Thursday, June 30, 2011

DOT - The importance of Recall!

A little bit of housekeeping to start off with.  When I posted yesterday's post, I originally misspelled Coma...I said I had a Baby Comma.  Comma is a punctuation and not what I was initially intending to say. However, comma as defined by is the sign (,), a mark of punctuation used for indicating a division in a sentence, as in setting off a word, phrase, or clause, especially when such a division is accompanied by a slight pause or is to be noted in order to give order to the sequential elements of the sentence.  If I think about it, Comma makes sense too if we think of my life as a long run on sentence.  Those weeks were a pause in most activity in my life and was a division in my life between my life before Carmen and my life with her in it.  I edited the post and changed the spelling but in the end I think it worked either way.

I've gotten a lot of feedback about yesterday's post already, both private and public.  I'm glad I posted what I was thinking.  Thank you to those who have sent me messages and comments for your support and feedback.  I appreciate that you took the time to let me know what you thought. 

Today is Thursday, which in this blog space was always Dogs on Thursday!  It's the day that Abigail Grace and Jackjack take center stage.  When I first started blogging, I thought maybe they needed their own blog but in the end it was hard keeping up with two so stories about them were just added here.  
I love my puppies.  They have their faults like I do and well, we all do but in the end they are my dogs and their faults are part of who they are.  I've worked hard to train them so that they are safe just as you discipline a child you need to make sure to train your pups.  The training is not only for your sanity but also because with training you bring safety.  
A very good example of this happened the other day.  Our backyard has a chain linked fence with two regular gates and a bigger gate for a car or boat to go through.  Usually our gates are all padlocked so no one can open them and us not know they are opened.  We've always been really good about keeping the gates closed and if you've read my blog or listened to old podcasts, you know that Jackjack has not always been good with recall.  Special K has been doing a lot of improvements to our yard and has been opening and closing the gates a lot.  The locks we originally put on there have rusted so we weren't keeping them locked either.  Well, one morning as we often do, Little Miss Carmen and I went to let them out.  The dogs went out to go potty and I was standing in our screened in fence with Carmen when I looked out into the backyard.  I saw my two dogs between us and the open gate!  I stayed as calm as possible because they weren't running out it but sniffing around the grass.  I quickly called for them. I had to call several times and get really excited but they looked at me and ran into the house without having time to go potty.  I put Carmen in her excersaucer and went out to check the gates.  Not only was that one open but the OTHER one as well.  I was so grateful that there were no dogs or humans walking by during the moments before I realized the gates were open!  I was also so thankful of all the hard work training them to come when called.  

After I calmed down and went back into the house, I told Special K what had happened and we both recall that the gates where closed the night before.  Freaked me out a little bit because even though we had some serious rain and wind the night before, that could not have opened both gates.  That day, Special K went and replaced the locks and it has made me feel much better since.  

As the lesson today...practice your recall...ALL the time!! Recall is one of the most important things your dog can learn and will keep both your pups and you safe.  A good way to practice is to play the recall game.  You can do this by getting a partner and having them sit or stand in another room or area and then calling your dog excitedly, have treats so you can give them to your dog when they get there, then you call your pups over to you.  You can play this at any time and in anyway you want but just practice it!  Always and I mean ALWAYS be happy when they get to you!  Hope this helps you!  It took us a long time but by golly I think my pups got it!  Deep down I just hope we don't have to test it much.

Happy Dogs on Thursday

PS...yes, you will notice both pictures are old.  Will work on getting new pictures of the pups for next week's post.

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