Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Boon Distractions

Saturday was the perfect day for a training session: overcast with a pleasant breeze. When we arrived, the pavilion was full -- 7 other dogs and their handlers awaited the start of class. Somewhere within that sweet doggy brain, Boon seemed to think that everyone was waiting to play with him. To Boon, there is no such thing as foe, he has not met a person or dog that he doesn't like. His sentiments are much like Dug (from the movie "UP"), "I have just met you, and I love you." Where there is love, play is close behind...needless to say, from the moment we arrived at class, Boon was distracted with thoughts of play.

Also like Dug, who loses focus at the thought of a squirrel, Boon's focus is easily diverted. If a possible playing partner hits his peripheral, focus is lost. Once Boon loses focus, it is somewhat of a challenge to bring him back to task. Challenging -- that is the best way to describe our last training session.

Boon is chock-full-of-charm and brimming with sweetness; this adds up to great therapy-dog material. The focus part is going to take a little more time...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Boon Process

For the last two Saturdays, the heat index here in Hotlanta has been anywhere from 105-110. I did not think it was a good idea for either one of us to be out in that kind of heat, (especially since training sessions are usually close to two hours in length) so Boon and I have missed a few weeks of training. Thankfully, we are in a very flexible training program: even if you are unable to attend consecutive training sessions, you still get the total number of sessions paid for...this is a very good thing!

Though we have not been able to attend the actual training sessions, we have still been working hard. Boon has learned the "Side" command (lies down on his side) and has also been working on "Forward" and "Finish". The whole process that we are currently working on is as follows: "Sit" to my right side, "Stay", I pivot in front of him while he continues to "Stay", I back up 2 feet, "Forward", "Sit", "Stay" and then "Finish" - which means Boon goes back to his starting point, my right side, and does a "Sit/Stay". We are also working on an alternate "Finish" where Boon begins on my right side, he then follows through with the process, but when it comes to the "Finish", Boon walks behind me and goes to a "Sit/Stay" on my left side.

Boon is doing a good job with this process. When we are working outside, he still has a tendency to want to go "Down" and not get back up...but he is making progress in this as well. Whether inside or outside, Boon is making progress with the process.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Boon B-day

Today is Boon's birthday. It is hard to believe that the 3-month-old, 26-lb puppy that we brought home in November is now one-year-old and 90 lbs! Throughout the last nine months, it has been such a joy to watch Boon grow and develop. He is definitely the puppy of my dreams.

So, today, I celebrate Boon. I celebrate his sweetness. I celebrate all that he has learned. I celebrate all the laughter and good things that he has brought into my life. How thankful I am for my Boon companion!