So, after the spectacular fail that was scent work I had high hopes for Maggie’s tricks class. And I am so happy to say that it’s a success. After the second week we already have 5 tricks that will qualify for our title. Now, it’s nothing that will shock or inspire… but hey a trick is a trick! She can crawl, put 2 paws on a box, spin (we’re still working on that one) puppy pushups, hand signal sit, and jump over a jump. There are other things we are working on too, but those will get us some letters behind her name. It helps a lot that in novice you can lure with treats. They’re almost making it too easy.
I love the instructor for this class. She’s young and still likes people and dogs. She’s patient with us when Maggie is hesitant and reluctant to offer behaviors. She’s new at instructing the classes, but I would take her any day. She’s great! That’s in contrast to Willow’s beginner obedience instructor, who I think is teaching this class to give her a valid excuse to insult people. I’ve been trying to compose an update to that class, but every time it gets to two pages single spaced I put it away for editing - no one wants to read that!
I took the opportunity before class started to do a little obedience work with Maggie and you guys, she looks really good. We even did a little bit of off leash healing. She lags a little bit, but she has good attention and she stays right with me. We’ll get there.
The other thing I wanted to comment on is her eye contact. It’s amazing. This is the same dog who didn’t want to be in the same room with me. She sits at my side and she watches me like I’m the best thing since bacon. That trust. The feeling is kind of overwhelming. I’ve said it before, I wasn’t sure we would get there. There were times when I secretly wondered why I was being punished for the next 15 years with a dog who hated me. But she’s my girl, and I’m her person. I’m not sure there’s a better feeling than earning that trust and being judged worthy. I’m just so proud of Maggie and what she’s overcome. She’s a living example of never give up. Maybe it’s weird, but I find myself inspired by my dog.