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March 24, 2011

Rainbow’s Story

I haven’t written any dispatches lately. I’ve been too busy, working on Part 1 of Raudi’s Story and doing trip planning. Pete and my respective list of things to do is still long. But we’re making headway.

A tough call, what to do about the dogs. Jenna is our easy dog. And Rainbow is our difficult dog. Jenna sticks close, and is very affectionate. Rainbow wanders and is very independent. After eating breakfast, we let them outside. Jenna will come and sit by Pete’s side. And Rainbow will go into the livingroom and sack out on her dog bed. We call Jenna "Separation Anxiety" and Rainbow "Doggie Hotel."

We’ve come to the conclusion that it will would be difficult to travel with two dogs, in part because carrying the requisite amount of of dogfood would put us over our requisite weight limit. And it would be hard to keep an eye on two dogs while out on the trail. So, we’ve decided to leave Jenna here, in the hands of Janelle, our house-sitter. This seems like reverse logic, given that Rainbow is the more freewheeling soul. The problem is that she’s too freewheeling to put entrusted to the care of strangers.

And so, I’ve begun to work at preparing Rainbow for the trip, by reinforcing what she already knows – sit, come, heel, stay, using a clicker and treats. I’ve also been working on ponying her alongside Tinni and Raudi. This is good because she and I are now reconnecting. Some disconnect has occurred because for the past several years I’ve put most of my energy into working with the horses. Working with Rainbow is actually a lot of fun. She’s now nine, and much more mature than when she was a year old.

Short sessions are good for us both. She’s more focused and I’m more centered. If she does not do what I ask, there is no click of the clicker, and no treat. Life reduced to its simplest terms involves my walking away and later doing another training session.

This morning Pete said this is going to be Rainbow’s trip, and I agreed. I’m looking forward to spending more time with her. Perhaps this is actually Rainbow’s Story.