No News is Good News

It’s been just over a month since my last update, and unfortunately, our runs seem to have come to an end. An unusually dry March and April have given way to a humid and soggy May.

On sunny days, the dogs are content to lounge around the yard. Denali could sunbathe from dawn until dusk. Dexter doesn’t care where he is, as long as he’s near me. Knox can only stand the heat for so long. He takes frequent dips in his little wading pool and enjoys lying on the cold patio table. On some of the more humid days, he rather stay inside.

On rainy days, like today, only the huskies venture out. Dexter loathes the rain. He won’t walk on wet grass. Denali and Knox will chase each other if it’s cool enough, but they don’t settle down. After they get bored, they usually come back inside and nap. Dex is the most annoying on rainy days – he begs for walks, as if it’s only raining in the backyard.

Our loose-leash walking has not been as consistent as I would like, but it’s getting there. Everyone gets walked a couple times a week – just enough to keep them progressing.

As for our grand training plans (agility and CGC), they have been put on the back burner. Lately, I’ve been serving myself a hefty dose of reality. Dexter is not ready for a CGC course. He is very well-trained in my house, with only familiar distractions. I need to remind myself how he behaves when he’s somewhere unfamiliar and exciting. In pet stores, he’ll piss on any interesting scent. Outdoors, he’ll yank me about, attempting to suck up an odor or greet another dog. If I were to bring him into a Petco for CGC classes, which are reserved for dogs who have a grasp of basic obedience, it would probably be embarrassing. He is a good dog. I know he could eventually master it. He just needs a lot more work and experience out in the world. So that’s our summer plan for him.

Denali needs some work when it comes to being around other dogs. At her rabies clinic, she lurched and pulled to meet the other dogs. However, when she’s working in harness, no other dogs seem to exist. I think I could get her motivated enough to transfer this skill into agility. However, I don’t think agility classes are in her near future. Something very important that I had overlooked – her first heat cycle. She is due to come into heat within the next month or so. I can’t start a class and have her come into heat – most clubs would not allow her to train, especially as a complete newbie. Once her heat has completely passed, she will be spayed, so she’ll be on the ‘disabled list’ until fall training.

So, there you have it. I may still get Knox in some sort of class. Basic obedience probably wouldn’t hurt. I’ll be saving some money and just working with them myself, and hopefully by next summer, I’ll be able to get them some off-season hobbies.

Jessica Kizmann

Dog musher, New Jersey.

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