Three days later and Arrow can walk with a loose, slack leash. It doesn't happen the minute we walk out the door, no. First, he has to work out the jimmies. We tried exorcising his jimmies this morning in bed when he was wild with both vim and vigor. He'd flop on his back at which point Michael and I would each run our hands along his legs and fling his naughtiness to the ceiling saying, "Jimmies! We cast you out!!" This only exacerbated Arrow's unruliness, causing him to hop and flop whence we would cast out his silliness once again.
We walk just a short way down the street with a bag of Hebrew Nationals cut into tiny pieces. I took a few tips from the ASPCA leash training page and made two changes today. First, I played with him prior to the walk to get him slightly tuckered out. He has a lot of energy. We played fetch and tug with his shark for ten minutes and then we were ready to go.
Secondly, Arrow could mark all the live long day. He will pull to get to a small patch of weeds in order to mark the spot. I now make him wait. When he can wait with a loose leash I let him go to the weeds and that is the reward. The reward does not always have to be food, it just has to be something the pet really wants and Arrow really wants to mark. I noticed that his inclination to mark dropped considerably once we started doing this.
He is getting slightly better about not dashing out the door but it is still a problem if he is not on his leash. What has helped since we started his twice daily training, is his recall. At least today his recall from the porch was very good. I am looking forward to getting him into a more social setting but I can see now that was not going to happen until we stregthened our "I am the owner/You are the pet" relationship.
Our plans are to have Michael join us for a walk on Saturday and Michael and Baby join us on Sunday. This routine thing is really paying off. Who knew?!
This little one, simply put, is a bully. He's fun until he isn't which is almost daily when he finally succeeds in pushing me to my limits. He has a fierce prey drive which means there is no peace for the feral cat. He tries to second guess my every move. He races me to the front door, the the back door, to the bathroom and the bedroom. It's cute because he doesn't so much run as hop, but I've had about seven months of cuteness and it's starting to wear on me.
The last straw was yesterday when he went after CC, the perpetually pregnant feral. He chased her around the perimeter of the front porch before I could scoop him up at which point all three of us - dog, cat and human - were all ashiver with adrenaline.
The new routine (which started immediatley after the cat chase) is two intensive training walks a day. I keep them short, but command compliance is expected. Arrow is learning how to walk on the leash in a controlled manner which means without pulling, he must walk on my left side, he must sit calmly when we stop. He is learning to sit before we go in or out the front door. He is getting praise for making solid eye contact with me. I'm hope we'll see a difference after a week.
I generally know what I'm doing. I have a dog training book and the internet as a crutch if I need help. Eventually, I'd like to take him to group training but I feel like we need to strengthen our relationship first. We need to establish what is expected of one another.
On the photography front, I am learning both Photoshop and Photoshop Lightroom. I purchased a Photoshop book and set the goal of working through 25pp. a day. There is an awful lot to learn.
I shot a few pics in RAW format and tried to do an "intuitive" edit, which really just means saying the hell with the book, I'm diving in. As you can see from the photo above, the color is not quite right but I'm getting more familiar with the editing process. I think the tint or hue is off a bit. It will all come together soon enough.
This is the week of discipline, for me and my dear Arrow. We'll post our progress. Wish us luck, we'll need it.
I'm going to ask you to forgive the random photo postings for the next few months. I am attempting to learn a myriad of buttons/controls on my camera and really, the only way to figure them all out is to push them. Push and click, push and click, turn a control and push another button. SLRs didn't used to be like this; my film camera has a lever to advance the film and the lens has a ring to focus. There's something to be said about simplicity.
What I've discovered about myself (and so much of life is about self-discovery), is that I like using both digital and film. I'm not chained to either. If I had a darkroom, I'd still be taking roll after roll of film but I don't. I'm learning to use what I have, and what I have is a DSLR. I've got that and a desire to learn, and by learn, I mean excel.
I am so tired of being unsure of myself. I tend not to claim authority over much, but there are a lot of things that I do with ease - making pie crust, for example. I made eight balls of pie dough for future crusts in less than an hour Saturday night, then I made a pie. Now making a pie might not sound like much but making a pie and giving it away and making someone else very happy - that's the good life, baby. That's where it's at. I didn't teach myself to bake pie so much as I taught myself to be more generous and to take pleasure in giving. Again, self-discovery. It's never to late to learn about yourself.
I have no doubt that being comfortable with the camera will come in due time. Of course, being who I am, I want to know everything about it NOW. The only thing about digital photography is that it goes hand in hand with digital editing. I favor a light touch - maybe enhancing the contrast a little, a slight vignetting in the corners. It will all come but the learning curve at this stage of the game is very steep.
My brain is pulling out information from the year of photography classes that I took in Santa Fe. F-stops and apertures are twirling in my head along with ISO's. Once in awhile, if I'm lucky, I'll get a photo that is true and good. Here are a few of my favorites so far:
She's happiest in the trees, and I do mean in the trees