It seems like my blog posts recently have been mostly focused on my triathlons and Ironman training, and while that’s all fine and good, I realized I haven’t posted about my sidekick recently. So, what has Pepper been up to while I’ve been running and biking and swimming like a crazy person? Well for starters, she went to school!
After Mardi Gras we signed up for the beginner’s obedience class at our local SPCA. The class was pretty basic- sit, lay, leave it, etc. – but most of the dogs in the class, including Pepper, had a lot of these commands mastered already, so the instructor ramped it up for us. We moved on to loose leash walking, advanced stay, following the hand, etc. and it was a lot of fun to try some new commands and challenges. For the first couple of weeks my girl was kind of the star of the class, because, being food obsessed as she is, she can’t sit fast enough for a piece of cheese. However, once the commands got a little more complicated her inner hound ADD started to kick in, and for efficiency sake, she would just attempt to do every command all at once. This usually resulted in sort of a seizure-esque action, followed by a spin jump, and some kind of sit/ head tilt combo. If should could have figured out spirit-fingers she would have added those to the end.
Yesterday we had the class graduation. Pepper won the sit-lay-stay-come when called- sit-lay challenge, which was pretty exciting. She also won second place in the leave-it challenge (leaving a treat on the floor in front of her) by lasting a whole 45 seconds, but I really think she could have won had the pesky possum not wandered by and distracted the entire group of dogs. She also got second place in the “recall away from food” competition which at first made me feel awesome (my dog listens so well!!! yay!!) but then I realized it was only because she liked my awesome cheese snacks better than the bland milk bones that really were meant to be “tempting” her. Meh, whatever works.
At the end of class she (we?) got our certificate saying we passed- yay! Next on the agenda is the beginner agility class that starts in May. I’ve decided that this will be our summer sport, as triathlon season will be on hold during the hot New Orleans summers. The beginner obedience class is a pre-requisite for the agility class which was our motivation to sign up for it initially, but overall I’m glad we did obedience just to brush up on our commands. Overall, I would highly recommend the SPCA classes to anyone in New Orleans that is looking for basic dog training.
Today we celebrated graduation in true female style- we went shopping. We perused the clearance rack at Petco and picked out a few new toys, because her current stash was looking pretty worn out. I’m growing wiser and only bought Kong brand toys this time, so maybe they’ll last for more than 10 minutes.
In other news, I finally order Pepper a Wisdom Test! No, it’s not to test IQ (cause God knows that would be a waste of $80), but a DNA test to see what Pepper’s mix breeding is. I know these things are only “sort of” exact, but I still think it will be kind of fun to see what breeds make up my weasel hound. Look for the results sometime next week!
Other than that, she keeps me company as a good running buddy on my training runs and we’re getting ready for another run this afternoon.
She makes sure to harass the cat at least once and day. She also will now let me groom her without trying to attack the brush. Baby steps…. 🙂