We skipped out on puppy class yesterday evening. I just couldn’t find the motivation to go. Here’s the thing: Charlotte gets really frustrated there, with all the clickers and commotion going on. It’s hard for her to focus and I can tell she is frustrated because she forgets her name, doesn’t listen, and sits in the middle of the room barking. She really is a good puppy for me outside of the class. I understand the fact that, “She needs to be able to do things when the situation is difficult.” But you know what? She does. She already does that.
Yesterday morning, I went up to Park City with my friend Alyssa and her dog Kona, and Charlotte and Watson for a trail hike/run. We hiked up for a little over 2 miles and didn’t see many people, only a handful of mountain bikers who were all very courteous. Charlotte jumped up to say “Hi!” but only when they were stopped on the side of the trail, and she did get down when I told her to.
She was actually as much of an angel as a 4 1/2 month old puppy can be. She stuck around, came when she was called, and was not a complete nuisance. She has good mentors in Watson and Kona for how to behave on the trail.
Towards the end of the hike, we came along two older gentlemen on the trail. At this point, we were about 4 miles into our 5 1/2 mile adventure, so I’m sure Charlotte was getting a little tired. She was up ahead and as she approached the men, I told her, “No jumping! No jumping!” and you know what? She didn’t jump up! Only when one of the men started really fussing over her to say hello did she start to get really excited and did a half-jump onto his knees. He assured me it was all his fault that she had jumped up, and that he is guilty of many dogs’ disobedience.
Charlotte is going with Mountain Mutts again today while I am at work. I’m so happy that she has a place to run and play and learn on her own terms, in an environment that suits her. We’ll keep working on basic commands at home and in the Park. For now, she is an amazing trail dog which was my number one goal for her.