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So, Maggie and I didn't get the memo that our Novice obedience class was going to be full of dogs who know what they're doing and that they're totally going to show us up! I think we need remedial novice. Some of those dogs have real titles already.  She said, stand your dog for exam, and I'm like uh, what? And then it was, "hold the leash like this and hold the treat like that and put it right here..." And I'm thinking, people I'm going to need at least 2 more hands to do all these things at the same time. Especially if I'm not supposed to trip over the dog too. Coordination is hard, and those ballet classes did not help. Sorry, mom. 

Needless to say, we have homework. I'm supposed to teach Maggie to stand. We need work on our long sits and downs (3 minutes feels like eternity to me too.) Our figure 8's need some work. Ok, everything needs some work. But she's having fun and that's why we're doing it. I just secretly want her to be the best. I have to remind myself that 2 sets of classes ago she didn't even know how to sit. She should get an award for most improved. We like awards.

There is this Belgian Malinois in our class (I thought he was a mutt at first, and I kept looking at him and couldn't figure out why he still had his boy bits, when I realized he was a Malinois.) He seems like a nice dog, but so intense. His focus was incredible. It looked like he was saying, "awaiting my next command master." I've always wondered what it would be like to have a dog that was so high energy and scary smart - a malinois or a border collie or something. I think it would be a poor choice for me, but, I would kind of like to try it out for a couple days just to see what it felt like. 

In summary - tonight was a lesson in all the things I really kind of thought we already knew. Canine Good Citizen is as far in obedience as I've ever gotten with any dog. Now I know that there is so much more out there that we can learn and do.

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You're welcome! I'm going to try the Turkey and Beef flavors. I will keep you posted on how they work out for our guy.

Please do! I'm betting he loves them! 

We are using chicken currently. Maggie's eating beef dog food right now, she seems to be one who is blessed to be able to eat anything, except she's kind of picky and turns her nose up at a lot of treats. Fruitables, Cloudstar tricky trainers? Not interested. I would think the soft ones would be enticing. She adores string cheese and hard boiled eggs though. Too bad I can't make those class friendly!

I should really have a blog. But because I don't, I tell you guys all my dog related stuff. Today Maggie and I went to a dog fair. The city was having a dog swim event - getting ready to close the pool down so they invite the dogs to come swim one day for $6.00. Maggie didn't go swimming because they won't let people in the pool with the dogs and she's not really a swimmer, and Katie only swims if I get in first. But they had vendors there and made it a festival.

It was really fun. Maggie got some swag. A new bandana, some free treats, a poopy bag dispenser. And we talked to some nice people. There is a training center not too far from home that lets you buy a punch card and then do drop in classes. But they are mostly doing classes for house manners, and I feel like we are more advanced than that. But they are looking to do some other classes depending on interest and they're having an open house next week where dogs are invited to check out their agility room. It sounds like another fun free event. 

Last night there was a party in the park and Maggie and I went and listened to live music for 2 hours. She was wonderful in that crowd. We sat on a picnic blanket and I pretty much fed her treats the whole time. A couple little girls came over and asked to pet her. She was a little nervous, but did really well.

And tomorrow we are going to go try out our first agility class at yet a different place (this one is farther away than I wish it were.) I have no idea what she's going to think of this. But I thought that obedience classes might be a disaster and they've been wonderful. I don't think I give Maggie enough credit for how resilient and willing to try new things she is. There might be an agility dog hiding in there. 

Sometimes it makes me so sad that Maggie and I are doing all the things that I wanted to do with Ava. I could never get her healthy enough to get anything started. Every time I thought we were through the hard stuff she had something else come up. Her life just wasn't fair, and I think I'm forever going to mourn the fact that she never got to experience the life she should have had. But I still believe that she sent Maggie to me. So I'll do my best to make sure that Maggie has as fun and enriched life as I can give her. We're really enjoying the dog sport thing. 

You can mourn what YOU didn't get to to with Ava, but you provided her with the life she needed - one with love and caring and protection. I am sure she sent Maggie to you so that you could provide Maggie with love and care and protection AND fun activities.

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