August 17th, 2005


More about plank training

All I've done with Devon for the past two nights is a bit of plank work in the office.

I got a short, painted board that used to be a closet shelf and set one end up on a plastic crate next to the desk so that the desk formed a wall on one side. Then I counted out 10 training treats and got Devon by the collar standing next to it. When I said "ok" he jumped onto the plank and would have jumped as quickly off again except I kept my hand on his collar for a second until I could get a piece of food in his mouth. after that he was pretty happy to stand there while I fed him the rest.

I did that twice more, still with 10 cookies and still steadying him on the plank until I could get that first piece of food in his mouth and then I let him stop himself on the plank by shoving the food in his mouth. In between bites I stood up and he didn't come off the plank. I did that once more and he left his right hind foot off the plank so I just gave it a little touch with my foot and he moved it up on the plank. End of session.

The next night I did the same thing, held onto his collar the first time but then let him stop himself in place for the next three trials. By the last time I was able to move around in front of him and back to the side while I treated. Tonight I'm going to do this same thing but from the other side.

Also took him to get his 1 year old shots today. It was almost exactly one year ago today that Ali and I went to the airport to pick him up. He was so little and tentative when he first came out. But once he realized there were people everywhere he became very lively and tried to greet everyone. And of course everyone made a fuss over him, he was so little and cute but friendly and charming.

In some ways it seems like I've had him way more than a year. I can't really remember what life was like BD (before Devon). Probably a lot quieter :-)

It was actually a little cooler today because we had a good storm last night that cooled things off although it didn't help the humidity. I am going to be one happy puppy the first time I go out in the morning and feel cool, dry air on my skin.

I think Haven must have been feeling the change in temp because she was loping around and woofing at Devon when I let them out this morning. How wonderful that she's still so happy and healthy at her age.

I succumbed to looking at pictures of Border Collie puppies today. Contact Point has had two litters totaling about 17 puppies. I even watched them on the "puppy cam" although there's not a lot to see since they're only a few days old. I even filled out a Prospective Puppy Owner Questionnaire they have on their website and received an email in reply. I'd like to know how much they charge for their puppies. I have read their puppy contract and they do have a pretty sound health guarantee but I'm nervous about getting a puppy from people who breed that much. But from what I can tell they do a good job as breeders although I'm sure they've had their share of HD crop up. Maybe I'll go ahead with inquiring just to see what kinds of questions I can get them to answer. Those puppy faces are so cute and look so ready to learn that it's hard not to want one.