Obedience class continues to go well. And this week I dropped into a different agility class so that I could head to Maine on Tuesday. The dogs stayed at my parents house with Brian to look after them.
So - after a week away the dogs were very happy to see me again (and Laurie, grandma, Aunt Dot, Barb, the kids and my parents). On Saturday we were supposed to have our self control class in my yard but one person got stuck in traffic in NH, another had a headache, and another classmate also ran into a problem. So it was just me and Steeler ... and Ann and Paul with the video camera. The video still needs to be digitized - but hopefully I will get to see it soon.
Today Steeler and I took a trip to Ann's - me for brunch (yum!) and Steeler to make a visit to the barn where Ann keeps her horses. I don't know why I didn't think of asking her if we could do this years ago! Well other than the fact that there is another dog there that is not always dog friendly and I just never thought to ask.
It took us FOREVER to reach the barn! Ok maybe not that long. From the car it is oh - maybe 100 feet to the barn. I am not that good with distances. I haven't put a lot of emphasis on Steeler being "with me" when we get out of the car in new places. I just tend to loose patience and want to get to the good stuff. Well this time, we took our time. There were LOTS of new smells for Steeler to check out. Eventually he was able to take more than one step before lunging ahead of us. The horses at the barn are very dog savy. Barking dogs don't bother them. So I was able to bring Steeler all the way into the barn to work on being near the horses and the horse noises. There were a couple of times that I thought Steeler was clearly anxious inside the barn and he started barking. But when I moved in front of him to block his view he stopped barking and was able to sit and look at the horses again. We spent some time in the barn and then moved back outside so that Ann could clean hooves (I am sure there is a fancy term for it) and do whatever else needed doing. Steeler was clearly more comfortable outside watching the horses than inside, but one thing that I noticed that was interesting was that when I took the leash back from Ann (She had been holding the leash so I could move to block Steeler's view when nessessary) and Ann went to say hello to the horses - Steeler's whole body posture changed. It was like he watched Ann go rub noses and thought - Oh well the horses must be ok then. He was much more relaxed after that! And our walk back to the car was accomplished easily on a loose leash with no pulling! Hopefully we will be able to do this some more. We've been seeing horses where we walk and it would be nice if he thought they were nothing special. :-)
Now to finish all the laundry and clean the house! UGH!