Friday, September 9, 2011
Our 8 days of SuperDog fun is over and now it's back to real life. I'm sad it's over but I'm not missing the crazy, long, hectic days. 7 (as always) surprised me! He was such a little star, he gave me everything he had in all that I asked of him. The actual performances were fantastic. He jumped great big jumps and ran as fast as his legs would carry him in the relays. His biggest accomplishment, though (in my eyes)was his pat 'n chat sessions after the show. 7 is a very fearful dog when it comes to strangers and children are the devil's spawn. I didn't think he would be able to meet any of his "fans" at all. He proved me right the first day. We tried to double up with one of his favourite doggy friends so the attention wouldn't be focused all on him. Too much, too fast. The second the first hand touched him, 7 was off in panic mode. I got him out of there fast and we rethought our strategy. Mostly I just gave up until I talked to a few of the team members and they gave me some hope with the stories of their fearful dogs who learned to tolerate (if not enjoy!) the attention. We started him back again slowly, placing him in spots where only a couple people could get to him. That way, I could stop anyone from petting him and just asked them to feed him and get him to do tricks. He loved it! Once he started seeing people as his own personal vending machines he was less freaked out when they snuck a hand on his back to pat him. In no time at all, he started allowing multiple kids pet him gently on his back and a little on his head. I just kept up a steady stream of treats and for the most part he stayed below his threshold. I'm not sure if he'll ever be comfortable enough to handle the full pat 'n chat, but I'm so pleased with the progress he made that I'm happy to take what I can get.
Here are a couple videos of his performances...
This one is a little long but if you skip to the 2 min mark and the 3 min mark you'll see him jump 5 then 6 bars.
Look for 7 running 3rd on the far side: