Sunday, August 8, 2010

Training Challenge #1

It's Sunday and time to post about my training challenge for this week! I have already read some terrific posts by Kathy, Sara, Dawn, and Marie and so I know that you all have gotten out there and done some great training this week! Congratulations - and I'm looking forward to reading all about what the other participants did this week too.

Mom and I went to a nearby park this morning - before mom got me, she used to bike to this park and then walk around the lake and dream of walking there with her very own dog. Then she got me and tried to take me there but the park is right next to a busy, busy state route and the park is full of bikers and joggers. I have been to this park several times before but the beginning of the walk always put me way over my excitement threshold. So mom hates to take me there even though she ultimately wants us to be able to do it. To go there is definitely a challenge!

Here is a map of the lake - it was a quarry lake and was partially filled in when the city decided to make it into a park. Apparently the lake is 30 feet deep in places and the water is crystal clear and full of fish. You park your car in the lot to the left of the highway and the lake and then have to walk under the highway to get to the park. The bikepath runs parallel to the highway, and when you start out on the jogger/walker path that goes all the way around the lake, you walk right next to the bikepath and the highway. We always go toward the lake and turn left and go around clockwise. On the right side of the lake it is really nice - you are away from the highway and there are some woods and also a river. (I hope the map will bigify).
We knew it would be busy on Sunday morning but it was so busy the parking lot was full and cars were parked on the road too. When we first got there, I could hardly look at mom.

The sun was not cooperating for photos but here is the way you go under the highway.

There is a really nice deck where people feed ducks, warm up for their runs, or do a little fishing - see the highway behind me?

Here are the paths at the start - I am on the gravel path at the bottom of the photo, then is the bikepath and then the highway. I pulled a little on my leash but I did not bark and I kept looking at the cars/bikes/joggers and then looking back to mom for a treat! (this is where I would always totally lose it in previous attempts to walk here).

The lake is really pretty but I have to keep an eye out for moving people (this is the top of the lake on the map).

Now we are walking on the side farthest from the highway - you can see the deck and the highway in the background if you bigify. Some times I can walk off-leash on the path over here but today was just too busy for that.

There is a footpath in the woods that runs parallel to the jogging/walking path. The river is on our left. We went down there so that I could have a little off-leash time. I behaved very well and waited for mom and checked in with her every time I went in front of her.

After we got to the bottom of the lake (according to the map) we came back out onto the regular path and as you go around to come back towards the entrance, you are close to the bikepath and the highway again.

I was much more relaxed by this time and could look at mom even sitting so close to the bikepath.

Lots of dogs swim here - sometimes there will be 10 - 15 dogs in the water at the same time.

Getting worn out from this challenge!

We finally made it back to the car! I hate to brag but I am the best car-riding dog ever! I lie down on my towel the minute mom puts me in the car and I don't get off that towel until she takes me back out of the car!

There you have it! We survived the challenge - actually we did better than that. I did not bark once the entire time I was there. I got very excited a few times but did not lose it at all. I even did a few tricks for mom when we got back to the parking lot. Mom even had a smile on her face - that hasn't been the case when we have left this place before! This is a challenge that will definitely bear repeating though so mom and I can finally feel comfortable enough to add this park to the list of places we frequent.

Gotta zoom!



Sara said...

Yea Ricky! You did a great job, and made your mom proud!

Clearly, your mom is an overachiever for taking you there on a SUNDAY! I'm a wimp and would have opted for a midweek visit :) She takes these challenges very seriously. I guess we better step it up a notch for next week!

Morgan in Pittsburgh said...

Nice going Ricky, because that looks like an awesome place to frequent! You should ask to go there every week-end, from now on!
your pals, Morgan & Maisie

Ricky the Sheltie said...

LOL, Sara! Glad you think it was overachievement to go on a Sunday and not just extreme procrastination!!

Marie said...

Woohoo! That's super news that you and your mom could leave the park with smiles on your faces. Great job. I can see why your mom wants to take you by the lake for walks, it's just gorgeous!

katie said...

yay ricky! you get double props for not barking even once, that must have been hard! What a great way to start of the challenge, can't wait to see what you come up with for next week!

Sagira said...

Great job Ricky! We have not been there before, but looks to be very beautiful. :)

Kathy said...

You guys really took the challenge to heart, that sounds like a really big challenge on a busy day. It is a beautiful park and now that you feel pretty good there Ricky I bet you can do lots of challenges there. Your mom takes some awesome pictures!

Diana said...

Wow, thats so wonderful. All your work is paying off. I have to agree with Sara, I wouldnt have tried that on a busy day. Great job!!!! Diana

Priscilla said...

Well done on your really big challenge!
We are also going to try what you and Dawn did - trying to stop your dog lunging at moving objects.
Hope it works :) Your training challenge has given us some incentive :) LOL

Dawn said...

You look pooped out little buddy, after that long challenge! You didn't bark even ONCE? WOW! And you stay on your towel in the car? WOW again! That's something we have to work on!

I am sad to say that Katie is not totally over being the barker at cars. In our driveway last night she lunged and barked again. So we have more work to do!

Lian said...

Well done Ricky for your first challenge! I enjoyed reading all your challenger's blog. I wish I have time to take up the challenge, sadly Sunday is a bad day for us.