Monday, August 15, 2005

Photo Time!

Yes, yes, I can be nagged. :-) As requested, here are new photos!

"I just love photos -- I get to eat the camera!"

It's hard to take photos myself, as I'm usually working with the monster -- er, I mean, Laev. I'll take my camera to Schutzhund practice tonight and see if anyone can get some shots of us heeling or something fun, but it'll probably be too dark to photograph well, as we practice in the evening.

But I did get some shots today when we went tracking in the park. Just under 80 degrees, so not too hot, but humid -- perfect for holding scent. /grin/ Laev and Shakespeare both did very, very well.

I've been putting extra "dummy" flags on the track, so that the dogs see flags frequently and not only when they're helping me mark a turn or keep the dogs on course. I also alternate between sticking the flags upright or laying them on the ground. A couple of my tracking partners have had trouble with their dogs getting sensitive to flags, so I'm purposefully overexposing my dogs to flags so that they don't see them as relevant to the track.

Track start and dummy flags

All I want is for the dog to look for the flag to mark the start of the track; that's it.

Laev's first track went so well (no dragging or fussing, just working) that during the second I carried a camera and snuck a few shots with one hand while working the line with the other, then dumped the camera in my treat bag while we finished the track. In Schutzhund tracking the dog should be indicating each individual footprint, and Laev's still at the stage where she'll find tidbits hidden in footprints occasionally. Here you can see her at work. And no, that tail doesn't ever stop while she's working a track!

checking left footprint....

...and the right

Afterward I tried to get a few shots while she played. Laev happened across the end of our first track today and followed it for a short distance. Thus I was able to capture this profile shot of how Laev looks while tracking. Well, I'm assuming this is what she looks like; I never see anything but a wagging tail.

tracking free

But tracking's only a tiny part of our time. Laev also has a home life.

"The Laev." Coming Soon to a Face Near You.

She's definitely in the gawky-ugly stage of development, but she's awfully cute and I think she'll mature into a nice-looking dog. We're are very reliant upon stuffed Kongs for a worry-free day.

These Kongs are empty. Fix 'em!

Laev likes bananas smooshed into a Kong and frozen, or frozen green tripe, or frozen canned dog food.... You're noting a frozen theme? That's because this summer has been pretty warm, with some record-breaking temperatures, and because frozen Kongs take longer to unstuff! And I rely on this precept: the more time and energy spent on a Kong, the less available for unauthorized remodeling of the new house.

But she is still a puppy, and she does still nap. Not as often as I sometimes wish ;-) but it does happen. Usually Laev sleeps in standard Doberman fashion, which is to curl into a Doberwad small enough to tuck under an airplane seat, but when it's warm she sometimes gets more adventurous.

Ooh, I think I need a chiropractor....

That's it for now!


Anonymous said...

Love the tail!

Connie said...

She is such a cutie!

Would you care to elaborate at all on why she only has limited play time with other dogs? You mentioned something about the purpose being that you are supposed to be cooler and more fun than other dogs? Is that something to improve/intensify the relationship between dog & handler?

I have a velcro border collie and a puppy who is not really velcro yet. The velcro one sticks with me because the world frightens her. The puppy imparts the distinct impression that he must stay with me because it is clear to him I could not find my way out of a paperbag. ;-)