Thursday, June 14, 2007

A for Effort

Belle and I attended our first outdoor barbecue of the summer. Complete with people, dogs, and the tantalizing smells of brats, burgers and chicken on the grill. I give Belle and I a B/B- for our teamwork tonight. Our (self) report card follows:

Big Brown Barky Dogs - A: Belle ignored the beast completely, despite the fact the monster nearly pulled its owner off his feet lunging at Belle.

Greetings - B+: Belle shook hand with both hosts perfectly. She didn't once scoot her butt around to sit on their feet. She stayed in side position the whole time. The only greeting she struggled with was the toddler. Part of the problem with this greeting was the mother ignoring my instructions on how to greet.

Buffet line - C: Belle had trouble with staying in side position and in the sit/hold/stay position while I made my selections. She didn't however, "rise" on the table and she desperately wanted to do so.

Drop/stay while I ate - A+: Grilled chicken was the key to her success here. People stepped over her constantly while we ate yet she totally ignored them and kept her focus on me the whole time. Her focus really impressed the other guests at my table.

Loose Leash Walk - B-: She and I struggled with this one. She really wanted to join the party, but I kept making her work her warm-up cues to try and get her focus on me before we started walking through the groups of guests standing around and talking. Once we arrived at the gathering, I had trouble getting her to maintain her position while we LLW'd, constantly reminding her to re-position herself when she got too far ahead of me.

All in all, I think she did pretty well. We don't get a lot of practice with eating meals in such a public venue and I was proud of her for really trying to stay on cue.

Oh, and one more thing. For the first time ever, I heard someone exclaim "what a calm dog"! And yes, they were talking about Belle.

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