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Owning a dog supports us emotionally and physically even if it is just the extra exercise of caring for them but see what this owner does with her dog...

 

 

 

WHAT DOGS DO FOR US IN 2021 QUARANTINE

by Amy Schmidt

 

Every evening 6 or more of my neighbors meet for a dog walk. We range from a young mother to a grandmother to professional women with high stress jobs. We have become friends through our dogs and we enjoy the daily communication and exercise.

 

Owning a dog supports us emotionally and physically even if it is just the extra exercise of caring for them.

 

When it is time to end our walk, I give my dog a special command that is her treat. When we are about 5 houses from home and on the sidewalk that runs in front of my house, I remove my dog’s leash and say "Garland, go home!"

 

She flies down the sidewalk and turns up the walkway to our door. Sometimes I will test her and call her back to me. She flies back, takes a treat, and turns to run back home. She is so fast that the neighbors chant, "Go, Garland, go!" and we all have a good laugh at her, and at ourselves.

 

During the COVID-19 pandemic Garland and I have taken up rally through AKC's virtual rally programs. The American Kennel Club invented Rally back in 2005 as a family sport all owners can enjoy with their dogs. I don’t know if it was because of the COVID problem but in 2020 AKC started the Rally® Novice Virtual Pilot Program.

 

That way people can still be motivated to obtain their Rally Novice title “virtually” and even in quarantine they can earn the title for their dog. Actually that program and going for a title has been really good for people during the pandemic.

 

Garland completed her novice title but the day that I had hoped to video some intermediate runs, she just wasn't into it. She knows how to do everything but she wasn't doing it - when I asked for a down, she would sit, when I asked for a sit, she would stand. It was almost comical, but I had to give up and return home.

 

Dogs have good days (almost always) but are entitled to have an off day just like humans.

 

Virtual Rally is easy enough. AKC provides a set of courses that you can set up just about anywhere. Unfortunately, my backyard and driveway are not quite big enough but some people use a vacant parking lot or tennis courts.

 

If you have a neighbor with a really big yard who enjoys the exercise and working with their dog, that is even better.

 

You set up the course according to the course map. It even shows where the video camera or phone camera should be. You run the course and submit the video to AKC and a judge scores it. AKC has done a great job with the program!

 

Next I am planning to see if I can teach Garland to talk with recordable buttons!

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