It was a generally bright but colder day;
& time for Tony’s first formal dog training session with Nanuk. He’d done the morning chores whilst I caught up on some revision, tidied the house & indulged in a quick bath before carefully putting together a beautiful basket of tropical fruit as a gift for our trainer. I took Nanuk out for an energetic run on the steep slopes of Parc Gwair (the ironically-named ‘Hayfield’) in the hope that exhaustion would get the better of her & make her more tractable during the lesson. Alas, as ever, it didn’t really make much of a difference; & to add insult to injury she found the wettest, smelliest pile of sheep dung & rolled in it liberally before I could stop her. Subsequently, before we could load her into the Navara & head for our lesson, we had to wash her down – which she did not appreciate!
I’d been pleased with Nanuk’s progress over the last few weeks; as she has been far more tractable & has been responding well to the ‘sit’ & ‘stay’ commands (although she still has her own interpretation, on occasion, of the ‘down’ command!). Also, whilst at home she has largely dropped the irritating habit of jumping up (she originally spent more time on her hind legs than on all fours, when she first arrived).
However, on seeing Jean again, Nanuk got hugely excited & started doing her old ‘handsprings’ again – although still far less than she used to. I felt very disappointed as I’d really hoped Jean would see a huge improvement after all the work I’ve put in. Nevertheless, Nanuk did settle down after a little while; especially once we’d changed her halti for a smaller, better-fitting type which we’ve borrowed for the time being until we can find a more suitable replacement (her own halti rides up & rubs close to her eyes, which is uncomfortable & irritating for her). We did some work in the paddock before going out for a walk during which Nanuk was happy & relaxed. Then, we returned to the paddock to do some ‘sit’ & ‘stay’ work; thankfully, by now, Nanuk was listening to me again & it went pretty well. Tony struggled a little; however considering I’m the only one who has worked with her at home so far, it was hardly surprising. All in all it was a successful lesson – & Tony’s heelwork was superb, his natural ability with animals shone through again, as Nanuk was happy & relaxed with him. And I was delighted that Jean was so pleased with Nanuk’s progress – but then once she’d settled down she was a far calmer, more confident & happy dog; & has started listening. And it is noticeable that with her fresh meat diet, she’s put on weight & ‘bodied up’ really well – so satisfaction all round.
Tony did the evening chores whilst I cooked the supper. The sky was fairly clear again but the temperature has definitely dropped today; & tomorrow stronger wind is forecast which will make it colder still. In terms of Ffarm news, the ear tags I ordered on Friday, arrived this morning; as ever, a prompt & efficient service from Fearings – highly recommended. Goat-wise, Assie is still limping a bit but thankfully her leg is clearly improving every day; & dear, simple Froggie has settled back into being a member of the herd again. Meanwhile on the home front poor Mum was admitted to hospital today, for tests to try to determine what has caused her sudden blindness – so let’s hope a way forward is found at last.
After supper Nanuk came out of her crate & joined us in the living room although she was too excited to relax on her blanket, as Tony & I were each on different sofas & it proved too distracting for her. She ran continually from one to the other until she made us dizzy with her antics. I wish I had her energy!