The 3rd Class and Vlog #6

Wow, Vlog #6? I don’t believe myself. I must be lying. I think the third class is a great time to reflect on what I’ve learned so far.

  1. Bring poop baggies. Belle likes to start class that way.
  2. One bag of treats is not enough.
  3. I must work with her everyday in order to see results.
  4. Don’t tell Belle “no” when she messes up.
  5. Be more energetic when training her.

The first two things might sound funny, but I’m tired of cleaning up after Belle even though I take her outside before class starts, and she eats a lot of treats.

DSC_0120We started our third class by re-introducing the dogs to the jumps and working on leading the dog two ways. The first way is in a complete circle around me and the jump. So Belle has to stay on the same side of me and takes a pretty large curve around the obstacle. The second way is called a front cross, which one of my instructors informed me is difficult to get the dogs to do–Belle seems to prefer doing a front cross.

My first time walking Belle through the jump, I fed her right when she went through. In my defense, I completely missed what we were supposed to do because I was cleaning up after a certain four legged menace. My teacher came over to correct me though and showed me what I missed.

I was surprised that Belle got the front cross so quickly. She actually did it very smoothly. My teacher was also impressed with us, but gave me one major correction:


DSC_0116Okay, yeah. I tend to just walk through the course with Belle and instruct her where to go with the same level of interest I have in a science class (no offense scientists), but I’m concentrating on what we’re doing. I’m making a note (and a promise) to be much more into it so I can get Belle all riled up.

Which I’m sure I will regret when I can’t calm her down.

When we started on the dog walk, I took one look at it and thought, Whelp, Belle’s never going on that. Not because I have no confidence in my dog, but because it’s new, and I was sure that she would want to walk next to it, like she had been doing while it was on the ground.

DSC_0156To my surprise, she got right on it. She did jump off a few times but she got right back on, all the while wagging her tail.

And as an added bonus we’ve managed to stop with two paws in the contact zone!!!

While working on stopping with Belle she kept sitting on the dog walk… because… you know… who would walk on something called the dog walk.

DSC_0199We were introduced to the pause table in class. It’s exactly what it sounds like–the dog pauses on a table. And Belle, in a running theme of surprising me, actually sat and paused on the table. She only budged once when I stepped away but she never hopped off the table until I told her to.

And then we went to the tunnel… Belle’s mortal enemy. She actually goes through the whole tunnel now, but she won’t go through unless I’m at the end. Hopefully next week she’ll pick that up.

The last thing we did was actually start the dogs jumping. Low and slow jumps and using the leads that we had used earlier in class. And just like earlier in class… Belle only wanted to do a front cross.

DSC_0247So much improvement and only three classes! I’m eager to see what she’ll be able to do at the end of the course AAAAAAND….

On my next paycheck I’m ordering a GoPro. I already have the harness to put on the camera on Belle, so hopefully I can get that before the next class and you can all see a Belle’s Eye View.

On a side note: Belle sleeps with me at night now. She used to stay in Mom’s room but now I go to bed with her curled up at my feet. Our bond is already growing! I’m so excited!

By J. M. Tuckerman

J.M.Tuckerman is a neurodivergent writer with a big education. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, an MA in Writing, and a BA in Writing Arts (specializing in Creative Writing, New Media Writing, and Publication; concentrating in New Media Production), which she somehow managed to earn despite her three very loud and large dogs. Jessica was lucky enough to intern at Quirk Books and Picador, USA while earning her master’s degrees. Her service dog, Ringo, is very proud of all that she has accomplished and hopes to be on a back cover of a published book with her very soon. An avid reader, writer, and lover of young adult and middle-grade literature, Jessica’s bookshelf is overflowing with hardbacks, paperbacks, and a million half-filled notebooks. She is a proud fur-mommy to two lab/st-bernard littermates, a retriever-mix service dog, and one orange little hobgoblin cat, all of whom have made very audible appearances on the Booked All Night podcast.

%d bloggers like this: