Planning for Italy

After a mild and nice December, snow came at last two weeks ago. Although snow makes it lighter outdoors and cleaner indoors, I prefer to be able to train my dogs outdoors, and to be able to easily walk in the woods with them. We don’t have a good indoor arena close to out home. We have the riding facility just 5 minutes away, but it’s cold and the footing is very heavy and soft. To get to a nice, clean heated arena with decent footing, we need to travel for more than an hour. It’s often worth it, but can’t be done very often. This winter we’ve been there a few times to shoot video for our online classes. We do get time for some more training as well, here is for example some obedience sequences with Squid from Monday:

It’s so much fun to finally be able to do some serious training with Squid again. She’s not quite ready for much agility yet (have started to work on some jump grids), but I do let her run, stop and play in obedience now. I’ve finally found a physiotherapist that I trust and who really makes a difference in my dogs. Epic looks really, really good now after four sessions with her during the past five months. Squid has had two sessions this winter and we’re very hopeful about her full recovery. She does look awkward when jumping right now, but Epic did too after his second session and I was really worried. He does look very good now though, so I just need to have patience. At least I have a lot of obedience to train with Squid! And agility skills that doesn’t require a lot of jumping.

It’s only six days before I leave for Italy with my two dogs, where I’ll spend a month teaching, training and exploring. I’m excited, but very nervous. A long drive, a foreign country and a long time away from home. How will I be able to fit my whole life into my car? How will my dogs cope with going from farm dogs to experiencing new things every day (It’ll probably be very, very good for them)? What will we eat? What should I pack? Can I manage without knowing the language? What will I do when Squid comes into heat? She hasn’t been in heat since having puppies, and it should be about now. That can get interesting with an intact male with us. I think he’ll do okay, but I have no idea about how Italian dogs handle it. It’ll be an adventure for sure.

Before driving to Italy, I have two days of teaching in Poland. I leave tomorrow morning and come back on Sunday night, so I don’t have many hours left in my house. I’ve never been to Poland, so it’ll be a fun experience.

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