On Sundays, Maisy and I go to a shaping class. It's taught by my trainer friend, and the other students are friends as well. It's a fairly unstructured class- we each work on our own thing, and sometimes, when we're tired, we simply hang out. Oh, excuse me, we do "mat work."
This past Sunday was one of those relaxed classes, and we spent most of it lying on the ground, laughing and talking, while simultaneously rewarding our dogs for relaxed behavior. In the past, when I've done mat work with Maisy she's been what I termed operantly relaxed- that is, she's been coiled up, ready to spring, and in the words of my friend Elizabeth, "twitching like a crack addict in withdrawal." (No offense meant to any crack addicts, in withdrawal or otherwise. Considering how much I love Maisy, this should be construed as the highest compliment.)
However, this week was different. Although she was initially "on" and ready to play the game, when Maisy realized that I wasn't going to ask her to do anything, she rolled over onto one hip, curled into a ball, and put her chin down. Her muscles were smooth and loose. Her eyes were droopy, and her ears were at half-mast. In other words: she was actually relaxed.
My trainer called it a breakthrough. For my part, I was afraid to breathe. Or move. Or do anything that might wreck the spell... which means that I don't have a picture. But take my word: it was amazing!