Today, I received two emails that made my pretty happy.
One was from Dog's Trust--I need to ring them tomorrow to see if I can get a 'subsidised neutering voucher.' If so, when I get Lola spayed it will only cost around £30, rather than £130. Sweet.
The second was from the dog training club in the next town over (about a ten minute bus journey, then fifteen minute walk):
Their willingness to let me come and observe the class first (something I couldn't do with Trinity Training, without first paying the not entirely cheap £55) is a green light so far. The only downside to this place is that it doesn't say anything about it's training methods on the website. I'm hoping that, at worst, they use a mix of traditional training and positive reinforcement; but are open to me being able to do my own thing in the corner of the room or something. And I'm hoping that, at best, they forbid the use of physical corrections (and over-reliance on verbal corrections) and use R+ consistently. We'll see on Tuesday, when I go down; I'm going to go to the 6.30 til 8 classes (puppy socialisation 6.30 - 7:00, adult starters 7:00 - 7:30, bronze KC 7:30 - 8:00).
In training news, Lola's retrieve is going fabulous. She can now bring the ball back to me, one cue only, and drop it within 1ft of me. She drops it sometimes and looks at me, but a second later she's picking the ball back up and bouncing toward me. She even had to wrestle it away from Jess earlier; I threw it, J snatched it, L harassed her until she dropped it, and then L grabbed it and trotted back to me. Serious success. That's mostly all we've been working on.
I've decided I need to work more with Jess, too. An extra handful or three of her dry kibble a day won't do her any harm; she's still struggling a little to put back on all the lost puppy-influenced weight. And she loves to work! I brought out the stool we use occasionally for the first time in a few weeks, and she immediately put her front paws up on it and started walking around it, away from me, when I moved toward her. I need to start getting her to just 'go round' on her own, and might start working on that with her.
In personal news, I'm eighteen in eight days. Oy. Going out for my first (legal) drinks on the day with friends at home, and then two weeks today (we think, so far) going out with my friends at university. For more drinks. Something tells me that weekend and the following week will be fun.