I have a photo post on it's way, but last night I got distracted.
I opened up Photoshop and started playing with a photo of Barbie. Somehow this photo took on a life of it's own and became a 'design'. I decided to see what it would look like on t-shirts, and jumpers and the like, so I logged into my unused Cafepress account. I placed it onto several pieces of merchandise, but then I realised that the bank balance wouldn't stretch to an order then and there.
Now I'm thinking about it - is wearing a jumper with an image of your own dog printed on it a bit too much? It's not as bad as wearing a jumper with an image of yourself printed on it, I suppose. I wonder if people make items of clothing with their children printed on them? I can't imagine any child being as pretty as Barbie, though. Maybe I'm biased as I tend to enjoy canine & feline company more than the company of humans.
In other news, the coordinator of Greyhounds as Pets here in Western Australia (Kerry) told me that she is going to put a youtube link and the stories I have told her about Barbie on their 'testimonials' page. I will post the link when it's done. She was particularly impressed with how I trained the 'sleep startle' response out of Barbie. The method, for the record, was throwing treats at her while she is fast asleep to make her start, but then realise it's raining food. It worked really well. I can't remember whose blog I borrowed the idea from! Manhandling her while teaching her to roll over has also helped. She doesn't mind if I drape myself over her now. She used to hate it!
I also sent Kerry a link to Jen's blog about her wonderfully versatile dogs. She really got a kick out of it.
While I am a beginner in these things, I have the support of my local dog trainer, Desma, in introducing Barbie to agility obstacles (she bought jumps and a tunnel in to class last weekend). I think teaching her to cope with agility obstacles will make Barbie a more confident hiker, and hopefully teach her how to use those gangly legs and powerful muscles of hers for movements other than running! We don't have a lot of space in our yard, but I am going to build a couple of jumps to practice with at home. I am now more confident in my ability to gain and hold Barbie's attention, while I am still learning her limits, I believe that we are not far off being able to do off leash agility training at one of the local clubs. I think I need to take her to an agility night just to see how she reacts to it all. We are going to start some target training tonight.