It was a bit of a disappointment, but it was soon forgotten. Puppies didn't appear to have the capacity to hold a grudge, because she still licked at Nadia's hand when she leaned down to pet her. There was no love lost! For someone as sensitive as this girl, it was a happy encouragement.
"You are so good," She said softly. "We will try a few more times, okay? Just to make sure we are both understanding."
Off she went, across to her previous haunt at the other end of the pitch, with Hael waiting under the stay command. It was impressive, how quickly she was picking things up. Certain tricks would no doubt need sharpening, but that was to be said of learning anything.
"What a good girl," She called, delighted at how Hael's tail wagged in response. "Come! Come, Hael!"
Without reservation, the puppy came running. There was a look of joy as she went - she seemed to like sprinting across the open space very much!
Right, onto the next part. Nadia was very happy with their progress so far, and wanted to continue on the right path while Hael was in the mindset for training. Follow was next on the agenda - though she wouldn't be using that word. It sounded too formal for her tastes.
"Okay, dear, now let's do this," She said to the houluh, reaching into the jerky box for a small strip. "This will be very simple."
After showing the treat to Hael, she closed it into her fist. The puppy's snout was pointed up towards it, eager to find out how she could expose it once again. That was easy! Nadia held her hand at her side, and began to pace away. As if by magic, Hael followed, as close to the treat as she could manage without bonking into the woman's legs.
"Very good. With me, Hael. That is right. With me."
The fact that Hael already knew 'come' was certainly beneficial to the learning of the new trick. Whenever the puppy stumbled, stopped, or became interested in something else, Nadia could ask her to come, and she would trot right up in a heartbeat. There was a method to the madness!
"Good, good. With me, Hael," She repeated, holding the treat right next to her side to ensure the puppy would follow her in that position. It was a little hard for her, being so excitable and young, but she was giving it a good effort. "Very good. Very good! Okay, here you go, my darling."
They came to a halt, and Nadia allowed the houluh to eat the piece of jerky she had been holding. That was good! It was pretty simple to make a creature follow you, with the promise of food, but coaxing them to do it without reward was a little more challenging.
It was worth one more shot with the food. Nadia broke off a smaller piece of jerky and showed it to Hael, who whined and sniffed in her enthusiasm. Did she never tire of eating? Well, a growing puppy needed as much energy as they could get, especially when doing exhaustive training!
"Alright. Come, Hael," Nadia said as she began to walk away, holding the treat in her fist at her side once again. Now that she had seen the logic, Hael bounded after her excitedly, nose glued to her side. "Good, good. With me. Good. With me."
The houluh would have trotted there all day given the chance! She was entertained by the prospect of a treat. It was like a game! Nadia smiled and leaned down to ruffle her head as they came to another halt, and she tossed Hael the treat to munch up. It was going well!
Okay, everything had worked out that far. Nadia felt confident enough to start trying it without the use of treats; Hael would undoubtedly be a little resistant to the idea, but she'd warmed up to everything else with enough coaxing, so the woman was confident that this would be the same.
"Come, Hael," She said, and Hael sprang into action, racing to stand next to her. "With me, Hael."
There was a moment of hesitation. The houluh looked at her, and sniffed the air - she couldn't smell any jerky, and her hand wasn't at her side like it was before. The puppy was confused! That wasn't the deal. She gave a bark of protest, and plopped down onto her bum.
"I know, I know," Nadia cooed, trying to hold back a laugh at the petulant behaviour. "With me. With me, Hael."
The houluh was mighty reluctant about it, and made sure to look as put out as possible, but she eventually stood up and plodded at Nadia's side.
That was great! Nadia wiggled her fingers, making sure Hael had something to interest her - she didn't want her to get bored and break the command for the sake of it. Thankfully, the puppy was easily entertained, and paced along at her side as they did a loop of the field.
It felt nice. Her creatures were prone to wandering off, free spirits as they were, and barely any had formal training. That was her own fault. Now she was seeing how simple it was, she was definitely going to put others through a similar program! Especially the friskier ones...
"With me, Hael," She said once more, and the houluh barked, her tail wagging and catching Nadia's calves. Yes. The companionship of the canine was delightful, and it felt different to anything she'd done before. It could only get better from there. "Very good girl. You are doing so well."
The final move of the day was a little less... elegant, than some of the ones that had come before it. Nadia didn't know that there was a graceful way to teach it. If she wanted Hael to 'move', then she'd have to get a bit hands on - gently, of course, but physical nonetheless.
"Alright, here we go," She said with a smile, petting the puppy's head. "Bear with me here. I have no idea what I am doing."
Hael was none the wiser, but wagged her tail even so. Nadia told her to sit, and she did, brushing the grass with the merry wiggling butt. Now was the less delicate part, but it had to be done, because she couldn't think of any better ideas.
"Hael, move," The girl said, and moved towards the houluh with purpose. Unbothered, the puppy showed no sign of moving at all, and cocked her head.
It was so... uncouth, to do it this way. Nadia wanted to apologise to the houluh for not having a more intuitive method, but it was all she could do for the moment, and she was supposed to keep a straight face to maintain command. It felt so silly, though! She inched forward a little more, until Hael's snout was bumping into her legs.
"Move, Hael," She said again. The houluh stood her ground, not quite grasping what was going on. Why was the girl so close to her? It was pretty strange. "Move. Hael, move."
No such luck. The puppy's tongue lolled out. With an amused sigh, Nadia inched even further toward, until she was almost stood on Hael's paws. Sufficiently disconcerted by this, Hael finally stepped out of the way, albeit begrudgingly. What a weirdo!
"Yes, very good! That's what we are getting at, okay? I know, it is a pain."
Hael didn't have the foggiest what she was supposed to be doing. As Nadia stepped away, she made a curious whining sound in her throat; what was the purpose of all this? Where were the treats now? If there was no jerky involved, she couldn't promise to be very interested!
"Okay, darling, let me try it this way," Nadia said, and crouched down to the houluh's level. There was a quick scratch behind the ears before she extended her arm and started to gently scoot the puppy to one side. "Move, Hael. Here we go. Move."
It wasn't very nice, being shuffled like that! Hael grunted and pushed back against the hand moving her, but she didn't have equal strength, and found herself being shifted regardless.
"Very good. That was a good move," Nadia praised her, and reached into the box of jerky to retrieve a treat for her. The interest came back instantly, and the puppy snatched it up, chewing quickly. "Good girl."
As heavyhanded as it was, Nadia's teaching method seemed to be working, even if it was out of sheer annoyance. Hael was not exactly trained to be handled in that way yet, and didn't appreciate being shoved around; in a way, that was perfect, because her irritation would fuel understanding.
"Okay, Hael," She said with a smile as she stood up. The puppy had finished her treat in a few bites. "Gosh, you are ravenous... with me!"
There was a thrill, to see the puppy fall into step beside her. Then, without warning, the woman stopped and turned to change direction straight into the houluh's path.
"Move, Hael," She asked. Hael wasn't keen on the idea and stood her ground. "Hael. Move."
The more authoritative tone may have helped, or the act of wearing her down. Either way, she cut her losses and stepped off to the side so Nadia's path was clear.
"Good girl!" Nadia couldn't hide her delight, and crouched down to give the houluh as much attention as she could. Her fur was ruffled, her ears were stroked - Hael's tail beat against the ground with her happiness. "You are so very clever! Yes you are! Yes, you are!"
It would take some affirmation, but the groundwork had been laid. As a final test, when she straightened up again, she said a curt 'move' - Hael padded delicately to the left, sheepish but obedient. What a relief! It was probably one of the easier tricks to learn because there was no subtlty in it, but she felt pride nonetheless.
The sky was beginning to darken. Nadia collected her things from around the site and packed them into her bag; when she came across the puppy basket, she smiled fondly. There was no need of it anymore. She would keep it, but as they walked home, Hael trotted at her side instead.
A few weeks had passed, and Hael had grown quickly. Nadia could barely visualise what she had been like in her smaller days any more; all she knew now was the long legged gangly teenager that had replaced her. She was just as lovable as ever, and just as energetic - so they were going back to the park to learn some more tricks.
Well, the first thing on the agenda was hardly a trick, but would be handy for future handling.
"Okay, Hael," She said with a smile, standing before the canine on the grass of their plot. "Stay."
Hael hadn't been wanting to go anywhere in the first place, but she held her position. Nadia crouched down at her side and surveyed her body with her eyes, to begin with; this was going to be interesting. Then, keeping her touch light, she started to smooth her hands along her legs, down towards her paws.
Hael was accustomed to being petted, but not so much being touched on the other parts of her body. She began to get suspicious nigh instantaneously; it wasn't normal procedure, and she wasn't sure she liked it. A small growl started bubbling in her throat, and her tail drooped with worry.
"No," Nadia said. It seemed harsh to reprimand her, but she didn't want to simper and accidentally encourage the undesirable behaviour. "That is enough, Hael. It is alright. Stay."
Her hands were soon above Hael's paws. She switched to just one leg, and carefully lifted the paw from the ground. Disgruntled, Hael tugged it back with a huff of frustration.
"It's okay," The girl soothed. Hael stared at her, but didn't walk away, though she looked like she was going to bolt when Nadia reached for her paw again. "It will not hurt you, I swear. Good girl, Hael."
Nadia kept her words soft and consistent, hoping to convince Hael through understanding of her tone that she meant her no harm. Hael's pawpads were warm against her palm, and she was cautious as she began to squeeze them and flex the toes. The houluh whimpered, so she soothed a hand along her back to help calm her and reassure her that there was nothing to be afraid of.
"Good girl," She cooed. "You are doing marvellously. May I touch the other one?"
It wasn't a question of getting permission. Once the first had been set down, she reached for the second, gentle but insistent. Hael didn't make a noise that time, having learned that no pain came of it, but she still stared at Nadia suspiciously, examining her every move. No issues there... though her claws could do with a little buff. Some wax for the dry parts of her pads wouldn't hurt either.
All things considered, Nadia was more concerned about the back legs. From her own experience, she had found that creatures tended to be more sensitive to being touched closer to their private regions, and she was going into it expecting Hael to be very resistant. She shuffled around on her knees to be closer to Hael's rear end, and placed her hands on her rump to begin with.
Once again, she moved down slowly, but Hael was not happy. With a bark of protest, she shot forward - it was to be expected, when she'd had so little contact in that region.
"It's okay, Hael," Nadia murmured, reaching a hand out for her to sniff. The houluh nudged her nose against her fingers. "See? Not going to hurt you, girl. I promise. Come."
It was reluctant, but she came, allowing Nadia to position herself behind her again. Thank goodness she was a houluh and not an equillion.
Twilight-Claw: Hey Ridelys, I still got a Sarane Fidelity Egg if your interested in trading your Green Drake for it, you'd have another shot in trying for it then.
May 31, 2020 1:11:44 GMT -6
Ridelys: If you can barter someone else's champion voucher off them for a gold hen, I'm happy with that too. XD \ Otherwise, I'm open to hearing offers.
May 30, 2020 21:19:39 GMT -6
Aster: Hey, if you don't want that green drake, I'd be happy to offer on him :U Alas, I don't have a gold hen either
May 30, 2020 21:18:03 GMT -6
Ridelys: Well, like I said, I'd have to get lucky.
May 30, 2020 21:13:55 GMT -6
Ridelys: I have a feeling its going to be a long one unless I get lucky.
May 30, 2020 18:19:31 GMT -6
Riku: Good luck with your golden egg hunt, BD! <3
May 30, 2020 15:40:20 GMT -6
Jack: Thanks for the notice!
May 28, 2020 10:05:26 GMT -6
Darky: Heads up: there's a chance you might notice Trepuldra images having loading issues on June 3rd, for about 3h. No need to panic, Veebimajutus just notified there's going to be some scheduled maintenance, is all x3
May 28, 2020 10:05:06 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: right??? i was really hoping i could find one of those pachee before the season was out.
May 26, 2020 18:51:32 GMT -6
Fanged: Oh wow that's an awesome garden find FF
May 26, 2020 18:13:26 GMT -6
Riku: Oh how perfect! I woke up wanting to post (unexpected, but yay) and saw I had a reply. <3 Meant to be.
May 26, 2020 6:40:43 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I really, really love all the updates that have come~! <3
May 24, 2020 2:12:37 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: np!!! I hope y'all like it!
May 23, 2020 13:45:06 GMT -6
Riku: What an awesome update, staff! Thanks for that! <3
May 23, 2020 12:06:52 GMT -6
Jack: All have been found!
May 23, 2020 9:53:27 GMT -6
Jack: Might want to be on the lookout for anything... odd
May 22, 2020 23:51:22 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Yeah it’s definitely a coincidence but wow did it work out well for us! XD
May 22, 2020 6:43:27 GMT -6
Silver: I'm pretty sure that was just a coincidence, but it sure feels lucky!
May 22, 2020 2:07:09 GMT -6
Riku: So did you guys make this hosting switch perfectly RIGHT before pb broke? >.< Thaz crazy. It’s a huge relief and I’m very glad we’ve come to this. <3
May 22, 2020 1:41:01 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: It’s free up to a certain number of GB, which we haven’t hit yet.
May 21, 2020 6:46:33 GMT -6