Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Spoiled for Too Long

Our summer has been unbelievably mild, so I guess I shouldn't complain that temperatures should rise back to normal highs this weekend. Of course, we'll take these last few days of cool weather.

When we hit the trail this morning, fog wisped around the hillsides, keeping visibility low.
We were out for another workout of laps. The last time we were on this trail for a long run, Kona nearly melted. As we finished our fist lap, the sun snuck behind the layer of mist, reflecting brightly off the moisture. I crossed my fingers that the low clouds would linger for awhile longer.
I quickly became wet from all the moisture in the air, but was glad the sun stayed at bay. The cool temps kept Kona's enthusiasm high. She was persistent about sniffing. We finally stopped at a needle-covered coyote bed to let Kona do her thing. The needles snuffed out the foxtails on this bed, making it safe to explore.
Just as we started the final leg to the car, the sun peaked over the fog, layering blue sky over clouds. Lucky for us, we would finish our run in the middle of the mist cloud. Oh what will we do when summer arrives?
On The Training Front
I've declare August as Recall Month for me and Kona. Since the stickers came out and Kona can't run on her long line, we've been slacking with recall training. Kona's much more relaxed when she romps on her long leash, so it was easier for her to respond to my recalls during the winter when she hikes on her long line. I want Kona to be able to respond well to me on trails to keep her safe, and continue to make our outings together easier.

So far this month, I've tried to add one off leash recall during our runs, as long as no one else is around. She's done great in these low distraction scenarios. We're also playing a lot of "disappearing human" games in the yard. I hop behind a bush while she's distracted, in hopes she eventually notices I'm gone and will come looking for me. If Kona spots me putting treats in my pocket before we go outside, she seems to know the game is coming and keeps a close eye on me. Other times, she's so enthralled with something that she doesn't realize I'm missing! I'll then call her name and she'll come search for me.

I hope to get back into the swing of practicing recall and "find me" games so that Recall Month continues throughout the year. Does anyone have other recall games they play?


Sara said...

Oreo's recall skills are abysmal, especially if there are things around that distract/scare him. The idea that Oreo will run away if someting scares him is a grim reality.

I just started this week to do occassional recall activities in the yard. I've been throwing a treat in the grass, which seems to engage my dogs for awhile as they try and find it, and then call his name. Oreo catches on to my game too fast though, and starts ignoring the treat in the grass, knowing I'm going to call his name and give him a treat without the search. Ugh!

I guess I need to come up with a variety of games! I'll be interested to see what ideas other people post!

Barb said...

Love the fog! Kona is NOT allowed to visit Lucinda while Barb is gone. They will be too wild - plus Lucinda isn't sure of Kona's intentions.

Priscilla said...

It's a good idea to do recall games.
Eva is getting very bad at recalls. If something is more interesting than me and food, she will not listen at all and will ignore us. Sigh.

Diana said...

I love the blue sky picture. Very cool. Diana

Dawn said...

I do random recalls too, but on the long leash, it's harder on the 6 foot leash for her to get far enough away to make the recall sensible. Anyway, she'll be off sniffing and exploring and I'll suddenly call her back. But she gets too smart fast too, she'll start walking away but looking back over her shoulder every second or two, to see if I'm going to call her back. Silly girl.

The Thundering Herd said...

Something great about being out in the fog and mist.