Sunday, 20 June 2010

dancing with dogs in Australia

When Penny was swimming at Kepala, she probably thought she was there to have fun. (After all, what else is a pet dog's life about?). However, I was intent on helping her to get fit so she could go to the first-ever session of the newly-formed Dancing With Dogs Club of Victoria.

Well, we made it. Today Penny and I joined a class at Foundation level. It was great fun and we'll be practising what we were told. (Thank goodness for pen and paper, otherwise I would most likely forget everything as I walked out the door.) Later, at home, we've practised 'heel' - yep, after all these years we've never quite got a handle on that basic move. (Red face)

We tried 'on your mark', with Penny putting her front feet on a thick book and circling around the book in position, facing me as I also circled the book. No problems.

Next we tried this activity with a long ruler laid on the ground, touching the big book. The idea is to get Penny more aware of what her back feet are doing. As you'll see in the video clip to come, she could sort of do this. The final step was to raise the ruler so it was a couple of centimetres off the ground, one end lying on the book.

That she can't do, yet. She definitely knows her back legs are nearing the ruler, so I don't think it will be long before she gets it.


Honey the Great Dane said... how focused Penny is - she learns so quickly! Watch how quickly she jumped onto that book when you said "On your mark" and love her tail wagging madly!

Am a bit confused as to why you needed the ruler there? What was Penny supposed to do? Hop over it as she was pivoting around?

(By the way, are these classes with Sue at MCF or different ones?)

Oh - and just saw your response to my comment about dog birthday parties - thank you so much! What a brilliant idea! Yes, please, can I interview you anyway? It would be great to not only get the views of people who host parties but people who attend them too! I will send some questions through tomorrow via email, if that's OK. Thanks again!


Slavenka said...

I am sure it will be very soon because she is so good.

Serendipity said...

Penny is such a smart girl! She seems to learn quickly, doesn't she?

Oh yes, I agree with you. Dogs sure are our comic relief! They have a way of making our hearts lighter :-)

parlance said...

Hsin-Yi, it was an exercise suggested by the trainer at the newly-formed Dancing With Dogs Victoria club. It's to make the dogs aware of their back legs. In fact, Penny was all too aware that her legs were nearing the 'scary' ruler, so I might just go with moving across it on the floor. She was good at that tonight.

It's at the same venue as Sue's place, but Sue wasn't there. I believe she's going to run longer workshops, rather than one-hour weekly classes, which will suit me well, as I have to do a round trip of eighty kilometres to get there!

I'll be happy to contribute the views of a party-attender!

parlance said...

Serendipity, I was looking at the blog of The Teacher's Pets and she said she has quit a teaching job to become a full-time pet-sitter and I thought, what a wonderful thing to do. I'll bet her 'clients' bring her joy.

parlance said...

Slavenka, Penny does pick up things quickly, and I think it's because she has always been encouraged to make decisions rather than just be obedient. Though of course she has to obey in many situations, for her safety and ours.