Friday, February 22, 2008

Everything is Fun

A youngster is a lot of work, but it is fun. Reagan needs constant supervision. Thank goodness for crates. She snarks everything with her nose. "Snark" is a fancy word for rubbing your nose on everything and leaving nose prints. I never understand why dogs with a highly developed sense of smell have to actually shove their nose into or on something to smell it. Reagan seems to use her nose more than the other greyhounds...........especially poor Katie :-). Maybe I will have to try tracking with her.

Reagan is crying much less now. I think the anxiety of being in a new place, with new people, and new greyhounds is wearing off and she is starting to have some fun. In fact, she finds everything to be fun. If I am cleaning the house, fixing dog bedding, dressing/undressing the dogs in collars and muzzles, wiping feet, etc. she is in the middle of it trying to have some fun. It just makes you smile. Its been a lot of fun to see her youthful approach to everything. Even though she is pretty much full grown, she still looks like such a soft baby to me...... immature. She has the best greyhound coat coverage.... furry neck, furry buns, and furry belly. Only one scar. I always thought that Travis looked so young and he does at 9 years old. But Reagan really shows how mature and masculine he is. She is cute, but he is still the gorgeous one, in my opinion. Katie is, of course, just the plain favorite............ once you earn a utility dog obedience title, you can do no wrong.

Yesterday, in the pouring rain we went to a dog training facility, so we could play indoors. The facility is also a day care and we were there as it was closing up for the day. It is amazing how much noise Katie, Travis, and I tune out. We do not hear the vacuums, the dogs barking, the gates clanging, and doors slamming. But Reagan does....... which makes sense when you are coming from fairly quiet, country living. At one point she was definitely concerned about all the noises coming from the other side of the wall, so I took Reagan and Travis (brave model greyhound) to investigate the noises. She immediately relaxed when she saw that it was just a person, some funny looking dogs, and nothing scary to be found. We returned to the training side and I rotated working with Katie, Travis, and Reagan. Reagan did lots of cup touching with her nose and worked on downs. Eventually, some other people came in and she earned treats while they brought in chairs and cleaned. Then she got to meet a Ridgeback and 2 border collies. It was exactly the kind of meeting I wanted. All three dogs were polite, not overly interested, and were fairly calm. Initially, she didn't have any interest in playing with toys, so I kept her on leash while Katie fetched a stuffy toy. That perked Reagan's interest and I got a stuffy out for her to play with and she had a great time. It was nice to finally let her run around with a toy for a few minutes. I don't really have a great yard for that sort of thing and I've come to realize that I do a whole lot with Travis and Katie in unsecured areas. I will be seeking out the old haunts and training grounds that I used to train at when Katie and Travis were unreliable and needed fences. Overall, I was really pleased that she went from being a little bit scared of all the strange noises to being happy and playful. She also maintained her food motivation the entire time.