I have the winter doldrums, after having a bad migraine a couple of days ago. It left me flat and tired. Even when I'm dragging, Shyla's antics make me smile.
In the photo above, she's carrying the toy that I usually reserve for rewarding her on our backyard agility course. I find that making a favorite toy be an "agility only" toy is a great motivator for her.
But, this morning, I decided that it was okay to play with it on our ride because our agility course won't melt out until April or May. Shyla had fun playing with her special toy!
When we arrived home, we started on my one dog-oriented resolution, which is to try to teach Shyla and R to identify different toys by their names. I've tried this game with other dogs in the past, and I've not been very successful.
Today, I started the game with Shyla using just one - her "ring" toy. I started out with the ring sitting on the ground by itself, and I asked Shyla to "find ring". She aced that phase. Then, I added an additional toy, and she chose the right toy about 80% of the time. We stopped there (I believe in short and fun training sessions). The next step will be to teach her to pick her ring toy from a big pile of toys. In the longer term, I'll then start teaching her the names of more than one toy. It'll be fun!
I'm sure our campsite from that visit is now under a lot of snow and that it's even colder than here because it's 3800' higher. But, that quiet spot will still be there next summer, and I'm dreaming of idyllic days watching the clouds drift overhead in that little slice of paradise.