Past week the weather has been on plus Celsius and it has been raining every day, so snow is melting fast. There is still a lot of snow but what is most important is that roads are ice-free. For more than a week we have already enjoyed our walks in the snowless paths. Boys are enjoying it as much as we are. Right now we are in Jyväskylä. We have Easter holidays and then our winter vacation. Tomorrow we are continuing from here to Haapavesi and then Oulu. Let’s see how much snow there still is in the north.
Pancho showing his sad face. Note his weird tanning line. On his left sholder there is this white line which most likely comes from him sitting in the same place all day long in front of the window keeping guard so the sun tans him so that his head shadows that part from the sholder.
Chili showing his funny tanning also. His head is almost black but his body is still pretty fair
Chili and I have gone to 2 agility classes already. It’s still cold outside so it’s also cold inside the hall where the classes are. The indoor arena is not fully heated. One pet shop was moving so they had sales and we bought Chili this Hurtta fleece overall as a training clothes. That overall has a membrane called houdtex in it and it makes the overall water and windproof. We need to buy one of Pancho also but this pet shop didn’t have Panchos size anymore.
The first class was a bit uncomfortable since it was new for both of us. When we were waiting for the class to start Chili was afraid of the other dogs. He was trembling behind my legs but looking at the other dogs with interest. Then they divided us to two different groups: we were put into the big dogs group. Then I thought it was a bad thing since Chili was afraid especially those big hyperactive dogs, but now that I think about it was actually a good thing. Now that Chili is a bit wary of those big dogs he stays easily with me and doesn’t even try to flee to meet the other dogs. On the first class I kept Chili mostly on the leash and that’s why it was a bit hard to practice those obstacles. First obstacle that we were learning was a normal jump (HERE you can find more info about the different agility obstacles). Chili didn’t want to jump the basic jump barrier so I had to jump with him. But when he understood what it was all about he was jumping pretty well. We also practiced weave poles. Chili understood them right away. I saw that some of the other dogs had difficulties with this one, but Chili went them perfectly. I knew that agility is physically rough also for the owner, but didn’t know it was that rough :) I went there totally overdressed: First I had to take of my gloves, then scarf and then even jacket. Next day I was feeling the pain of that class in my back. My back didn’t like me bending down for that whole hour giving Chili treats from good performance.
I’m not going to lie, I was not eager to go to the second class. I thought the first class didn’t go that well since I was comparing us to the other big dogs that were doing more different types of obstacles that we did and they were doing them fast. All the other owners seemed to be very enthusiastic and knowing much about agility and all those other dogs seemed to be this hyperactive type that they seemed like there is nothing better than to be there doing those obstacles. Chili was there very calm, cool and thinking. I kind of felt like I wouldn’t have joined to a beginners class but for some class where everyone else knew what they were doing. But then when the class actually started everything changed. I took the leash of from Chili and I let him be loose. First we practiced weave poles again. Chili was so excited of those poles that he started making this excited noise. I have heard some dogs do that same noise when we have been in the running competitions when some dogs are excited to go on the tract and they just can’t wait that it’s their turn. This time the poles didn’t go that well that they did on the first time; I think now Chili was a bit too excited that he didn’t concentrate enough. Then we practiced the pause table: dog is meant to jump on the table and stay there for 5 seconds. First Chili didn’t want to jump there at all. He was just standing against the table and looking at me like saying: “give me a push please”. We lowered the table and after that Chili jumped there every time and stayed on the table easily for those 5 seconds. Then we started to learn a rigid tunnel. That was a bit tricky at first since Chili didn’t want to go into the tunnel. After some tricks I finally got him walk through the tunnel. The first time he walked through the tunnel, I understood why people get hooked on this hobby: the joy that you feel when you get your dog to do it correctly after a long struggle is amazing. Then we tried tire jump, but this obstacle was a bit too high for Chili since he doesn’t accelerate much. He just jumped against the tire so that the bottom of the tire opened and Chili was spooked by it. Later we tried that same tire jump but just lower he did it very well, actually he jumped before I even told him to :)We also tried dogwalk where Chili had to walk up this ramp and then walk up on the center plank and then descend down again from a ramp. He would have done this well (we practiced first on a smaller one) but he was afraid of the trainer so he was trying to avoid her as much as possible. Then the last thing I was practicing with Chili was jumping two jumps in a row. It took some tries and failures but then he got it and did those two jumps in a row very nicely. Again when he did them correctly for the first time I was so excited. Now that we are here in Jyväskylä we missed one class today, but I can’t wait now for next weeks class.
Sadly Panchos bump in his leg has not decreased in size so I think we need to book appointment for the vet so that they will operate him and cut the histiocytoma off. He still has to take the medicine for a week so there still is change that it will start diminishing by itself, but frankly I don’t think it will start doing that since it hasn’t changed at all for 3 weeks now.
Panchos lump in the leg. Pretty dark picture but you see the size. It is my thumb there as a comparison.
Here are some pictures of boys playing today after a long walk. It's funny how they need to go into rambage after coming in from a long walk. This time I think that it was because of the good smells outside that made boys play so intensively.. Or mostly Pancho; Chili was just mostly laying on the floor and Pancho tried all his tricks to get Chili up and playing.
Pancho gnawing Chilis legs to get him up
Chili exhausted on the floor looking where will Pancho "attack" next
Pancho and Chili having their biting games