You won’t believe it from these pictures but we have been having awful, awful rain in the last few weeks in Sydney. Crazy winds & constant, pouring, typhoon rain that never stopped all day and flooded lots of places…it was like a Never-Ending Bath! Ugh!!
It was actually so bad that I missed my walks on 2 days. Now, if you know my humans, you’ll know how bad the rain must have been because my humans never miss my walks if they can help it. They believe that “daily outings are really important for a dog’s physical & mental well-being” – no matter how big the house & garden the doggie is living in. So they always find time to take me out every day – even if it’s only for 10mins, on the street in front of our house.
But oh – this tme, the rain was so strong & heavy that we barely managed to get out of our front gate before we got completely drenched!!! So we had to miss our walk on 2 days…but to be honest with you, I didn’t really mind! Hsin-Yi did some clicker training with me and gave me a stuffed Kong to work on and I was pretty happy. Hey – when you’re a Dane, you can always catch up on more sleep, right?
But anyway, so when the rain finally stopped a couple of days ago and the sun came out, we were so happy that we quickly grabbed the chance to do some dance practice in the park!
Practising the old favourites…
…and trying out some new ones…
…perfecting our Synchronised Reversing…
…and polishing up our High Trot (when I have to trot with my head held high & paws lifting up – this move takes a lot of work so it’s a lot of effort for a lazy doggie like me! )
…revisiting some dance moves we hadn’t done in ages!
…and trying out some new poses!
Oh! It was the best fun! I just love doing dance practice with Hsin-Yi!
Speaking of dancing, thanks to all the people who tried to guess the name of the waltz we’re going to dance to…one person did get it right (well, two actually): it was Jed & Abby! And the answer is: the Emperor Waltz, also known as the Kaiser-Walzer.
This is a waltz by the famous Composer Human, Johann Strauss II – who also wrote the even more famous Blue Danube. Hsin-Yi loves all the Viennese Strauss waltzes – they are really “beautiful” music – but her favourite is the Emperor Waltz.
And if you’re wondering what it sounds like, you can have a little listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aG-kLDAj8mc – although we won’t be dancing to the proper full version coz that’s over 10 minutes long! Hsin-Yi is going to edit and cut it into a shorter version for us to dance to.
We love the beginning – it sounds so grand & majestic – just perfect for a Great Dane, don’t you think?
To match this intro bit of music, Hsin-Yi is trying to teach me to do my ‘Marching Paws’ facing her but from far away, across the room/field. I’m really struggling with this at the moment ‘coz you know how us doggies don’t generalise well…I’m used to doing my Marching Paws right in front of Hsin-Yi or right next to her and so when I’m far away, I keep trying to walk towards her first to get close, before I start doing my Marching Paws. Hsin-Yi has to keep telling me:
“No, no, Honey! Stay there! Just do the marching there!!”
But I’m still not really getting it – I keep wanting to come closer. So we’re having to practise lots and lots of me just standing far away and staying there and raising 1 paw!
So you see how even something that I know really well already – I can do Marching Paws in my sleep really – can become really hard when I have to do it in a new situation or with a new variation. This is the same for us doggies whether we’re doing dancing or basic obedience type stuff.
This is why humans often can’t understand why we can do something perfectly at home or at training school – but can’t/won’t at the park or when we’re out & about in town or at a friend’s house. It’s because they haven’t taught us/practised with us in those new places/situations. That’s just like me learning to do Marching Paws far away – it may look like the same move but when you ask us to do it in a new situation, it’s almost like a totally new move to us!
So that’s why it’s really important for our humans to help us by taking us to practise our training in lots of different situations – not just expect us to behave perfectly everywhere, just because we did it in doggie school. And remember: if the environment or distractions change – even if we’re doing the same action – it will still be hard for us. Don’t ask too much from us or expect too much, if we’re not somewhere familiar. We might have to go back a few steps and start almost from the beginning. Baby steps, remember?
For example, even if humans learn to drive a car machine perfectly in a driving school with little fake roundabouts & street crossings – that doesn’t mean that they will be able to drive well when they go to New York City or on the motorways or even in a foreign country! Of course, the actions are still the same – they are still turning the steering wheel and pushing their feet on the pedals – but they need practice doing that in all those new places, until they get used to it.
Same for us doggies. Just because we pay attention to our humans and “Sit” when told at dog school or in our kitchens, that doesn’t mean that we’re “trained” – when we go out into the exciting streets or parks with other doggies and yummies and other people and traffic and noises and interesting smells and other distractions – well, we have to start again, sometimes almost from the beginning. We’ll get there faster ‘coz we already know the basics – but you still have to be patient with us and help us and give us a chance to practise.
This doesn’t mean that it’s an excuse for us doggies to be naughty and disobedient in new places, of course – you mustn’t just let us “get away with it”, just because we’re in a new situation and it’s a bit challenging for us. Our humans must still enforce their commands – they must teach us again to listen – just in a new place! And each time we do it, we’ll get better & better!
So yeah – it’s going slowly at the moment with my new dancing moves but that’s OK – I always learn things slowly and Hsin-Yi doesn’t mind. It usually takes us months & months to learn all the different moves for a dance routine and then put it altogether. But we have a lot of fun doing it!
* A message from Hsin-Yi:
I’m really sorry if some of you are having trouble with typing in the Comments box. It seems that you’re unable to “click back” in a sentence you have already written, to insert or change a word. I’ve been having this problem myself when I try to type replies to your comments so I know how frustrating it can be. Using the cursor buttons helps a bit but not if you’ve written a long comment with several lines…!
I haven’t installed new Commenting software, as some people have asked (the Facebook comments is a separate thing – that’s just to make it easier for those on Facebook to comment using their FB accounts, saves having to fill in more boxes, etc) – but I think the problem is because I installed a new version of WordPress.
Oh – it is so annoying- but WordPress “forces” us to upgrade to a new version every few months. I hate it whenever this happens because usually, we’re perfectly happy and everything is working fine with the “old” version – but the minute we upgrade, we start having all sorts of problems due to “bugs” in the new version. Grrrrrr! I wish they would just leave it alone…if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!!
But anyway, usually what happens is people complain & report the bugs and then they release another version a few weeks later, fixing those bugs. That’s what happened in the past when we had problems with the blog. So I’m hoping the current problem with the Comments box will resolve itself in a few weeks. (I’m also having a problem myself when I’m writing a post – the “Insert a Link” button is not working and I have to do all links manually myself by inserting the HTML code, which is a real pain – thank goodness at least I know enough HTML to get round this problem, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to link to anything at the moment!)
Anyway, so if you’re having problems with the Comments box, please be patient – and I will report this bug too and hopefully they’ll sort it out soon! Thank you.