After a very long day--a 40-minute walk in the morning with Riley, a midday walk with the dog-walker, an eight-block evening walk to puppy class, a full hour of stressful and busy puppy kindergarten, and then an eight-block walk home again, Rosie is not tired. I'm tired, but she is not. She is absolutely charged and ready to rock and roll.
Right now she is in her crate, where she is in full Wolverine Mode, clawing at the fleece pad and alternately whimpering and objecting loudly, while trying to get out. Twice I have taken her out, hoping she would race around and get tired. She races around, but she does not get tired. A minute ago she was in the back yard, digging a huge hole behind the porch steps, front feet absolutely flying, dirt everywhere, while a bemused Riley watched. Then she darted across the yard so fast I barely saw her, darted back, attacked the hole again.
Is she overly tired? Or has she suddenly gained some phenomenal increase in stamina and energy like some evil growth spurt that will end up being the death of me? Oh Lord.
Tonight was the last puppy class. She was not the star, but at least she endured. Many of the other dogs disappeared, week by week, and this week Earl the stately great Dane puppy with the huge feet was not in attendance, and I was sorry not to see him one more time, though truth be told he was so good-natured and so well-behaved that he probably didn't need another class. Busy little Stella the Boston terrier and Jaws the Corgi came back for one last go.
During play time, Rosie spent a lot of time on her back, being mauled (see above--that's Stella's little owner trying to protect himself in the scrum), although at one point she cleverly instituted a game of tug-of-war with a rope toy; it turned into a three-way tug as she and Watson and Hazel pranced away, each with a bit of rope in their mouth.
The problem was, as it always is, the Soothing Hold. It is simply not for her. The teacher likes to talk for the last ten minutes or so of class, and we are all to put our pups in the Soothing Hold, and all the other pups kind of conk out from exhaustion (it was an intense class, with two play times, one full round of pass-the-puppy, an extended sit-down-stand exercise, a brand new game called Drop It!, and one each going through the doorway and making the dog pause).
So when the teacher started her end-of-class wrap up, the other dogs kind of dozed in their owners' arms. Except for Rosie. Rosie does not conk out from exhaustion. When Rosie gets exhausted, she gets wild.
Watson and Rosie had some intense encounters during playtime.
Doug was not with me tonight, he was at a work thing, so it was up to me to put her in the Soothing Hold. She was fine for the first few minutes, and then she started to resist, and thrash, and buck. And pretty soon she was biting biting biting my hands and growling a fearsome horrible monster-like growl that I recognized--when she gets this way at home, we simply put her in her crate until she calms down, but here in class I was told rather sternly to get her under control, put her in the Soothing Hold, press her head against my shoulder.
She nearly bit my ear off.
(Rosie, I mean, not the teacher, who was stern but only because it was clear that it was a Situation.)
Rosie and Watson
Pressing Rosie's head against my shoulder helped, but after a while my feet started to fall asleep from the kneeling crouch and my too-big pants were sliding down my butt and I feared looking like a plumber, and when I tried to shift everything Rosie started thrashing again.
Never was I happier to leave a class than tonight.
We start Obedience One in mid-May. I asked the instructor what we should work on between then and now, and she did not, as you might suggest, say "The soothing hold!"
No. She said, "Everything."
And so we shall.