Friday, May 25, 2012

Pepper Goes To School

Pepper, Pepper Tu, Pepperoni at 6 months,
in his natural stack.
Pepper attended his first formal class last night - my dog club's Intro To Agility.  He is 7 months and 5 days old.  I had to beg to get him in, as there were already 7 other dogs enrolled, but if not now he'd be almost 11 months before he started, and that would be way late. 

Kay Watson was his teacher, there were 8 dogs in the class and we all had to promise to be organized and stay in line.  It was shades of Maxie's first class 4.5 years ago, all over again.  Same instructor.  Same excitement.  Same results -- Pepper did fabulous.  100% enthusiastic, gung ho, attentive, no fear of the other dogs though he was by far the smallest canine on the line.  His "loose leash" behavior needs some work -- he's more like a "marlin on a line" keeping maximum tension on the leash and running too and fro trying to visit everybody, but that's because I haven't had him on a leash for a few months and he's never been in a class.

With my hip bothering me and unable to, or at least afraid to run, plus the other "components" I'm dealing with (cataract surgery gone awry, death in the family, mother emotionally unstable) I'm sitting out of the advanced classes with Lucky and Maxie for a few weeks more at least, but I felt I could handle an Intro class where we're just introducing one obstacle at a time, I don't have to concentrate much, and there's no running involved.

Several classmates commented that Pepper was a beautiful Papillon, in a "My, what big ears you have" sort of way.  More than that, though, he has completely lost his fat, pudgy, big boned, marshmellow appearance, becoming very long legged, lean and dainty looking, with a fantastic natural stance, his flat headed border collie puppy face which used to make me call him "so ugly he's cute", is transforming into a more high domed head with the deeper stop that Paps are supposed to have, and his coat and feathers are coming in longer and lusher every day.

Pepper (left), Maxie (right)
He's already taller than Maxie, heavier and longer.  I'm crossing my fingers he doesn't exceed 11".  Right now he's about 10.5", and weighs 8 lbs.  My cousin, Lois, tells me Paps quit growing at about 7 months, and that they actually lose 1/4 inch of their height by 1 year of age.  But Maxie grew an extra 2.5 inches tall from 6 months to 1 year of age. But then I was feeding him 1 tablespoon of cows milk twice daily for about 3 months to get him taller than 7.5".  It worked (as well it should since cows milk has growth hormones in it enough to grow a calf to 1200 lbs!)

Hey, I'm blogging!  Ain't that something!  What I've noticed about myself of such easy-flowing words, is that some things are too deep, too confusing, to blog about.  There is, like, a blockage in the brain that won't let you go there. It's a "seeing thru a glass darkly" phenomenon, "running at half mast" in sailing terms, I remember asking a club mate once about a dog of hers that had been run over several years back, and she responded "Oh, I can't talk about that."  When I expressed condolences, she snapped "I WILL NOT talk about this."  Some things are just too painful to process, I suspect this is when we are, or feel we are, utterly helpless to change the outcome of something that is totally unacceptable to us.

Puppy training is one thing it appears I can now wrap my mind around.  I've also been making improvements to my new motor home, and getting my pop up camper ready to sell.  These things are keeping me engaged, and I'll probably blog about them soon!

Upwards and onward!

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