Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Jumping through hoops

And so the dreaded day of the party trick arrived.... Many thanks to Bouncing Bertie for raising awareness of our plight and to all who provided suggestions.  After much deliberation we went for the old jump through hoop trick.  Quite ironic I thought given that HHH normally has me jumping through them.

The evening didn't have the most auspicious start.  I got home from work late so we didn't have time for our full normal walk which aims to tire someone out.  This is generally a prerequisite for a quieter puppy class.  Well, at least for the first 20 minutes.  There must be 15 dogs or more attending the class from Mac the mad boxer to fiesty Daisy the collie/chihauhau.  Lynn the Dog Lady and her trust team of assistants have, over the past two months, done a tremendous job training the unruly mob, advising us owners and providing some much needed encouragement, when all hope had been lost.  Becky, our particular trainer has been brilliant in the face of much adversary from Horatio.

I digress.  The trick.  Well, dog number one performed a dance.  And I mean a real dance, like you see at Crufts.  All that was missing was the top hat and tails.  Classic case of the class swot.  Thankfully we didn't have to follow directly in those paw prints.  Our turn did however finally come.  Now, I admit we could have prepared more but my theory was, that if we practised too much, Horatio would get bored.  In short we winged it.  Boldly we marched out into the middle of the hall.  I produced the world's tastiest treat and had Horatio sit for me.  He can do this, however the world's tastiest treat was a mistake.  He didn't want to wait for the treat.  In short, we did finally sit long enough for me to shuffle backwards, holding the hoop and the treat, and Horatio came jumping though it!!  Much applause and great relief.   We have done better but could have been a lot worse.  Puppy class is an unforgiving environment and I think we got extra points for inventiveness and bringing in a prop.

To my amazement we passed the course and even received a congratulatory rosette!  Tony, the shih tzu won the class cup for most improvement - what a dark horse he was, keeping good behaviour up his sleeve til the last night.  We've been invited back for the level 2 course, which aims to consolidate the learning from level 1 and introduce some agility.  We're off to the Isle of Arran first for a week's holiday and then we'll consider our options...


1 comment:

Bouncing Bertie said...

Hip hip Horatio!
Well done my man - I knew you had it in you! A successfully executed hoop jump and a rosette. I'm SO impressed.
And that must have been some puppy class. Were there really fifteen dogs? (Things tended to get out of hand at my puppy class when there were more than six of us...)
You MUST go back to the next level - you'll have so much fun.
Toodle pip!
Bertie.