Time often creeps up on us, years pass before we realize they are gone. That was the case at our house earlier this month when I was startled with the memory that Luna has been with us for a year. The time has flown, it feels like she has been a part of our family forever – and yet it also feels as if only yesterday we lost Ari. There will always be this gut wrenching twist when the anniversary of her arrival rolls around, but that stab is dulled with the ‘looniness’.
Luna has come a long way, not just in her training, but also in her confidence. It’s hard to believe that this is the same poor dog that was scared to death when we meet her, teeth bared as she crouched in the back of her kennel. I have come to accept that someone in her past not only treated her poorly, but likely chose to reprehend her physically when she misbehaved, or simply did not understand what it was they wanted from her.
She is in fact quick to learn and eager to please. There is still nothing she seems to enjoy doing more than going to class and I’ve recently been taking her to two, rather than one, class once a week. We start out our evening with rally and then move into her intermediate obedience class. She’s taken intermediate repeatedly for the last eight months or so, not because she couldn’t learn, but because she still was fighting to obtain her Canine Good Citizen.
That all changed three days before her anniversary in our home. On a whim I decided to test her again with the graduating intermediate class we had been crashing. I had planned on skipping the test, knowing she could not stand for three minutes in my absence. The only reason we didn’t leave was Ella was performing her STAR puppy at the same time with my daughter and since we were in the building I decided I might as well use the time for more training.
We got lucky. Our examiner was Luna’s original trainer from our beginning class, someone she had no trouble letting approach her. We passed each step with flying colors, and when it came time to have a stranger hold her I handed her off to someone from our rally class. We listened to a few whines out in the hall, three minutes feeling like three hours, and I was certain it was Luna I could hear whining.
To my surprise I returned and was notified she passed. It turned out when she started to whine the person holding her would just ask her to sit. Torn between her need to be with me and her need to obey she sat, and finally, we passed.
It may seem like a little thing to some, but I could hardly sleep afterward, I was so happy and proud of this little girl that had been so afraid when we took her home. The future already looked bright, but now it feels as if Luna can accomplish just about anything.
We’re still taking two classes though, this time around so Luna can attend with Ella (who passed her STAR) so that the younger pup can learn to work even if her big sis is around. Just last week Ella pounced Luna during a stay exercise to which Luna remained transfixed in her sitting position, looking up at me.
I was almost as proud of her in that moment as hearing the words, “She passed”.
Lisa (and Luna)