day twenty eight: when depression induced sleep and winter weather threaten to overwhelm, or teaching ballet

Lipizzaner Stallions 4
Image by mariusza via Flickr

I realize that winter in Tennessee is nowhere near as bad as it can be up north, but it is bad enough for me some days.  I like snow but the cold temperatures required to sustain it don’t always like me very much, especially now that I have bionic implants.  If the last sentence confused you feel free to read “the aftermath of rough play” that should explain things. I am also on antidepressant medicine which I’m currently out of, that in conjunction with the more often than not dreary conditions of the weather makes for difficult days.  Instead of crying profusely or yelling I usually sleep but just like everything else too much sleep is not really good for you so what to do instead?  Well until my cart  is repaired I’m teaching Little Man tricks using the clicker training method and lots of baby carrots.  So far he does nothing spectacular but now if you ask him to “touch” he will stretch his neck to touch your hand with his nose. Most clicker training books suggest that when starting to teach in animal using this method “touch” is probably a good first thing to show them because it’s simple, gets them to focus their attention solidly on you  and is the basic steppingstone to many more complicated behaviors.  Eventually I would like to teach him to bow and kneel on command, and maybe if I get to feeling real ambitions and everything else goes well to rear on command and hold it.  If that goes okay I might get a video of  the Lipizzaner stallions and teach him some of their fancy footwork. We are nowhere near this good yet but we will be one day, and though we may not ever be as famous as this pair I have no doubt that we will be as skilled.


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