01 April, 2010

The Easter Weekend

It was a busy weekend with the weather in summer mode. It was beautiful in the evenings where we usually hang out on the deck. Zeetie was a happy girl.

Zeeters peed for the second night in a row upstairs. I was jerked from a deep sleep by the sound of 'NOOOO, Zeetie' blaring from Don, followed by a flurry of cleanup. That was a rude awakening. Into the vet went her urine sample, just in case. And, nothing showed up so perhaps she has a 'leaky' bladder suggested the vet tech. We have to keep an eye on her and I won't go into those details. I now find out she did indicate she had to go out but Don ignored her and I was dead to the world so, she peed right there. Poor Zeetz. The vet loves us, though.

It turns out the cost of a DNA test is about $460.00 so, I am announcing that Zeetie is officially a full Great Pyrenees Mountain Dog. How do I know? Because.

Our girl is quite a watchdog. I came in from a community meeting (re the Ashcroft overdevelopment of the Sisters of Visitation site on Richmond Road) last night and headed upstairs. Wow, her bark almost sent me tumbling down the stairs. As soon as I said her name, she stopped. I think she had been sound asleep and obviously only heard me when I was on the stairs.
Criminals Beware. Watch Dog on Duty.
I tried some training again last night but once again, the little girl got bored. I even got a more exciting treat, at least I thought so but they don't hold her attention for long. On our walks, she loves the milk bone unhealthy treats given out by Kate. Forget my healthy ones. However, if another dog comes to me for my treats, she is right there, eating them, too. I hope Lynn can help me.

Sunday, 4. April

We had our first lesson yesterday morning. Lynn quickly assessed that Zeetz had been force-trained (collar and leash were pulled, she was yelled at etc.). After our first session of me simply walking backwards with her on leash and encouraging her towards me, clicking and treating, she headed straight for the cage. Lynn had to coax her out. We continued on with this method of encouraging her, with no leash pulling, and it really worked well. The big thing was, when I gave her a treat, her ears went down, her body sunk a bit and her tail was down. Her body language said it all. This confirmed Lynn's suspicions that her training had been forced. I then simply had the treats in my hand and let her come to the treats instead of me putting them in her face. What a difference that made!!

After the second set, Zeetz stuck around and even wanted to continue training. Amazing stuff. There I was trying to train her like I had Trickster but, of course, they are two very different dogs with different backgrounds.

I put this training, as simplistic as it seems, to work this morning on her bush walk. On occasion, when I hadn't called her but saw she was running towards me, I praised her big time and she even stopped for treats from my out-stretched hand, every time on that walk. She even came when I called and she came to me for treats. What a difference a lesson with Lynn makes. Such common sense but so many of us don't have it which is why we get trainers like Lynn.

She came every time, except for once. We were headed out of the bush when I saw her barrel out of the bush way in front of me. I whistled for her and then she took off away from me. I knew for sure that she hadn't heard me and would go looking for me. I kept running until I got to Tunney's Pasture and there she was, belting along, looking for me. I was able to run fast enough to get closer to her as she stopped for a sniff (thank goodness she wasn't so panicked she wouldn't sniff). I called her, she stopped and came towards me. Praise, praise. As we walked towards each other, I just stopped and let her come to me, which she did. I held out my hand and she came and took the treats. Man. Lynn is so amazing. Until yesterday, she would not have bothered stopping to get treats and probably would not have been as willing to come to me.

I managed to get some gardening in today before heading to the cottage for Easter dinner. Zeetz was at hand, putting the branches through the wood chipper. Please note the Canada Hemlock in the background we just planted in Clara's memory. They live anywhere from 600 to 1,000 years. Good luck little tree. I'll have a plaque made.
She had her first trip to the cottage today. It was a lot for the little girl but more so at my parents' cottage where there were many people. They were all good to her and petted her even though she wasn't so sure. She wandered about but then hung around on the deck and walked on the neighbour's beach. We are all very tired now. Especially after not getting home until about 12:30 this morning. We went to the Opera Lyra to see Macbeth (the guys went for a beer at the second intermission). The singing was excellent and the witches were great. It was long with five acts, three hours, though. I got a tiny bit of shut eye in the last act.

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