You Are My Sunshine...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Small Steps: A Training Odyssey

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Small Steps: A Training Odyssey

From my training journals of  the Nico-Benny Team:  February 20, 2012

So we did it! After many months of individual training, working on spooky Nico's comfort zone and young Benny's discipline, I put them back together on the sled, and off we went. That was a couple of weeks ago, early in February. My husband helped, once he stopped falling off the sled. I ran a lot: in front which keeps Benny going but pisses Nico off because he likes to be out front; beside which makes Nico happy but distracts Benny because he likes to chase my boots; and finally behind which made me happy because it was a prelude to actually being on the sled. So now as of about a week ago they're doing it! Nico gets that they its o.k. for Benny to run beside him, he doesn't have to try to cut him off and "take control"; Benny gets that you don't go off the trail at the least bit of interesting smell or squirrel activity, and also that Nico isn't going to jump him if he pulls even with him; and they are both getting that when they both pull together it is easier than when one does and one doesn't, also they get that when neither pulls, we go nowhere. Today I sent my husband home once we got going (he got the camera so he could catch us coming across the field) and it was just me and my boys on the trail (including the Turtle War Zone -forgive my elation but taking that trail was a psychological victory for me as that was big trouble). We still have a long way to go, but at least we look like and go like a "team" now. Happy!

Nico: Focus Benny, Stay with the job, not the paparazzi.
Benny:  Paparazzi? Is that like Pizza? I'm going that way!
Nico: No.  (Nico is the lead dog in this team.)

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