elephant on tippy-toes
I had signed Atlas up for an “On the Ball” class that was intended to teach you how to use therapy balls to exercise your dog. I could not imagine Atlas anywhere near a ball–he is nervous of my stability ball and runs away whenever it rolls towards him–but figured that at the very least, it would be full of laughs.
The class was held last night. I was right – it was hilarious. They didn’t have a ball large enough for him to actually get all four legs on, but I worked on an alternative with him – getting his front paws on a smaller ball with the end goal of having him roll it back and forth and sideways. Watching him try to figure this out was the funniest thing ever.
As it turns out, my own stability ball has deflated quite a bit so it’s the perfect size for this. I worked with him on it for a few minutes again this morning. In a few clicks, he had managed to progress from resting his forearms on the ball to getting just his paws on and moving it slightly. [Last night, I steadied it against my legs so it was more stable.]
This is going to test my camera skills, though. It is a bit difficult to hold a clicker and treats in one hand and my camera in the other. And it is very difficult to remember to click at the right moment when I am giggling and clapping because he is so clever and amusing.
At some point, I’ll order a ball large enough to hold him and start on the other aspect of it – all fours on the ball. For now, I can see how this will tire him out on those winter days when neither of us really wants to go outside. And I will have a constant source of amusement.