Sunday, April 21, 2013

Training and some good eats

Tasha's Saturday classes are more for us to learn how to behave like Alpha dog so that she will follow our lead with no hesitation. Through today's exercises, we learned to walk like we knew where we were going, vocalize commands with authority, and perform 'corrective' actions in a way that brooked no argument. Big dog or small, all behave in the same way when such intent is made clear.

What we expect of a trained dog does not come naturally to either dog or handler. There are signals that we habituate our dog to respond to even without the verbal command. The dog doesn't understand language, anyway, so movement is what cues the dog as to what's next.

While Tasha followed me just fine, I was worried she wouldn't 'sit' as we didn't train her for that in our daily practices. I shouldn't have worried. None of her classmates could either. It turns out that there is a Vulcan neck-pinch that you apply to the dog's waist. The initial pressure from the pinch and the quick release somehow makes the dog sit. Do it often enough (c.f., next week's training schedule) and it will become a habit... eventually.

So while we face more of the same boring daily exercises this week, we also stumbled upon the Sun Ray Cafe. A pet-friendly joint, it's been just under our noses and we hadn't known it. Look:

My striploin, ordered rare and served just so on a thick slab of potato gratin in a mushroom sauce. That's a gorgeous hunk of meat that's bursting with juice; tender but every mouthful serving up a delicious chew that we'd expect from a decent chunk of cow.

The pork rack was another substantial slab of meat, though given a choice, I'd still go with the steak, anyway. Likewise tender and flavourful, and served on a bed of mashed sweet potato, this has to count as one of the best pork chops I've ever had.

And Tasha would agree that her baked lamb balls were awesome, but she's not allowed to talk with her mouth full. Anyway, she polished off the plate and then very nearly polished the plate if it hadn't been removed by a very attentive and polite wait staff.

With a 10% UOB credit card discount, just under $75 covered our three dinners, and a side of soup, salad and drink for the two sets and Tashs's own dish of goodness.

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