention to squirrels, or bikes, or kids on scooters or any of the other things that often ignite her “chase” instinct.  So I’m thinking that maybe she just needs more exercise?  We haven’t been running consistently since summer, and although we walk, it’s not the same as a good run.  I’m going to get her out there a couple mornings  a week, now that we won’t freeze to death during our 5am exercise period!

Posted by on 19.02.2017 in Devi

Yet again we were treated to a beautiful weekend!  It hardly feels like winter at all.  Many of the trees have started to flower, and I finally took my winter riding clothes and horse blankets out of the car.  I haven’t used them since mid-January.  The flower trees sure are nice to look at, but my allergies have been awful!  I suppose it is the price one pays for an early spring.

Here is Devi doing a little bit of retrieve over a jump.  This was the first day we’d played with this in years, so I was pretty impressed that she remembered it as quickly as she did.

And here are a couple of cute pictures from the week:

Posted by on 12.02.2017 in Devi

We had a couple of houseguests this weekend, which means that Devi got lots of attention.  Nothing like getting extra pets and cuddles 🙂

After a 3.5 mile run. It’s been in the 60s all weekend!

Getting neck scratches from Becca’s friend Zach.


Posted by on 05.02.2017 in Devi

Poor Devi got a haircut this weekend, and while she now looks like a normal dog, she’s a bit chilly.  She’s also been feeling a bit miffed at me, because I haven’t been taking her to the barn.  The barn owner has 2 dogs, an old female border collie and a younger male lab/boxer mix.  Devi and the male get along great.  The female is another story.  The female approaches Devi growling and showing teeth, and that makes Devi growl and snap, and so it’s better for everyone if Devi stays home when I know the older dog is around.  We were very lucky the last 30 days because the dog spent the month with her owner to Florida, but everyone is back now, so Devi is homebound.  Don’t feel too bad for her, though – she’s had plenty of fun in the form of walks and training.

Fun on a walk.

Enjoying the view of the Cumberland river.

She’s always game to climb on rocks.

In response to the political situation, we made a donation to the ACLU. Apparently many others did as well 🙂

And a fun little video of us playing on our walk:

Posted by on 29.01.2017 in Devi

I was in Palm Springs all last week for a work meeting, so Devi stayed home with Jake and Becca.  They all survived, and I came home to a relatively clean house and a happy dog.  Devi accompanied me to the barn yesterday, and we enjoyed the warm and sunny weather.  It was pleasant enough that Devi could relax outside while I rode Merle in the outdoor arena.  Normally it’s too chilly and I have to put her in the car, so we enjoyed it while it lasted.  Today was chilly and wet (appropriate weather for January!).  In spite of the weather, Devi and I met a friend and her dog for a 3 mile trail run.  After some initial snarkiness, the dogs agreed to ignore one another and were fine on the run.  I felt OK letting Devi off leash because there were only a few brave souls at the park, and she had a blast.  She was so pooped from the run she didn’t even try to come with me when I went to the barn later in the afternoon 🙂