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December 9, 2020: The Dog and Pony Show: Sunset over Squalor Holler

Pretty unreal, what’s going on around here, all this dog and pony stuff. First did enrichment with the ponies before doing morning pen cleaning. It’s good, I now have them guessing about where I’ll enter the gate and where I’ll put the targets. I again put the gas cans under the overturned rubber buckets, so this gave them something to do in the time between breakfast and lunch.

I later worked in the playground of Higher Learning with Shadow – last night I watched a few treiball videos. Dogs move several balls around, there are various games and rules. There was a video on how to begin – you have your dog push a ball between two poles, with treats on the ground, behind the ball.

Hrimmi with her drawing

The dog is not supposed to bite the ball or lift front feet. Well, Shadow has been balancing the ball on her nose, like a seal. The dog will supposedly push the ball in order to get the treats. This one went around the ball and began picking up treats.

What to do? I was getting frustrated and so was the dog. So I let her push the ball around the playground and I rewarded her by marking the behavior (clicking) when she got it right. It’s tough because your timing has to be just right. I did okay. The most encouraging thing of all was that Shadow left the ball and came to me for a treat when I clicked. So we made progress.

I next had Ryder do a bit of agility work. She’s really good, so we are going to keep doing this. I will, after I take classes with Shadow, come home and do the same thing with senior dog.

Lesson learned: Ranger the Goat was next on deck. I was giving him hay pellets, which take a while to chew up. We will do far better if I just give him goat grain.

Pete and I went for a ride; he rode Raudi and I rode Tyra. Tyra ran off trail a couple times. I am the next time she does this have Pete put his hand out and say touch. She will then go back on trail.

The high point of the day came in the late afternoon, as the sun was setting. I let Hrimmi out of the pen and she ran up to the outside art studio. In seconds, she was drawing in the snow on the kindling box, making lines and swirls. And most importantly, she was having a good time doing this. So I was right, she does want to paint. I named her first painting Sunset over Squalor Holler because the sun was setting. The question is, what medium do we work in? I say oils and Pete says acrylics and my sister Eleanor says Tempras. I am going to call my friend Susan Harris and ask her what she thinks, since she paints. If she says computer art, well then we are going to be shit out of luck.

It was dark by 4 p.m. I took Hrimmi and Tinni, individually, for a walk. All of us felt really good.

Next: 339. 12/10/20: Are We Having Fun Yet?

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