Friday, January 09, 2004

Report on Week One of Being Unemployed
I like it!

Dumbbell Report
Sunny and Pappy were back at doggy school this week and I had to confess we did not do a little dumbbell training everyday during their Christmas break.

When a dog is learning something new the training sessions shouldn't be more than three or four attempts at whatever they're learning. Keeping the session short is even more important when it's something they don't like - and Sunny and Pappy don't like the dumbbell. It's really surprising how fast a dog will improve with a very short session everyday. But I didn't do it and they didn't improve.

Sunny is taking the dumbbell in her mouth, but she won't hold it. I have to keep my hand under her jaw to help her hold the dumbbell up.

She is working on two things now. First, she is learning to walk with the dumbbell. She takes it, I hold it up with her jaw and grab her collar and guide her about six feet across the floor. She walks ever so carefully with the dumbbell, like it might explode if she moves too fast. She thinks walking with the dumbbell is stupid but she likes the piece of turkey dog she gets after she does it.

Second, Sunny is learning to pick the dumbbell up off the floor. I put the dumbbell on the floor in front of her and say "Take it". She is supposed to open her mouth and pick it up. What a fantasy.

I say "Take it", push her head down toward the dumbbell, and I slip the dumbbell into her mouth. She doesn't look the slightest bit interested in picking it up by herself, but she lets me stick it in her mouth because it earns her a piece of turkey dog.

Pappy, on the other hand, thinks that part of the routine is for me to pry his mouth open.

I sit on the floor and Pappy willingly settles in between my legs facing forward. I say "Take it" and he doesn't take it. I put the dumbbell up to his mouth and he clamps his jaws tightly shut. I pry his jaws open and insert the dumbbell and he happily holds it in his mouth until I say "Drop it". He knows the routine and puts up with it because he knows he's going to get a piece of turkey dog.

The trainer's theory for this week is that if I stand up behind Pappy it will show more authority and he will willingly open his mouth. So far all this theory has accomplished is to make me pry his mouth open from an uncomfortable, bent over position.

So that's how the dumbbell training is going. It should go better now that we're back in a routine of practicing every day.

Friday Five is Missing - Again
I was very disappointed this morning when there wasn't a new Friday Five on the Friday Five website. By afternoon, I was annoyed. Now it's evening and I'm thinking about an alternate plan for my Friday posts.

This is the third time in the past several months they haven't posted new questions. If they're going to have a Friday Five website, there should be five questions on Friday. If they can't manage that, then they should take down the website. At the very least, they should post a little blurb to let us know there aren't going to be questions this week.

I like the Friday Five because the questions get me to write things I wouldn't otherwise think of writing about. With that in mind, anyone have any suggestions for replacing the Friday Five?