I've stayed up waaaaay too late tonight editing video, but I did want to post this....
Because of weather, we trained in the barn again tonight. It's a big, unheated building, full of stored.. stuff. Our training director likes to challenge the dogs when we get stuck indoors for weather, and it's one of Laev's favorite things. Mine, too, though I don't do much except watch.
Laev worked twice tonight, and the first time I sent her to the far side of the barn, where the helper fled over piles of boards and gear during her hold and bark and then smacked an empty plastic gasoline jug about and across her as she gripped the sleeve. She did pretty well there. But the second time, they set up quite the course for her -- she ran for a hold and bark, and then the helper backed her over crates, chairs, a collapsed ladder which bounced under them, two kayaks, and a flatbed trailer, while he blocked or hit her with bite pants, a bite jacket, a plastic bucket lid over the head, and an umbrella popping in her face and then waved over them both. Laev stuck right to him, without me behind her or ever speaking, and never took the loose equipment over the helper. They ended wedged in a tight corner where there wasn't even enough room to safely slip the sleeve and I had to come and fetch her. I was quite pleased. Then we sent her to the far end of the barn again, where he'd stacked sheets of plywood so that he could kick them while Laev held him, knocking her footing from beneath her and scooting her around. She never even looked down.
"Nothing fazes her," said a club member, and while that's not quite true -- we're still working on the gunshot issue -- it's nice to know that I did something right. Laev truly believes that if she does her job, it will eventually pay off. (I'm also pleased because this was only Laev's second session after a long hiatus, and she has worked totally clean despite her enthusiasm at returning.)
Laev loves this stuff, and I love watching it and love that Laev loves it. And I have a sneaking suspicion my helper enjoys it, too. :-)