I've got good news and I've got bad news.
The bad news is Stella failed the CGC test. She did fine on everything until it came time to walk past the lovely and talented, Glory (isn't that a great name for a dog?) I can't say it was a subtle thing either. It was like being carried on the horseshoe end of a sixty-pound magnet. No amount of sweet talking would sway her. She was given the benefit of a doubt. Excitement overwhelmed her as it almost always does. I had planned on us having a big celebration afterward but instead I crafted a big ol'Miss America-type sash when we got home. It says: LOSER. (I'm wearing it right now.)
Not to worry though, we can take the test again in ten weeks. Meanwhile, we're going to watch this training video (lifted from Terrierman) once a day for inspiration.
On to the good news. And it is good. The day before we took the test, Stella and I met with my friend Christine who is a dog person if there ever was one. She still laughs at the fact that I - a cat person for twenty-five years would ever have a dog, let alone the handful of dog I ended up with. We tagged along on a walk that she regularly does with two of her four dogs: Arthur, a Weimeraner, just a few months older than Stella and Fiona Tina, a senior cancer-surviving Shepherd mix. Not only did Stella get to make two new actual friends but she got to do the walk without a leash. This very nearly blew her mind. Mine too. The only time she's been unleashed in her soon-to-be two years, we've been at the dog park or at the baseball field. Arthur fetched a tennis ball most of the way and Stella fetched Arthur most of the way. As you might expect, this led to much Snoopy dancing and an overall feeling of giddiness on her part. She seemed more contented than usual for the rest of the day.
This morning she and I dropped Barney's clothes off at the Green Street Church of Christ. They have a closet there for people who are living on the street and/or those who are needy. After that we went to a local cemetery and tried the off-leash thing again only this time it was just the two of us. It was also fun but I'm sure Stella missed the other two dogs. (Tip: cemeteries almost always have borders or even fields of undeveloped land; they also generally have paved roads and trash cans at regular intervals) We missed this beautiful weather walking last year. The trees around town bloomed big this time around and it seems they all got going at the same time instead of their usual stagger. I hope Jack Frost has been successfully run out of town.