This week was super long and stressful due to work so we were really glad to make it to the weekend all in one piece! During the week we didn’t have much time to go on any special adventures with Bonnie but for our walks at night we decided to take her into town for some extra stimulation and training while it was quiet out.
We did some “barkour” which is like the sport parkour but for dogs, so she got some time to go off lead and play with obstacles – jumping over, onto and crawling under things like benches etc. It’s great stimulation for her out as the town is always filled with new and exciting smells for her to sniff and combining it with the “barkour” means she comes home mentally and physically tired.
Yesterday we went to a dog event that was held in Crawfordsburn Country Park which was the same place as the last event we went to. We went hoping that it would be a better set up and thankfully they used a different part of the park which meant it was lovely and spacious so Bonnie could get in and involved without being overwhelmed! It was such a beautiful day but it wasn’t packed so it was really relaxing and Bonnie totally rocked it.
She was able to settle as we stood about and kept her calm even after a boisterous pup unsettled her (I don't think the owner was too happy as she didn't seem to understand Bonnie was teaching it some manners as it was a very rude puppy but what the owner only saw was Bonnie telling it off haha oh well). She was doing so well and since the ring wasn't too crowded we decided to enter her into two of the competitions – Most Fetching and DICE Dog's Got Talent – and she managed to come 2nd in Most Fetching and 1st in DICE Dog's Got Talent which was great fun. We left afterwards as it was too hot out to stay much longer.
It was really nice to win the little ribbons and trophy but to be honest I was more proud of how well Bonnie did and the fact she was able to concentrate on me in a situation that would’ve been too difficult for her in the past. She was able to focus and have fun with me and besides the little shake off near the end of the video she was happy and engaged throughout. She did me proud especially because we hadn’t prepared or practised the routine (if you can even call it that haha) we performed. Also she had only just began offering the sit pretty for the pretend gun cue 2 days ago so was super impressed all around with her ❤
Today we didn't intend to go on any special adventures with Bonnie but she had a different motive! It all started pretty innocently as she was playing with a new teddy we had got at the event and we let her take it into the back garden to play with while we made dinner.
Well as usual we look out the window every minute or so to check on Bonnie and wouldn’t you know it there isn’t a sign of her in the garden. I immediately change from my slippers into my boots, grab her collar (because god forbid she bloody would escape when she’s not wearing her collar) and run out the front door while my partner checks the back. My heart is pounding frantically thinking what if she got out to the main road and worrying because she has literally no road sense. I run around and call her name but hear and see nothing so I run back to the side of the house where my partner is.
We see the little poop head then – she had got into the garden past the brambles and branches and across the stream and was having a wild time playing chasies with the black lab and it’s owner. I shout Bonnie twice, she turns around and spots me through the trees and thank god she starts running towards me, I keep calling and saying good girl and praising. She makes it over the stream and through the brambles and I promptly pick her up heart beating like mad, sweating and weak from worry. We make it back home and I feed her loads of high value treats hoping she remembers why to come back if it ever happens again.
All I can say is thank god we have worked so much on her recall and our bond in general that she was able to recall off playing with the dog and from so far away. I will definitely be upping our recall practice to include out of sight recalls as she didn’t respond to me calling her name until she was able to see me through the trees so we definitely need to work on getting Bonnie to track me from voice alone. Also needless to say she will be supervised in the garden until we get the fence fixed from where she dug out -_-
I honestly was so worried that something bad would’ve happened so I am so grateful that everything turned out okay in the end. Hopefully your weekend wasn’t as heart pounding!