Friday, August 27, 2010

If they gave out Phd's for being "An Idiot", I would be first in line!

So, the UPS truck arrives with my second strike plate for my ball launcher. I am SO excited!! We have been practicing in the back yard on a flat plank. I had a plan. You know, those plans that idiots make? We plan it, write it down, going step by step - not. Carefully, thinking it through - not. Implement it step by step - NOT! That kind of plan. The Idiot Phd plan.
I am SO excited I run out to make sure the splitter connection works for both plates. It does! FIL is a freak, remember!! :D I set it up and carefully, ever so carefully, like a good little idiot I am, and check the location of the ball. I do have an Idiot's Phd, remember? I want it to land in front of the contact, so he has to look forward for the ball. Perfect!! Like Miss Idiot Phd, I am SO excited! It's PERFECT! I am so thoughtful, I do have this Phd in Idiocy.

See? Ball launcher is set back, so the ball ends up landing right in front of the contact heading straight away (I know it's off to the side in this photo, but it was straight away). Oh so perfect!!

Hmmm, do I have you all on pins and needles? Do you know what happens? Can you guess what happens? Do you know what happens when I bring out my little paw wringing worry wart who melts down if a bar drops or had to work for over a year to get over the sound of the teeter, the dog who skitters away in the kitchen if a utensil falls. What does Miss Idiot Phd do? Runs the little buggar on THE WHOLE FUCKING THING, from start to finish and ......ready?.........

...........the ball..... hits him in the side. OMG!!! If a dog could melt and curl up in a ball, that's about what he did. He cowered and melted and when I tried to just tell him to suck it up (even though I really wanted to rock him like a baby in my arms and apologize for my Idiot Phd) and play ball he squinted his eyes at the ball coming at him and cowered some more. He wouldn't even play our favorite game of "catch the ball just a few feet from me". He loves that game. :(

So, I regroup, I take the Idiot Phd from my name and put my smarty pants back on. I had to go find them, though, I tossed them away who knows when.........oh yeah, when the UPS man arrived with the second strike plate!!! >:/

I move the ball launcher and work on a conditioned response. Back to square one. Sound of the ball launcher = yummy meat balls. He recovered and thought that was pretty fun. I tried the ball a few times. I tossed the ball when the ball launcher sounded. I experimented. I found what worked and got him working again. He unwrung his little paws.

Then I brought out the Pin Heads. That always excites him!! That jealousy factor!! Suddenly he remembered he really wasn't afraid of this ball launcher. We had, after all, been working with it on the flat for days now! So, with the launcher repositioned we ended the session with some full dog walks and successful ball launches and chases. He looked pretty happy! Phew, crisis averted for the moment!!! We have lost some speed, but I do think we can gain that back once he gets more comfortable. Oi!!! I really must keep my smarty pants on. Poor little Spur Man needs me well dressed and without my Idiot's Phd.

Then as I came back from putting the dogs up I found Leta out wanting to train! Have I mentioned she now works for the ball, just like Spur??? It's freakin' adorable!! She LOVES to chase it and grab it!! So, we worked on her contacts!! She doesn't have too much speed yet, but it is coming and her hits are pretty consistent. She may not be one I can use the ball launcher with. She is feral, after all. She gets kind of nervous with noises, but is getting better. She is no longer afraid of my scooter coming into the barn.See? Speed is coming!! -

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