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January 21, 2014: The Dog and Pony Show Continues

Very strange weather here, the temperatures are now in the 40s. It’s raining, and more rain is predicted. Our scant snow cover is now becoming even more scant. Raunchy, wretched weather for sure. The only thing worse would be having to eat liverwurst sandwiches on stale, moldy bread. I don’t know if we’ll be able to continue to get out on the trails. I’m not going to dwell on this; rather, I’m just going to continue to focus on animals care and training.

Today Pete and I worked on Ryder’s fixation with chasing cars. Being a herding dog, this is what she wants to do. She hasn’t been afforded this opportunity because she’s always on the leash when we’re out on the road. But as

I’ve repeatedly told Pete, I lost one dog this way and I don’t want to lose another dog this way. Digger was an Aussie cross – she was very much like Ryder in personality. She also had a beautiful tail. One day she ran into the road, was hit by a car, and killed.

So, we decided that Ryder is not going to suffer the same fate. Today Pete first practiced with her on leave it, using a variety of treats, some of which included popcorn, cheese, and Yummy Chummys. Ryder wasn’t all that hungry at the time, but she got the idea really quick, which was that as soon as she averted her gaze, she’d get a treat. We next went outside, and Pete drove the Tundra up and down the road. By the end of our twenty-minute clicker training session Ryder was able to hang out on a loose leash when the truck went by. However, she was still focused on the truck. If weather permits, we’ll again work on this tomorrow.

I also worked some with Hrimfara, who has taken to mugging me for treats. I’ve begun indicating to her that this is unacceptable behavior by standing next to her, and rewarding her when she looks straight ahead. I used to do this with Raudi. The difference is that Hrimmi is larger than Raudi was at her age. She’s now as tall as Signy, but as of yet she has not filled out.

Hrimmi has been doing quite well on her daily trail outings. She stops here and there to nibble at brush, and then minutes later, rushes over to us. The other horses have been training her to mind her manners. When she attempts to play with them they puts their ears back and in this way let her know that bumping into them or running up behind them is unacceptable behavior. It’s good to have an adult threesome because they do assist me in keeping her in line. It’s called herd mentality.

Near every day all the animals get our for exercise. I don’t take the goats for walks like I used to – but I do make sure that they get out and run around.

Yesterday I was saying to Pete that most people don’t think of the additional work involved in taking on one or yet another animal. In this respect, I have been as guilty as those that I’m speaking of. Maybe one additional animals doesn’t require additional work because some don’t clean up after them, nor do they exercise them. Seems unfathomable to me. This is not the case here.

I had considered getting another dairy goat because I enjoy milking and drinking milk. However, I’ve finally wised up. I gave up on this idea after realizing how much additional time and energy milking, feeding, and tending to this animal would take. The saying that youth is wasted on the young is most definitely true in this instance. Why is it that I know now, what I did not know 20, 30, 40 years ago?

Next: 22. 1/22/14: Praise be to Dog