Thursday, June 14, 2012

K9 Kamp: Week Four

Four weeks of K9 Kamp have come and gone, and we are buff as can be over here!

OK, OK, that's totally a lie, but truth be told, I did lose five pounds since the beginning of Kamp. Seriously!

I've been very good about making sure I get my workouts in, even when I can't involve the pup, so I need to give a big thanks to everyone who has been playing along and/or reading along. Without threat of public humiliation, I may have been a slacker. Kamp has been in the back of my mind for the last month, pushing me along to do things when I want to watch awful reality TV instead.

I'm pretty sure this calls for another "woo", probably a louder and longer one.


The last challenge given to us by the folks at Kol's Notes and Peggy's Pet Place was to come up with our own challenge. That's right--I was left to my own devices for six whole days. Scary, yes, but not even a minor injury occurred. All of our limbs and paw pads are intact. Promise!

What usually goes down on these occasions when I get to come up with my own ideas, unobstructed? I make big plans that fall flat.

I'm so very excellent at thinking more or better things will happen than actually do, at having unrealistic expectations, at forgetting how even when I plan for extra time it's not enough time. Le sigh...

So I was talking lots of smack in comments last week when I said I was going to break out our mini-agility course (Amazon affiliate link) for the yard in honor of the last K9 Kamp challenge. It never happened. Although, while we were doing yard work (real yard work, not Desmond's idea of yard work), I went into the shed and saw the obstacle course box and said to myself, "Oh yes, we need to do that. Tomorrow."

Good intentions. Zero follow-through.

However, we did lots of other stuff:
  • walking & jogging
  • tug
  • fetch
  • recall practice with hide & seek games built in
  • using the designated break times in my workouts to play fight with Desmond
  • climbing/jumping on & off benches, low walls, etc.
  • Paws-Up practice on items of varying heights
  • Spin/Around practice (I am not sure that I'll ever be able to say to Desmond, "Spin around!" and have him respond with a quick figure eight, but here's hoping. For now, it's two separate cues--still with luring, although there's no food in my hand--following one another. Maybe I'll try that "backwards" training method...)
  • flirt pole shenanigans


Oh yes, shenanigans.

We've had our flirt pole (affiliate link) for a while but had to wait for our grass to grow (we had to reseed the yard) to use it, as it's dangerous on other surfaces. I tried it out with Des once before the attempt I made for K9 Kamp. It was a big hit! I was super happy.

Of course, this led me to thinking he was going to be all about it this time--oh yeah, I'm going to take some freakin' pictures. This is gonna be great! 

Well, thanks a lot, dog. Thanks for making a fool of me again. Behold:

Trying to entice Desmond with the wildly colored, unidentified creature hanging off the pole was useless when he was too busy staring down the Lair of the Cats (aka, our neighbor's house)

I tried really hard.

But Desmond is a jerk with his own agenda

He even had the nerve to take a rest while all this was going on

Even when I was running around with this thing (is it supposed to be a lizard?), he wasn't interested. Until...

He was. Inexplicably.

Um... and then he wasn't

And then he was! Yay!

Once he finally started jumping for it and got hold of the thing, I took my blurry picture and called the photo attempt a day. I let him play for a while and then asked him to drop it. Then I gave him a good ear scratch and set the toy aloft again. We managed to do this about six times before he got bored with me again or, more likely, got annoyed that I wouldn't let him rip the thing to shreds. I consider this a success.

All in all, I had a blast at K9 Kamp, and I learned three very important things:
  1. Do not try to run sprints with a crazy greyhound mix, wonky legs or no wonky legs. It's a terrible idea. You will feel like you might be dying and you will risk falling & having your face scraped off as you get dragged down the road. Or you'll lose your dog, however temporarily or permanently. I did not lose my dog, but if I had been on my way down to the floor at any point, I can't say for sure that I wouldn't have instinctively dropped the leash in favor of face-preservation. Sorry, Des. I've known my face a lot longer than I've known you, and I'm kinda partial to having it around.
  2. I really do have a lot more time to burn calories than I was telling myself I did.
  3. Threat of public humiliation is an incredible motivator. Makes me wonder if we shouldn't bring this kind of thing back for criminals. Although, criminals likely do not also have the threat of a bathing suit–dominated vacation looming very, very nearby.
So what did everybody else learn?

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