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I took the leap of learning something new and registered Holly in a Beginner Rally Class at Twin Ports Dog Training Club.  Rally is a sequence of maneuvers for the handler and dog to do as they walk through a predetermined pattern laid out by the instructor.  The maneuvers are communicated by a visual sign planted at floor level on the course, with no two courses alike.  Holly and I are not on an equal playing field in this class, she has the advantage over me.  I need to read a sign, interpret it and successfully tell her what is expected of her while I am figuring out what is expected of me.  Her job is to do what I ask of her, all of which she knows how to do – with one exception.  There is a jump in the course, all knew to her.  Naturally, Holly, who hurdled the backyard fence last winter and has fully overshot the couch trapping herself on the backside  – could not successfully step over the 8 inch bar.   So for eight Monday afternoons, Holly & I will learn to work as a team and see how well we can dance through the Rally courses that are put in front of us.

Rally Class came about after seeing Holly’s need for challenge and activity.  The amount of inside time this winter has been rough for her.  I’ve noticed her finding ways to explore and stay engaged, sometimes in bizarre ways.  It’s no secret that Holly loves to play with a ball, especially Red Ball.  For the most part, she has always been fairly respectful of furniture, shelving and tight corners.  This past week she has been different.  I have found her behind the television set for no apparent reason, I’m assuming she was looking for her ball (that was not back there). I have found her standing and staring into the grandfather clock seemingly watching the pendulum go back and forth.  I have found her sitting in the corner sofa chair staring out the window watching street activity.  Then there is the usual naughty moments of taunting Helen, chasing Gracie and filling the living room area rug with towels, socks, slippers and most recently the toaster cover.   I appreciate her initiative to keep herself busy.  I also appreciate the challenge in keeping her challenged.  Retirement has not been stagnant.