highlinewSky 004

Why a sit stay on a bench?  Because you can practice not only SIT and STAY but UP and OFF.  You can teach UNDER when there’s a bench around, LEFT and RIGHT when there’s a fork in the road, UP and UP and WAIT when there’s a picnic table (with no one eating there!)  Low fences are perfect for jumping games.  Your own self for GO AROUND.

Most of my walks with Sky are silent, if you don’t count the noise of the city!  But sometimes a walk can be an agility challenge, brain work, time for new words, time to practice known skills.  Today we used everything we found, a picnic table, a bench, a little park for some off leash retrieving.  Going down the stairs from the High Line, I stopped many times and to make sure Sky would stop, too, for our safety.  OK, for my safety.  She did and I thanked her.  Just before turning the corner to head to the entrance to our building, I had her loose in the park that sits between our home and the sidewalk and, as luck sometimes has it, she found a tennis ball so we incorporated that into our fun/educational walk.

I love our quiet walks, walks when I often let Sky choose the way.  And so does Sky.  I also love walks like today’s when we make everything we see part of a game.  And so does Sky.  Almost immediately, she began to use the environment, too, and so I didn’t have to tell her to leap up and up and down and down every time we passed a picnic table and when we got to the first little park, she turned to look at me, her mouth open in a grin, pulled me just inside the gate and stopped so that I could unhook her leash.

It’s fun for a dog to break from comforting routines to test herself, to practice what she knows, to learn new words and skills, to earn a great big smile for her brilliance.

Good dog, Sky.

 

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As always, thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

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