I’m just back from a couple of weeks visiting family and friends in northern California. I visited with a dog walker in San Francisco, a young couple with small kids and a patient dog, a woman who has two Cairn Terriers, and several pet-less friends (poor dears). So fortunately I wasn’t deprived of dogs. In fact, it was fun to be exposed to a variety of dogs and dog training styles.
The dog walker has an interesting life, though he does have to drive around the city collecting dogs for more time than he gets to actually walk them. A lot of the dogs he walks do come from his part of the city, but some of his favorites come from far away, so there is no way around that driving. He has taken some dog training courses with Jean Donaldson, but he says he has had to work out his own ways to get a group of dogs to be friends while running and playing on the beach. One of his main techniques for harmony among the dogs is to do careful intake interviews!
I was concerned about the rough way the kids played with their dog at another household, but the adults assured me that they had taught the dog not to nip. He didn’t while I was there, but then he spent much of the time curled up under my chair, once I had done a little Tellington Touch on his body.
My old friend with the Cairns has been trying to finish her younger one – that means, trying to get enough points, at large enough dog shows, for her dog to be a champion. She said that fewer people are showing now, due to the economy, so it is taking longer. Mostly we swapped stories about our dogs. I got some video of her trimming dog toenails, which I haven’t yet watched enough to see if it’s usable.
But of course there is no place like home, and no dogs like your own. LarryDog and Lola gave us a royal welcome when we got back, and the pet sitter reported that they had been very good and very affectionate. Not much separation anxiety this time, with someone sleeping here and spending a good bit of time here during the days too. Judging from a few spots in the yard, the dogs didn’t sleep the whole time.
I’ve come back with a dog training DVD and a book on playing with dogs. Will review both eventually.