Friday, December 01, 2006

After last Sunday at Croyden obedience, I spent a lot of time weighing options. I'd wanted a beginners class where Sierra knew the skill set and we could focus on working quickly and accurately in high distraction settings with her giving good, consistant focus. The class we were promptly promoted to for being overskilled is a slightly faster pace which means there's less wiggle room to work on what I want to without obviously doing something different from the rest of the class.

I was also debating if I was right about Croyden being the place for us as well. There were several rather unexpected negatives and while I did feel the instructor had a clear idea of what is desirable for the ring (IE what will cost/gain us points and placements) I was debating if getting that knowledge here was worth the affect of coming out of class feeling distressed and upset. However since this was a substitute instructor (albeit the CHIEF instructor subbing...) I figured I'd wait and see.

As it happens, we had another substitute but this one ended up being much nicer. She still dismissed the clicker as an inferior marker to a word (*biting tongue FIRMLY*) but she was very nice and seemed to have a a good idea of training, so overall it was leaps and bounds better!

You know, thinking about this in print, it sounds like I think I know better than everyone else and am really arrogant, which totally isn't the case. I do have plenty to learn, heaps in fact and I adore getting the chance dig into new information. My mind is just too curious... I love learning and understanding... my mind chews away at challenges, turning them over, looking at them this way and that trying to figure out what I'm looking at and anything I don't know is a challenge. When I "get" a new concept, I feel it must be a little bit like Helen Keller felt at the moment she understood the sign for 'water' and "got" the concept of language, thirsty for more and more words to paint her world. It's the same thing really, both moments were learning to hear, to understand, to communicate, to relate. So that was Sunday.

Monday, instead of our normal freestyle class, I had a seminar hosted by Melbourne Canine Freestyle, on identifying and managing stress in dogs by Dr Debbie Calnon which was nicely put together. It wasn't anything new but she was a good speaker and it was interesting to see a couple things I didn't think I would. Steven Lindsey recomending something that sounds remarkably like reiki for one! ;-) Hadn't heard about the left side massage stimming the right side of the brain, which was interesting and will have to do an experiment some day to see if it makes a difference. IMO the rest of his method sounded very much like Shirley Chong's conditioned relaxer. Would have liked her to go further into the remark on poisoning the cue seminar she went to as well, since I haven't been able to get to the US for those seminars! *G*

Tuesday morning, bright and early we packed the car, hitched up the dog trailer (new, second time driving it!) and took off for Toora, which is just past Foster in South Gippsland.

Me, bubs and my hooligans, joining some friends with their kids. Easy drive, if a long one and heavens that's some beautiful country! I spotted several big hills I'd love to live on but if Nic thinks Woodend is too out in the sticks and small-town, no way he'd go for anything here either.

Did get to see lots of cows and calves, sheep, an echidna , dozens of butcher birds, gallahs, cockatoos and a wombat. We actually had some yearling heifers in the paddock next to the camp site, which Hope saw early in the morning. At first she wasn't so sure (what the #*$%# is THAT!?!) but then she figured she'd have a go at herding it. O_O She only got as far as the fenceline though and the cows were totally unimpressed!

We had a great time with everyone, I think Laurent had an absolute ball with
all the other kids around and general atmosphere. He is SO much happier
when he's got other people and kids around, I am SO ready to move to a big
Attachment Parenting community yk!

Even with a few little upsets it was one
of the most relaxing days I've had in recent memory! I wish it could have
lasted a week or so! ;-) Although I'm guessing a few of the other mums
whose littlies came down with gastro are quite happy to be home now... poor
mites got a bit of gastro and weren't feeling so well for the trip home!
The dogs had a great time of it as well, though it was quite busy for me as
I was trying to watch Laurent as well as all three (off-lead) dogs as they
mingled! They got plenty of attention from the kids (yay for knee-high
puppy socializers!) who were gorgeous with them. Cade in particular was
soaking up the attention, the sookie-sookie mook! *G* All 3 were a bit
scatterbrained though, as everything was so whirlwind, I didn't really have
time to settle them into their new environement like I normally do. Still
they did pretty well, although I won't mind next time being just L and I.
We had to leave the next morning but I saw so many pretty spots on the way
there I wanted to stop and photograph but didn't due to trying to hurry and
get there, so I figured I'd have a bit of a meandering trip back. Initially
was planning to go with Jayne to Wilsons Prom but as I had the dogs the park
couldn't let me any further than the gate.

Yes, that's a photo of the gate.

Bummer! I really wanted to see it! Even though they were trailered and I asked about parking the trailer at the rangers station. No deal. Only acceptable thing was to leave the trailer outside the boundry of the park, which was a ways back from the rangers station and no way was I going to leave 3 dogs in a trailer in the middle of nowhere. A farmer down the road said he'd keep an eye on it but with the trailer fully loaded it was just to heavy for me to unhitch on uneven ground. Ah well, just means I have an excuse to go back again! *VBG* Plus I'd like to see that alpaca farm/weaving studio Beck found and try some of that jam. I'd dearly love the chance to go through the area on bike or hiking even, so I could take as many photos as I wanted! Pity there's not a hiking-camping trip for dog people! Anyhow, on the way back we meandered around wherever looked interesting and stopped at a few small towns to look at the little shops and such. L and I had a bite to eat for lunch before getting underway
again and getting back at 3:00.

(Where we stopped for lunch.)

Today was pretty boring, until Nic came bursting back in, told me RE Agent Dude called him regarding the showing that was going on this afternoon. This was the first I'd heard of Thursday showings. The sign outside our house only says showings on Saturdays and we were told nothing about Thursday showings, let alone THIS Thurdsay! Thankfully everything was tidy but sheeeee-yyyiiiiiiiitttt, talk about your communication FAILURES... we TOLD him before the first showing we wanted a list of dates/times! He says he sent out a list before that which we should've got by now... well ain't that interesting because we asked all communications to be e-mailed because I can't use the phone and can respond to the matter asap. So it shouldn't have been posted. Either way, we didn't get the letter so had no idea.

And just to show how little miss is growing... here she is at 11 weeks.

Okay, so it's not the greatest version of a stack but to be fair I'm only up to
teaching her to accept a hand under the chin and relax into her head being
moved in prep for planting those front feet. So the rest of it is a natural
stand rather than posed.


Anonymous said...

Oh you took some gorgeous photos of the trip!
And there is a 'rail trail' path down that way - that is an old railway line that has been converted into a hiking/biking path so you can bike or hike through various small towns and camping spots. We've done that one on bikes, (before kids) and it is lovely in late summer!

Anonymous said...

great pics! Am pmsl at your "picture of the gate" at Wilsons Prom!