Blessed Beltane! Spring rains moved in rather beautifully last week and stayed: persistent enough to get a whole ton of indoor spring cleaning AND *studio setup* done (though – have I ever said this before? There’s more to do). Though it kept things too wet and muddy for the gardens, the rain itself has been intermittent enough for Lupe’s long walk and two extended training sessions / walks per day for Chance.
With the new collar, as much as I was trepidatious about it, Chance has progressed rapidly. We go on longer walks, exposing him to more things. The contact this collar gives me tells me much more about what he is responding (and wanting to react) to. (The trainer said, “Just like power steering, isn’t it?”)
He sometimes reminds me of a sight hound. Many years ago, before I began to seek artists’ residencies, my dog Face and I would spend a month each summer having an odd sort-of paid residency of our own, living in a lovely north suburban home (with use of a beautifully-equipped basement wood shop) and taking care of three champion Scottish Deerhounds while the owners were out of the country. They were sweet, affable, and totally independent dogs. I fed them and walked them twice a day and that was pretty much it; though they all liked me, and would express that by jumping up to delicately put their feet on my shoulders whenever I saw them during the year, they had a big dog door leading to their nice fenced run, and though they liked being petted, really didn’t ask for that, or for any attention outside their routine. Chance is much, much more interactive, needing / craving human company and direction, but still the things that excite and distract him most are things he sees: Squirrels! Cars! Discarded plastic grocery bags blowing in the wind! He wants to give chase. But he’s realizing his job is to work in concert with me, follow my pace, sit when I stop, ignore what I tell him to ignore.
The spring cleaning, and his maturing, has allowed me to expand Chance’s access to new parts of the house; he now has an area outside my upstairs studio where he can hang out, watch me while I work, or go nap in his open crate. Today was his first exposure to that, and: he is now tall enough to see himself in the mirror in that space. He thought he saw one scary dog; it was hilarious!
When the rains subside this weekend: back to the garden work, alone and with a friend, and: the first outdoor fiber cook of the season! (Hello, mulberry. I’ve got plans for you).