Wednesday, December 10, 2008

CHERRY

So I havent talked much about a new little star in our home that is doing wonderfully. Cherry is actually a Contact Point Agility dog, but Karen has let me keep her here for the last couple of months. Cherry was born about two weeks before Breeze, and is a cousin of Breeze's. So the fun thing is that Cherry came here just shy of turning 2 yrs old, but I remember holding and playing with her when I origionally went to meet Breeze. I have a lot of pictures of that trip. I also remember seeing on the CP email list the pictures of Cherry at 14 weeks jumping over a tunnel, and I remember writing in that I thought Cherry really wanted to be an agility dog for sure. I remember hearing about the day they took Cherry in to the vet because she had been limping and it turned out she had a broken pelvis I believe. Anyway, she had a FHO, where they remove the head of the femor and then instead of a true hip joint as I understand it the muscles are holding the hip area together. Origionally Cherry came here because Breeze was doing her exercises and rehab and Cherry needed to do the same exercises and so I figured the more the merrier. When Cherry first came we spent a lot of time teaching just plain manners, and doing a lot of exercises. Cherry was a challenge for me because she was not at all food motivated, NOT AT ALL. And she loved to play with toys but didnt really understand how to play WITH me, so it was difficult to use that as a reward. She has some really truly awesome drive though and is the sweetest dog ever. I will say that Cherry is the only dog in my house right now that gets full house privledges and doesnt have to go in a crate when I leave. Skyler is pretty much on that status too, and Chloe I just worry about her and Liz fighting through crates, but Cherry just never does anything wrong. She is my husbands favorite dog, and the kids just love her. Cherry is fun for them because she is gentle and sweet and still loves to play-she is a ball maniac. So recently there have been some really exciting things going on with the ol' Cherry. I am GOOOOOOOOD at bringing out food drive and I am getting much better with playing with the dogs and all of a sudden Cherry is the easiest dog to train. So I started Cherry in a little beginning agility class and I do have to say....at the risk of bragging.... she is by far the best dog in the class. OK that is my own opinion, but.....LOL, I really think she is. She is amazing, like between exercises I wanted to shape a focus-just asking her to sit and look at my eyes-then increase the duration she could do that. By ten minuetes later she was holding my gaze as long as I will hold her and I can run and move and she will run after me and find my eyes. Wow, two years and still working on that with Liz. She was the demo dog for learning out around a cone and after two of three tries with Alicia the instructor, I took her back and we were able to run by the cone and she would go out and around it. Last week we were doing jump-tunnel and Cherry would sit behind the jump-knowing that we were going for the way fun tunnel, and even though she hadnt done it before she was pulling and then went over the jump and raced through the tunnel where I threw the ball for her. All of a sudden she is a learning machine. It is all clicking for her so fast. She is really doing so good. I am so proud of her.
Sooooo I have a SUPER FUN challenge I am doing with Cherry now. I had tried earlier to do the 2X2 weaves when I was origionally teaching my dogs but she just was not operant enough yet and she wasnt into the rewards enough to really get into it, and the way I handle that type of thing is to just wait and work on other things. SOOOOOO we are BACK, and I am going to try to get these weaves down in the next two weeks, and I mean I want some awesome weaves. hahahahahah, so that is the challenge. I will post how it is going to keep myself moving and honest, and I will post a day by day progress video in TWO WEEKS. I really think we can do it and I think this is going to be fun. I will have to take a few days off because I have to be out of town for a few of the days, so that will be my excuse if it takes us a few more days....but I am still going to predict two weeks!!!

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