Thursday, August 21, 2008

Easily Distracted

I get so mad at Scout sometimes. At our last agility class, I couldn't get her to run the course at all. As soon as I gave the signal, she just took off running, and ran around the room like a mad dog, not listening to me when I called her to come.

Of course, that's not unusual. Coming when called is not one of her best things. This particular class, though, it was embarrassing, as we had a substitute instructor. She was not impressed with my dog training skills. And that's an understatement.

One thing is, she's easily distracted. That means she's very good at coming when I call her, as long as there's not a squirrel or a butterfly or a bug, or a piece of grass that needs sniffing at the moment. We're working on the "down" command, when given from a distance, right now, and she's very good at it, as long as we are alone in the yard with nothing and no one else around.

When we go on walks, she walks very nicely beside me most of the time. But we do get into a little trouble when we see a squirrel, a gopher, a deer, or a chipmunk. Or if we hear a particularly attractive or unusual noise. Like I said, she's easily distracted.

On the other hand, she is capable of intense focus occasionally: when she is waiting for me to give the signal for dinner, when she is discovering and chewing a bone, when she is watching a dancing family of rabbits in the front yard. She has her own idea of the important things in life.

Of course, she is not the only one who is easily distracted. Is she? We all have our own ideas about what is really important: things we will focus on: dancing rabbits for my dog, facebook and fashion and footwear for me.

And perhaps I do not know it sometimes, when my Master is calling me.
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