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The talk of the town has been the weather.  Not in typical ways at this time of year.  Duluth has had record highs this week – high 40’s and even low 50’s one day.   There is little snow left, mud is oozing up and the air has a spring smell.  Holly, Helen & I took a trip to the Lakewalk and enjoyed a long walk looking at the blue open water lake (no ice, no snow).  We were both taken aback when we noticed a paddle boarder gliding by us.  Holly stood watching the brave soul for the longest time, then sat down to study him even more.  This is her third winter and she even recognized how out of the norm this scene was.

Days are getting longer, more good news!  And the yard is getting messy.  Four months of spring sounds wonderful but also makes for a long paw wiping marathon.

Kooper visited on  Friday making for some fun indoor play time for Holly.  The two of them play so well with only an occasional ramping of energy (excluding greeting time).  When I do tell them to quiet down, they generally do though sometimes I find them in the most unusual positions or places.  They both have a sense of humor and both respond in a literal manner.  “Go lay down” in  sharp tone can just as well be said as “Stop what you are doing and don’t move!”

DeeAnn and I were able to get the dogs to the field on one of the nice days.  We have fallen into routine of picking up any dog piles we come across while we are walking the outfield.  We leave with multiple bags, all full.  Our dogs love going there so much, the hope is we can continue taking them there.  Helping to keep it clean increases our chances of that.   We do it for our dogs, sometimes with choice words about other dog owners.  Spring weather in February changes one’s attitude of even the ugliest chores!

Holly and I attended our Rally class on Monday afternoon, our third one.  We were both a little off with our work that afternoon, or maybe Holly was taking my lead.  There were some new commands to learn on the fly and the sequence had me confused a few times.  Anyone who knows me well knows that I am directionally illiterate.  I get turned around very easy and make clueless decisions on which way to turn.  Needless to say Google Maps has changed my life.  Unfortunately Google doesn’t help me on a Rally floor.  At one point, I had followed a 360 turn, followed by a 180 turn and a right 2 step, etc. and fully lost my next move.  I had spun enough, poor Holly at my side, then resorted to standing in the middle of the ring and shouting out “where’s number 11?”  I heard all sorts of responses and had to sort out the one that made the most sense, which of course was “it’s the opposite direction”.  Of course it would be.  I turn all the way around and proceed with the Rally course.  Holly by my side in perfect position.   I have no doubt Holly is wishing she could trade me in for a real Rally handler.   Later that evening, I pulled up Rally lessons on an AKC site on YouTube.  Holly caught sight of the dog, or maybe the Rally course, and watched intently.  That was enough to motivate me to keep working on it – not with her, but for her!