I watched our elk herd last night around sunset. I was struck by how bedraggled some of them look and that they were eating such dry grass.
First, I was hoping that Shyla would make a step in the right direction in adapting to her new epilepsy drug. I think that she did - although not a huge step. She came over to me for snuggling this morning, and that was the first time that she requested snuggling since she started phenobarbital. It made me very happy. She also got into the car far more easily than a week ago when the clumsiness and weakness from the drug made it almost impossible for her. Maybe we are headed toward normalcy. I can't wait to have my little girl back again!
The second thing that I was hoping would change overnight was how dry our world is. Look at that tall dry grass around the elk. That dryness has everyone on edge about wildfires.
R and I had fun in the snow this morning, despite how sparse it was!
R and I have spent more one-on-one time out in the forest over the past couple of weeks than ever before. I absolutely love his enthusiasm. I also love that he's finally learned "impulse control" so he's a much easier off-leash companion than even a year ago.
We played recall games. One of my favorite training "tricks" is to find a place that is saturated in the scent of wildlife that were nearby very recently. In this case, it was deer. I put R in a stay right where the scent was the strongest (based on tracking signs) and then I called him from that spot. We had a huge treat party when he arrived at my feet!
Here's the amazing thing that happens when you play this game a lot. Your dog learns to run to you whenever they see wildlife (before you even call them) because they know that they'll get a treat bonanza for it. And they are absolutely thrilled to do that self-motivated recall!
We are about to go for our sunset hike - and that's one of the times when we can truly observe whether Shyla is doing better. I'd love to have her yank me forward with enthusiasm on the hike. Believe me, I never thought that I'd be wishing for her to pull on the leash but I am!!!