Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Operation Bonnie Fetch

Things are a'changin in our pack.

Given the recent harmonious dischord between Beth and Bonnie I have had to make some changes.

One change has been in how they are exercised. I have been splitting them up for their runs on the river.  What I have seen is a complete change in both Bonnie and Beth. 

Since Bonnie was a puppy she has had no interest in toys.  Really...none.  She would play with the other dogs, tackle them, wrestle, imitate a wild hyena in my living room, but the minute the toys came out - poof she was gone.  Beth took over. 

When the dogs played at the river - Bonnie chased them, bit them, ripped them, herded them...uhh you get the picture.

My focus the past couple of weeks has been to redirect Bonnie, hopefully changing her bad manners while playing.  We have been working very hard on this, trying to remove the incentive for Bonnie to herd the other dogs, rewarding her for focusing her attention on the ball or toy vs another dog.

We have had a break through!

Behold...Bonnie has a ball in her mouth!

She stalks the ball

She retrieves the ball

 She prances around with the ball in her mouth like it is a prized gem.

Oh yeah, she has the ball groove goin' on

Is this a happy dog?  A relaxed dog?  A dog having fun? 

Or a dog being encouraged to mindlessly chase an inanimate object?  Wasting her brain and her life?  Like a dog on drugs?  Nah... She is happy, joyful and content. 

Yesterday I felt the need for some beach time.  Just me, my camera and a dog - getting away from the insanity of the holiday.  Bonnie loves road trips, she loves being with me and I love the beach.  I thought it would be a good way to put to test her new found love of fetch.

When she realized where we were....she started yipping, barking and dancing in the seat.

I opened the car door...and whoooosh...she was out.  Then I looked, she was standing 20 feet away looking at me with a look I am so familiar with on Beth's face.



And throw it I did

In the water


In the sand

Lots and lots of sand, much of it in Bonnie's mouth


Into the water again, let's get the sand out of the chops

Ugh, Mom, I forgot what that tasted like...

"Bonnie, GET THE BALL!  It is getting away!"

"Uhhh, Mom, that is a wave, I don't do waves..."

Good Girl!

She is quite pleased with herself.

She should be...I am

After Bonnie was good and tired, we sat on a log.  Enjoyed watching the sun set over the water.  The kites flying over our head.  Soaking up the peace, happiness and contentment that is the beach.

Ahhhhh...that felt great.  


An English Shepherd said...

Great pictures, love the seashore ones with Bonnie :-)


Sweetpea said...

YAY for Bonnie!! And YAAAAAAY for "Camera Face," for working so hard to bring her dog around...!!! A job well done and doesn't Bonnie seem all the happier for it, too. Wonderful photos & story!

The Thundering Herd said...

Way to go Bonnie. A tired dog is a good dog!

WannabeVirginia W. said...

BEAUTIFUL... Go Bonnie!

Emma Rose said...

This is such great news! Reading it made me so happy. Maybe she just needed some time to shine on her own, without the competition of the others. And you pictures are fantastic! Wow!

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Emma Rose and the Duchess :)

Tristan and Braun said...

Ooooohhhh!!! Awesome!!! So happy to hear about the progress within your pack! Pat yourself on the back. I think you did a great job. Must be tiring. But hey, like they say, what you sow is what you reap! :)

Now you have a toy-redirected-Bonnie. Now that's a 1st step. :)

Have I said already?!? Your pics are FABULOUS!! Such *envy* there! :)

Lacey said...

Bonnie is wonderful. The pic of the kites is excellent.

Pat A said...

Yea for Bonnie. Trax is the Ball hog here so the other dogs let him have it. He in turn puts it down about 15 feet in front of Bob for one of them to complete the delivery while he positions himself for the next throw. After a while Bob makes them sit and wait and calls names and only the dog who's name is called can get the ball. Taught that by feeding kibble doing the same, Man does it take a long time to feed dogs their small meal of kibble tossing one piece at a time.
Merry Christmas

Karen said...

Looks like a wonderful relaxing afternoon at the beach. We do like Pat said. Each dog gets to retrieve their own toy, and quickly learns to only chase their own. Sure helps to stop any dog collisions or snarkiness when retrieving.

Merry Christmas to you and yours, and keep up the great posts and pictures!!

Diana said...

The waves look rough! Love the picture with her mouth full of sand. Diana

Debra Kay said...

Great photos camera face, and great job you are doing with Bonnie!

Lynn said...

Yea for you and Bonnie! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

fulltiltbcs said...

GREAT POST! So happy to hear things are going well and I LOVE the pictures!! Sounds like Bonnie is well on her way!