We started today with nosework class, week two. I had Treasure on leash for her searches today. She does get annoyed with the leash, especially since she spins and it hits her in the face. I think it distracted her from scenting and finding the food. Every time she hit the end of the leash or it brushed against her, she stopped to see what the leash was and lost her train of thought. We were trying to keep her more in the area of the boxes, so she wouldn’t go wandering away while she was searching. It worked in that regard, but she took longer to find the boxes overall today and I can’t help but think it was because she was distracted off her task.
She still found her hides ok, with the last one up on a chair. She had the scent long before she actually pinpointed where it was, but soon enough her nose was pointing up to the small box sitting up on the chair. I helped by bringing the box down a bit where she could reach to eat out of it. I could have waited and let her try to climb on the chair, but it was a folding chair and I wasn’t so sure how sturdy it was. I didn’t want to have it move away from her or tip and cause her to not want to try it again. So I helped her to reach.
I find myself with a free day tomorrow, so I think I will try her with some boxes outside, and if that goes well, I will hide some food in the snow for her to find. Because I have a small house, I’ve already used up all the rooms and hallways, so I don’t really have any place new to practice where Treasure hasn’t already been. So I’ll do a hide out on the deck, and then in the snow and see how things go.
After class, I headed to the pet expo with some friends of ours. Treasure got to ride in her stroller. She was of course, the princess riding around, sometimes with her nose in the air to sniff all the wonderful smells. Everyone had to pet her or stop to ask me about her, so she got a lot of attention. There were so many people and dogs to smell! And the food smells! Dog food and people food, treats and bones of all sorts. And there were other smells, too, strange ones for her. There were little pet pigs, and bunnies, and skunks and alligators! Oh my! Snakeskins and birds and various animal pelts that the zoo brought for show and tell. She smelled them all. I think her favorite was the alpaca, though. I couldn’t let her say hello up close and personal, but I let her smell a teddy bear made from its wool, and she sucked in a huge breath, burying her nose all the way to the center of its fluff.
I have taken dogs to expos before and I know it is a very overwhelming place for them to be. But I never looked at it from the perspective of purely smell before. What a wonderful buffet of smells Treasure must have had before her today! She took everything in stride.
I did have something funny happen today. I was getting bombarded with questions about Treasure – She’s an albino isn’t she? She’s blind isn’t she? Etc. Mostly the usual. But I had one woman go on to ask me, “How does she get around?” The question actually shocked me. I wasn’t expecting it. Believe it or not, no one had ever asked me that before. I gave her a surprised look and then out of my mouth came, “With her legs.” Well, the woman looked at me with just as shocked of an expression! “Oh, no,” she said, “That’s not what I meant.” What she wanted to know was how did she manage to not run into things and how did I communicate with her. After the fact, I got a chuckle out of the whole conversation. I guess I had taken the question literally, and I couldn’t imagine what she meant. I mean, don’t most dogs get around on their legs? Very funny!
Please don’t forget to vote everyday through 1/18/11 for Treasure to try to win money for sheltie rescue! http://bissell.promo.eprize.com/mvpcontest/gallery?id=9052