Instead of homework, I'll be spending the time on business matters during this email. First and foremost, please make sure you complete and return a new release form for Woof. They'll be dancing on my forehead if they're not returned and I, in turn, will have to tap dance on your forehead so please fill one out and bring it in.
Secondly, there will be no classes on the 11th and 18th of June. Initially the break was going to be only the 18th but my husband will be leaving to go offshore on either the 10th or the 11th so I thought I'd just make it definite now rather than having to send out notices at the last minute. For the next session, we'll be running 6 weeks and you will have to sign up on the Rotts of Ruv website. It's not quite ready for that yet but will be soon. I'll keep you posted.
We got the clearance to go with bigger classes but I am a bit uncomfortable with that. That would be contingent upon wearing masks and there are those of us with medical conditions that can't wear masks. So rather than put more people in the classes, I'd prefer to stay with 4 people and make sure social distancing remains intact. Those of you that can wear masks, please do. I remain confident that the sanitizing efforts that are made and the social distancing of 6 feet will keep everyone safe. Again, you should have to touch nothing but your treats and your dog.
Finally, any special requests for the last class of this session which is this Thursday?
See you then!
Just a couple of things about this coming week's Zoom class. First of all, there is no set charge. A lot of folks are having trouble with day to day expenses and this is my way of trying to offer something that can help get your mind off of that for an hour. Donations are accepted but absolutely not necessary. This is a tough platform to teach obedience with so all I ask is some patience as I learn to navigate the ropes better.
Ness Sufrin had some excellent ideas. Right now I am overwhelmed with private lessons and Zoom lessons so I haven't had a lot of time to put into making those things come to fruition. However, if you go to the Rotts of Run website, you can access some training videos that you may find helpful. These are older videos and I am constantly changing as I find things that work better or have sounder behavioral science behind them. You'll see Tubbs in some of them so many of these techniques will have evolved. You'll still have a bit of a head start if you care to scan through them. You'll need the password: Guppy.
You should have received the link for this week's classes. If you haven't, please let me know. Because many of us are working in confined spaces, I'll continue this week working in the basement. I'll be giving advance notice if I have to move outside for jumping or targets or go outs. The list of necessary equipment will be coming sometime soon. I have to reconcile what I did last week with some of the comments I got this week and try to make a rational sequence this week.
Stay safe, folks and let me know if you have any questions. As always, thanks to the patience and expertise of Tina and Kelly without whom this wouldn't be possible.
I just wanted to let all of you know how impressed I was with your willingness to adjust and enjoy working with your dogs from a totally different forum. It's certainly a stretch for me and I so appreciate your patience while I figure out the best way to present material using Zoom. Again, I have to thank the hard work of Tina Scott and Kelly Lamb for making any of this possible. They're amazing and I am so lucky to have their support as well as their friendship. Ness had some wonderful suggestions to help make things a bit easier from the class viewpoint. We're working on that and hopefully will have more available sometime soon. At any rate, I just wanted to thank all of you for being part of the Rotts of Ruv gang. You're a wonderful group of people and I'll do as much as I can to keep the group interacting and learning as a unit. Stay safe and watch for the links and more information later this week.
Just another reminder about the Thursday classes. There is going to be a learning curve for everybody so this one is free. Make sure you have the link if you're interested. If not, just disregard this email. Make sure you have your iPad, phone, or laptop in a well lit spot so I can see you. Please mute your device so there isn't the roar from the crowd. After I introduce the exercise with Rip, I'll move from one person to the next to see if there's anything I can help with. If you need to ask a question, please feel free to unmute yourself. There is a hand raise option but unless I'm constantly checking, It's tough to keep track of. Try to have all training devices ready. This week all classes will need a perch and 2 dowels. The Obedience II folks will need their dumbbell as well. Both the I and the I+ class need something shaped like a cone. I have used a bar stool when push came to shove. Try to have those things within easy reach. When you're not working your dog, the same thing would apply as if you were in a training room class. Have your dog on a down so you can concentrate on the exercises being discussed. Let me know if you have any questions. Looking forward to seeing everybody on Thursday.
So while you've all been binge watching Netflix, I've been getting ripped into the age of technology. Anybody that knows me realizes how very uncomfortable that is for me. Thanks to the herculean efforts and extreme patience of Tina Scott and her trusty support staff, Kelly Lamb, they have pulled me kicking and screaming into the world of Zoom. These girls deserve medals for their perseverance and kindness to an old codger such as myself. I am now capable of giving lessons via FaceTime or Zoom and have done private lessons using both. Although it's not the same as being there, it does keep things moving forward. We're going to push on a step farther (pour the B-52) and start teaching the classes via Zoom. The first class will be scheduled for April 16th. There will be no charge because I'm sure some kinks will present themselves and I'll ask for your patience as I work through them. In some instances, the instructors have been kicked off the session and have had to log back in. Be ready for things like that to happen. Other finer points: While on Zoom, please mute your phone unless I'm speaking directly to you. Warn your significant others so they don't run through the background in their skivvies. And please, if nature calls, leave your cell phone behind! Just for starters, download the Zoom app. Early next week, I'll be sending out the links and passwords etc. As I have things now, the I class will begin at 5 PM, the I+ at 6 PM, and the II class at 7 PM. Please confirm if you're interested so I know if I do indeed need to present all 3 classes.
Again, a wealth of gratitude to Tina and Kelly. Tina was the one that had to wrangle me the most so if she seems exhausted to you, there is an explanation............ME!!!!
Stay safe and give those fur kids hugs for me!
There's been an incredible response to classes of 3. There will be a 2 week break in classes (NOT private lessons) no matter what the virus does. We won't begin before the first week of April. At that point, we will probably have to break into classes on 2 different evenings. Right now, it will be Wednesday and Thursday. I'lll be doing my best to keep you with the folks you've been working with............you just won't be together simultaneously.
Northam just announced the closing of non-essential businesses but pet supply is considered an essential business. Non-essential businesses may also remain open if they clean more and limit it to groups under 10. We already are cleaning up a storm and there will NEVER be 10 people in the training room. In actuality, there will never be more than 4 people in the training room because we are going to keep the total number of people in the building under 10.
I'll be sending out more organizational information as we get closer to the time classes will commence. UNLESS the virus shuts us down completely.
Please take care of yourselves and take all precautions to stay healthy!
Hopefully you will remember last week because I'm going to spend most of this email addressing the growing concern about continuing classes with the spread of coronavirus. I really don't feel panicked at all. I do believe that precautions need to be taken though. I WILL DEFINITELY be teaching both classes and private lessons unless I should become ill. Because I have a better than average immune system, I feel comfortable with social distancing etc. If you are immune compromised or symptomatic please be safe and stay home. There will be cleaning solutions at Woof and I will be frequently wiping down surfaces and door knobs etc. If you feel the need to leave class and wash your hands multiple times, I'm more than fine with that. There are usually only 6 per class so maintaining the 10 foot suggested distance shouldn't be a problem. When we do the stand or sit for exams, we'll only be walking up to the dog and not actually touching them so there won't be any transmission that way. Please feel free to discuss any concerns with me if you decide to do classes but feel there's something more we can be doing to make you feel comfortable.
One thing I did want to pass along was this heeling challenge. There was a formula used to make rewarding heeling variable and unpredictable while building endurance. For the I+ and II classes, I'd love for you to add one of these groups a week. Do one and then the following week, do the next one up. People tend to lose track of the cookies they're shoving at the dogs. This will help to make you more accountable and it's a bit of fun to see how far you can push it.
Stay safe and healthy!