Friday, April 15, 2016

Busy Month!

Hey, haven't posted in a while!  Things have been really busy here with work, applying to a new job, searching for a new apartment, and playing more shows with my band... oh yeah, and we just started agility training!

Delilah finished the prep school prerequisite course for agility and started beginner's agility!  So far we've practiced weave poles a lot and she's getting pretty good at them.  She catches on to clicker training and patterns quickly.  We were going to practice a jump last class but Delilah got distracted and ran away when I let her off leash to jump so instead we practiced staying still.  It's something she struggles with.  I brought her hiking today at the middle school and they have a track and athletic fields.  I practiced her off leash recall, heeling, sit-stay, set up, and left and right over a jump.  She did really, really well, even though she hasn't been outside with distractions very much since last fall.

I'm also house-sitting for my parents (and watching Mia) this week so they have a yard I'm definitely going to take advantage of.  I bought about $32 worth of PVC piping and made a jump and a set of 6 weave polls.  We practiced with those this afternoon as well and she did awesome!  She was so excited she ran out and just started circling the poles and going over the jump before I even told her to do anything (I did have some really tasty treats though)!

After a couple of disappointing visits at our first vet (long story short I got the bill for our last visit and I was charged for a couple of steroid injections that the vet hadn't discussed with me) we changed to a new one.  So far we've had a much better experience at the new practice so we're going to continue going there.  Something interesting that came up- our old vet told me Delilah might have a luxating patella in one of her legs but then during a later visit told me that it felt like it was strengthening and probably a developmental thing.  Well this new vet told us not only does she definitely have a luxating patella, but she has them in both legs.  The good news is that he told us she was so small and light weight that we could still do agility and it will probably never affect her.  So I'm really glad we ended up getting a second opinion about her knees regardless of the other reasons we switched vets.

We've started hiking again!  It's been awhile.  We've mostly just gone to the middle school because they have a lot of open fields for Delilah to sprint around in, as well as a few trails in the woods.  We've been having a lot of fun.  Someone posted in one of the toy fox terrier groups I'm in on facebook- asking if a toy fox terrier would be a good choice for them because they want to hike and train tricks.  A LOT of people said that they're too fragile!!!  Not true at all- Delilah can run and play and hike for hours and it doesn't put a dent in her energy.  There were a few other people that bring their dogs hiking and train them to do things and said that they're tough, awesome little dogs, but man, a lot of those people just keep them inside and let them get fat and lazy, and then call them fragile.  These guys are classified as toy dogs by the AKC, but they are most definitely terriers at heart- it's a shame people aren't letting them be dogs!

I keep her on leash when we get to the road- I don't trust her judgment.

She just loves sprinting around in open areas.

Lastly, we had some big progress with her stranger anxiety/reactivity.  I brought her to my Grandma's house for a family St. Patrick's day dinner.  When the family started arriving I kept her in her crate in the room I had been staying in and I let a few people peek in to see her but not bother her.  She barked a little.  A couple of hours later I took her downstairs to go out and she didn't bark at anyone!  I let her hang out inside with everyone else after that and she was fine.  She was curious about most of the people and ran around with the other dogs (Mia, my grandma's whippet Chloe, my aunt's lab Windsor).  All the other dogs were bigger than her, and scared of her!  Especially Windsor.  He hid behind my aunt and once Delilah got too close- he jumped out and barked loudly at her.  She jumped backwards and fell over, but got up, shook off, and ran back over and started yapping at him.  I quickly got her out of there, but it was really funny- definitely a terrier- trying to take on a dog over 10x her size!  So much sass.

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