"Not My Dog": Tales from Puppy Raising

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Skating over some bumps

Yesterday, I took Andrew out for our first expedition in outdoor ice skating, at Deering Oaks Park in Portland.
Neither of us had ever been on ice skates before we moved to Maine, and we started last spring, when Andrew's preschool had an expedition. He liked it so much that we all started going to the indoor rink, and we all liked it enough that we now own skates and probably were going every other week at one point. But the rink had renovations, and we had only been skating one time since July.
And, in addition to being rusty, skating on a pond is a different ballgame. No Zamboni -- bumpier and uneven ice. And no wall to grab onto.
Andrew and I both got off to a rocky start. I fell flat just getting onto the ice. But he just kept taking off and throwing himself into it. And I was surprised at how fast it started feeling more comfortable again.
Raising Nettie, round two of puppy adventures, is a lot like that. There are some bumps, and I was feeling a little rusty, but we're getting back into the swing of it. We met Nina and Europe, Nan and Kessler and Beth and Keifer at Maine Med on Friday for a work, and Nettie was having a lot of issues with pulling and jumping. I was having issues, as Nina noticed, with keeping the leash too taut. So we both had work to do, and sometimes progress came slowly. We also were the first pup to fold, when it was clear that Nettie (who was the youngest) had had it.
I think with Murphy, I would have been a lot more uptight and worried about the way that work went. But this time, I wasn't. I took Nettie with me yesterday when I had to go to the mall, and we worked in the mall lot. The game that Nina taught me for working on the pulling -- reversing direction a lot -- worked like a charm. Nettie was really distracted for about the first 5 minutes and then she settled in and tuned in like a champ. So we pretty much walked up and down the same two parking lot rows -- that was good for her, and she did much better at not pulling than she had the day before.
So if you just remember to keep yourself centered, the little bumps and cracks are a lot easier to glide over.


  • You put it so perfectly! I know the parking lot game well...I'm glad Nettie settled in after some time!

    By Blogger Sarah, At 11:34 AM  

  • Hi,
    I raise for GEB as well!! Congrats on Murphy and keep up the good work with Nettie. I really enjoy your blog. May I link to it?

    By Blogger The Puppy Raising Roller Coaster, At 10:41 PM  

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