Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Summer Vacation: From A Dog's Point of View

I knew something was happening. My two humans were packing things. Making piles of items that were coming with us. 'Us' ...that was the magic word. I knew I was going to be included. Lots of things went into the van as we all watched. This was going to be more then a day trip. When the kayak was lifted into the van, I just knew it meant that I would be swimming!

Monday morning arrived, we were fed a light breakfast, the coolers were packed and Lab Lucy and I were put into our crates in the van. Paul and Chris were both coming, things were getting more exciting. I settled in for a nap. Less then two hours we arrived at our destination. The lake, the lake we had spent 3 days playing at last month! There it was....I could smell it. But first, Lucy and I waited patiently as my two humans unloaded the van. We had learned to stay in our crates when the car stopped. Sometimes we get out, sometimes we don't. Chris has always given us lots of things to do, like a Kong or the Buster Cube to keep us occupied, but lately she been saying we are now old enough that we don't always need something to play with while we wait. She is right, I settled in for another short nap. I've learned to be patient.

The van is unloaded and Lucy and I are led thru the cabin and into the fenced backyard. But wait......Chris is not opening the door right away. Lucy defaults into a sit.....oh, I forgot. We have new rules. I no longer just give my human eye contact and stand nicely, I am now expected to sit and give eye contact. Something about learning to look to humans for direction rather then taking it upon myself to do things. I guess the rules that changed at the house this past week are the same for other places. I sit, look up, and instantly I hear 'yes' and the screen door opens and out we both go.

We run, we leap, we twist and turn, not only in the yard but thru the water. Paul starts the grill for dinner, which means we can't run around any more. My long tail might get too close to the fire. We have our ex-pens set up in the screened porch and another outdoors close to the action. Chris feeds us dinner in our ex-pens and we settle until after she and Paul finish their dinner.

Then more swimming! But wait.....the rules are really being enforced. I have to sit in my ex-pen.....with it open and I am not to move until I am released. I hear 'go play' and off and running I go. I am no longer getting treats every time I do something right. Sometimes I get to do something like play in the yard, or go get a ball....I think I heard them say something about life rewards. Doesn't matter to me what it is called, all I know is that if I do something humans like I usually get rewarded one way or another. Petting, treats or playing's all good to me!

I slept soundly that night, I guess it must have been all the running around and swimming. The next day we went for a walk around the lake. I practiced walking nicely without pulling. I was released to go the end of the lead to sniff the oh so many good smells.!

Of course being on vacation there were opportunities to take photos.

Then more swimming. Chris went out in the kayak. At first I watched from the dock
but swimming along side was more fun!

By the second day we were falling into a nice routine. And...we got a surprise...a new toy!! We had one that was the same but this was a bigger version. Oh did Lucy and I have fun tugging with it. Paul throws very far so Lucy swam a great distance to get it. Sometimes I watched from the dock. I didn't learn how to jump off the dock, maybe next summer I will try it, but honestly I think Lucy does belly flops. I walk into the water at the side of the dock, it's seems much easier.

Sometimes I would swim out to meet Lucy.

We would play tug in the water while swimming back to shore.

This new toy had a long rope attached, so sometimes I would just sink low in the water and let Lucy pull me in.

And we had training sessions. I can now sit still in one place and Chris can move about 6 feet away. I quickly learned to stay still. If I moved I got nothing other then an 'oops try again', but if I remained sitting she clicked and brought me easy is that? I also practiced my spin....that trick still needs some work. I am still following the target stick.

We got to stay out late at night. Swimming at dusk was fun.We stayed behind on the dock while Chris went for night time kayak rides.

We watched the moon rise.

Our training skills are becoming more solid, working in different places helps me understand that a cue means the same no matter what is around me. Vacations are fun, I like the water the best, I was wet all day long!


  1. Hello Melissa--Your blog is the best. Now I know what you are thinking. Happy birthday and lots of woofs. Did you save me any cake?? Kodi

  2. Thanks Kodi. We can easily have another cake when we meet again ...the more celebrations the better!!