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Oh this is a very Awkward Post...

We all knew it was possible for Cora to 'wash out' of a Service Dog training role and not make it through the final tests and requirements for public service... but we really weren't too concerned- she had the temperment tests passed and she is such a smart dog!

As it has turned out, WE have washed out of the requirements, so to speak.

Cora, it turns out, is a 12 or so on the 'exciteable' scale of 1-10. (I use this term tongue in cheek, no such test is availible formally, you know.) ...she has been with us two years now, plus some- but she STILL levitates in the air to LICK people on the NOSE... or gets so excited when we go out, she has to make friends with EVERYONE...

Moreso, she REQUIRES two walks daily that are a mile or two each, or she is miserable- she starts getting frustrated and upset and is of no 'use' whatsoever at home because she forgets to focus on her tasks, while she focuses on trying to get her exercise time in!! (this often involves streaking around the house like a mad dawg, and she's BIG!!)

In case the readers here did not already know, My own health has been hellish for about a year- I have a fistula that will not close (THREE surgical attempts later, it is still leaking bowel material) and a fourth attempt will mean a temporary ostomy and a very long healing period before they can 'reverse' the ostomy and restore my J-pouch (which is internal) to restore relatively normal bowel use.

My partner, AKA "Pa" here, had been trying to walk her at least a mile and a half a day, but was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia- it's not crippling him, but it IS making it very hard for him to consistantly walk her. The long walks can be VERY painful if he is having a flare, or he may have to omit a walk and then she's EXTRA bored and pent-up!

Consider that without enough exercise, she tromps all over me in her joy and happiness, and you get a situation that is just driving us crazy... and is so UNFAIR to CORA. She should not have to live most of her time in a crate in 'time out' for being crazy-pants just because we are unable to exercise her!!

She has TONS of toys, but none of them have eliminated her need for being 'ordered around' and doing her little tasks daily... I, on the otherhand, am now practically confined to bed or sitting (I even end up using a wheelchair to do things like the FAIR, because the uneven terrain is so difficult for me to traverse.) and so I am no fun at all for her- she is so tired of me just sleeping at random (seriously, they think I have actual narcolepsy. What a horrid thing for her- suddenly Dad is just not there...) and of having her walks just not happen because I am not able, nor is Pa, to take her on a bad day.

I know y'all are holding your breath, saying "Well what NOW??" But an amazing thing has happened to save us (and CORA!) heartache:

There is a couple whom we are friends with, and we used to go over and let her play with thier dogs, Anaya and Connor- well, the wife of the couple has wanted to go walking/jogging every morning and night, but Anaya is so elderly she is almost at the end of her lifespan, and poor Connor... he refuses to walk. If she takes him six blocks, they have to go get the car to come and get him home, because he lays down like a puppy and refuses to GO. (He is a Golden Retriver, and not a small boy! Anaya is an austrailian shepherd or border collie mix, I believe, but she has the palsy already... not a walking buddy!)

Aforementioned AWESOME wife started coming over in the evenings to give Cora her walk.

OMG. That's all I can say- OMG.

Cora has never been so happy in ALL HER LIFE.

She ADORES them, and ADORES being ordered around- and ADORES the long walk/jogs... tho both of them will have to work up from a 1.5 mile walk with a brief jog to a 3 or so one all jogging, they're pretty much matched- Rottie and human... and within a few days of her coming to walk Cora, Cora would get VERY excited whenever she heard someone arrive to the hosue, or the garage door open- hoping for her new 'Mom' to come...

You know, if you're a Dad or Mom to a pet, that the LAST thing you EVER want, is to abandon them. Especially in this situation, where we have fundraised to get her and sunk hundreds (if not thousands) into training and gear... I feel like we let YOU all down!!

But for Cora, Service Dog work may not be her forte- Or... it might! I don't want to speak about the couple in private terms, but there are things in thier lives that i think she might end up genuinely contributing to, and they plan to keep up her training. She is so much less of a handful when she has had her twice a day walks, and she LOVES her new 'Mom' who comes and makes her do tricks and obediance... she GLOWS.

So Cora is going to be adopted. New Mom and Dad will have the option of having a FB page or a Livejournal if they so desire, and I'll backup all these entries so they can stay, but I have them forever too- to remember all the amazing things we had to get through, and all the things she did for us!

She will join thier pack- and the best part is that Connor was already an eater-of-everything... (seriously, he once ate a linoleum knife. His chew/eat habits are EPIC) so thier very large house is Cora PROOF... she won't be stealing socks, because they are kept out of Connor's reach already! ....she LOVES playing in the backyard, with is much much bigger than the place we are staying at right now. (if you recall, we lost our (rental) home and are staying with friends/chosen family currently!)

The hardest thing to do, sometimes, is to Let Go.

I want so bad to entertain ideas of hiring a dog walker, or of fundraising to put her in a program, or to wait 'just one more year' since she will mature after three years old... but the truth is, she is HAPPY there. She LOVES them, and she LOVES the lifestyle provided for her there.

We cannot meet her needs, and when we cannot meet her needs, she cannot meet mine either.

I have been asked by MANY already, will I get another dog?

The answer is NO. We have so much on our plates, and even a smaller or lower energy dog would require care and training, and that's not going to happen. Especially right now, in the next couple of years.

Also, we have made an agreement with her new owners (since they are good friends of ours!) that if something happens and they cannot keep her, then she can just come right back home to us. :) So it's a good thing that we will have a 'space' that is open in case anything fails- she will always have a backup.

I think, when thier dog Anaya passes (oh how I hope that is not too soon, that is heartbreak for anyone, and they have had her SO long!) that Cora will lessen the impact on Connor for sure- and probably them too... it's SO hard to lose a furry friend, but losing your best buddy and becoming an only dog would hurt him so much more, I think. And this way, her new 'Mom' gains a partner in walking/jogging too... so it will be happy times all the way around!!

This entry is so hard to make, because so many will say 'oh no, what if...' and want to offer ideas to keep her- but in the past week or two, we have been easing into the transition already, and oh... you cannot imagine the JOY and SPARKLE in Cora's eyes...

Sometimes the right thing to do is not the easiest- but it IS the right thing to do, because there is joy also, in it.

It will take pressure off us both during this difficult time, and yet we won't 'lose' her- she will be just a few miles away, happy as a clam, with people we love and trust. They have always owned dogs that they kept all thier lives- Cora will not enter the 'mill' of throwaways, not by a longshot! She will be there, or back with us, and she will be SAFE, HAPPY, and living a much happier lifestyle!

Maybe her new Mom will take up journaling for her now and again- she is a marvelous photographer, and no doubt Cora will make a facinating subject! (In fact, I have her to thank, for tutoring me when I took the college classes in photography before we lost Big Bertha and got Cora! She got me through the hardest part of that course!)

I am hoping that you all will allow for the grief of change but rejoice also in the JOY of change- sometimes, there can be both. :)

Yes?
Corapants won being on the front page of Cheezeburger.com twice this week with this Macro!

The irony of this is that last night, as I was bragging about this online, she snuck her nose up onto my desk and STOLE my cheese sammich.

All is fair when it comes to cheese sammiches, apparently...

Maybe we need to make her pic into an internet Meme- Question Goggie... has Questions.

Cheese Sammich

Share away and make it viral!

http://cheezburger.com/6487448064

Dad is stupid.

He never posts.

He is also weird-sick, if you read his blog... all kinds of weird things happening in his life and to his body and he's just all 'icky! I feel icky!' so he never posts, even tho I am an amazing dog, and deserve updates!!

Last night he got up and had a cheese sandwich.

I always get the last bite of those, but... I wanted more.

He is not the only one who gets the munchies in the middle of the night, you know!!!

So he made this icon meme thingy:

Cheese Sammich

He says I have grown up a lot since then, but I had the same look last night...

At least it's a post!!

Oooh, Dad, update more often!!

I am losing people who come read me, because Bad Dad is not updating as often. *wags fing-- er... paw?*

Bad Dad!!

Last night, I gave Pa a kind of crying-sound that he is starting to know means 'I know I am in my 'it is bedtime' crate, but I need top get to Dad!'... so he let me out.

I jumped on the bed gently and sniffed Dad, and then I ran to his desk.

I knocked his pill bottles around a little, and then Pa gave me one. "This?" he asked...

I ran to Dad!

Wake up Dad! Wake up!! You need your pain pills!

Dad grumbled something about not wanting to take them because he was already asleep... just let him sleep...

I was a little dejected, but smart Pa rewarded me... and waited...

Within 20-30 minutes, Dad woke up from the HURT. He was hurting enough he was half asleep going 'where are the pain pills... oh gods...' in his sleepy mumbly voice.

I watched him get them with an expression he will not soon forget. I TRIED, Dad. You are not a good Service Dog owner tonight.

Dad took them, and then rewarded me.... and I sniffed his butt and gave him my 'disgusted' look... so he went to the bathroom.

His poor backside, and that fistula had made a mess!

It is my rule. NO POOPYBUTT!!

He did something called a 'sitz bath' whatever that is, and applied this special cream that Pa calls a "skin barrier" but the housemake calls "Crack Spackle" (haw haw!) and then he came back to bed.

I laid down.

I stretched out.

I SIGHED contentedly.

I am learning that I can be RIGHT... when Dad is WRONG.

Maybe there is something to this 'job' thing, after all.

I am thoughtful Puppy right now!

Dad has been sick for a while, for two months, while he had a thing in called a 'surgical drain'... in his BITS... you know, it's impolite to sniff there, but I did all the time.

If he had 'poopy butt' (dad says "Drainage! dangit! Stop saying 'poopy butt!'!!") then I would march him right to the bathroom to put on clean nappies!

I was learning to smell when he was in pain, and to make Pa bring him his juice packet and his pain pill! (It has to be BOTH you know... that's the RULE. Plus, now *I* know how to get the last squirts of the juice out if I ever need a drink, cause Dad taught me how!! haw haw! But he needses it for hydration and to take the pills!!)

Then something was not so good... Dad hurt more, and there was less pills.

Dad was anxious.

VERY anxious.

Then Dad packed a bag... and Donovan and Pa took himj to the doctor... and were gone all day... and they came back WITHOUT HIM.

...

What does a dawggie do, when that happens?

I was very sad.

I kept looking for him.

I was anxious, and smelled everything, trying to see if he might be someplace else.

Maybe there was a CLUE, and I was missing it!! The last time he went to the 'Hospital' for 'Surgery' they brought him right back! (with those stinky drains in him! fooey!)

Pa decided that I was not relaxing enough, and Pa wanted to go BE with Dad at the hospital! (I am not trained well enough to go, or I could have. They were very sweet, but both Dad and Pa felt that it is not time for that yet.)

What I needed was to feel safe and secure and not taking care of /anyone else/!!

PARADISE PET LODGE!!!!

They took me there, and I was SO happy, and SO sweet!! They put me between two very bossy older bitches (female dogs, no insult!) to help school me in my manners, and we spent SO MUCH time in the 'outside' part of the run where we could play and communicate and see each other through the fence- I had so much fun!!

I had special personal playtime, and they helped reinforce some things for me, which means I am being on my EXTRA good behavior now, because yesterday I came home!

GUESS WHO WAS HOME TOO???

GUESS!!!!

DAD!!!!!!

DAD Dad DAD dad DAAAAD!!!

I was SO GENTLE when I climbed the edge of the bed, and sniffed him all over.

I had just played in the rain outside, so Pa said I could not lay in his bed- something about being extra-careful about GERMS... but then I smelled other things, different about him.

He had band-aids ALL OVER... a little sticky squares with little snaps on them... and little tapes over places... and his nappies smelled... NOT RIGHT.

I had to go in my house then, and have my TREAT. My reward for being so GOOD and gentle with Dad- a BIG apple-smoked knuckle.... oh it smells so GOOD... you would be jealous- you think you woudln't, but you WOULD... they do them right there at Paradise Pet Lodge, and Dad says HE would eat them if they were steaks and not BONES....

http://www.paradisepetlodge.com/Default.aspx (they don't have anything on there about them, but they smoke all thier own bones there, and they carry a lot of treats for both us pets, and some specialty sauces and wines for our hoomans too!)

MMMMMMM....minemineminemine*DROOL* My Bone...

I am sleeping on it right now, because it smells SO GOOD.

I got LOTS of love from Kat, who is my awesome housemate who I never get to see cause she has workies so MUCH! I was so exhausted by her gentle pets I slid down and turned to goo on the bottom of my cage with a BIG SIGH of happy!

So I will have to tell you later, how Dad is doing in MY eyes... but so far he is listening to me properly when it is pill time, so I am very happy about that. And when I tell him 'you got poopy butt!' he gets right up and changes his dressings. See? I'm learning things...

...Now I got to learn not to be so BUSY being /EVERYONE'S/ friend that I can't be calm in big public spots!! (blush)

Maybe there should be a 'meet Cora' gathering, just so you all can help me with that! Hmmmm.

Maybe there could be hot dogs. (and tofu dogs if you need) ...maybe so.

YAY!!!!

We did it! We did it! We did it!!

Well, YOU did it!!

I got enough in my paypal for the crate pan and rug to go under!!

*happydance!!*

Dad says to say THANK YOU, and that we will go right out and get it! YAY!!

*BOUNCE*

Thank you!!

Hai, Canz you Help?

Uhm, Me (and Dad and Pa and the kitties) are all in a MUCH better home now... and they got a roof over thier head and food in all our bellies!!

But they gots a small problem.

My BED!!!

I have been laying on a carpet on the wire bottom, because Dad and Pa could not afford a new crate pan.

A local pet store has done an awesome thing, and gotten a special-order crate pan, snagged from a defective crate by the manufacturer, so they can sell it to them at an amazing price- only 30 bucks or so, compared to the 80 everyone else wants!!!

But Dad is out of money.

Do you think you can help?

Dad needs 30-35 bucks for the crate pan, and about 15 for a new rug part that goes under it so it will be cushioned and not break when I stomp on it. (cause that's how I broke the last two!! haw haw!)

You can use paypal:








Or if you are local, you can go to Denny's Pet World (or call them!) and pay for the Crate for us, and have us go pick it up. It is very close to the school my Pa attends on Mondays...

I have had so many good things happen these past few months- you would not believe!! I would just be happier if I did not sleep on just my old rug on top of the crate wire. It is all pinchy and uneven. Ew.

If you can help, I will wag my little stumpy tail like you can't imagine!!

3am on a mid-week night.

It is 3am.

I often have to make a 3-am pee-run, so I am awake... but that is not why I gaze at the bed across from my crate.

Dad is laying next to Pa, his 'snuffy' (which blows air so he can breathe, he calls it snuffy but others call it a Cpap) is on his face, and he is breathing soft and regular. The rush of air and Pa's heavy sleepy breathing are all that is heard.

But that is also not why I am staring.

I smell something.

It is the same something I smelled every few days this week.

It is the /Not Right/ smell of Dad.

I cannot see his pinched face.

I cannot quite make out his curled form, clenched as he sleeps.

I cannot hear his nightmares, in which he cannot DO things he is trying to do, to save the people he is with.

But I can smell him.

He HURTS.

This is not the usual smell... this is not 'Oh Dad, you hurt all the time.'.

This is Dad... HURTING. He smells of it, and the subtle breezes of the night bring the scent to my nose, and I remember.

*I* Can fix this.

THIS is my new JOB.

THIS is what he cries in his sleep about, sometimes... that I never understood he wanted from me.

I make a soft yodel.

I cannot bark, that is forbidden during 'sleep time' and my sparkle collar is on, to enforce it- so I yodel.

They do not stir. I think Dad or Pa might hear me, because they usually do at 3am if I need to have a potty run... but I do not think they UNDERSTAND.

This... is different.

I begin to scratch and stomp, making a physical racket that is just loud enough to seem strange, coming from my crate at this hour.

Pa sits up on the bed, and stares at me, grumpily.

But I have a JOB now.

I stare intently at Pa. Then I look SHARPLY at Dad. Then I look Back- Don't you SEE, Pa? Don't you understand?

It is 3am, and Dad... HURTS.

Pa staggers out of bed, and gets dressed to take me outside.

I do not relent. I STARE. I look at the bed, and I STARE back at Pa.

He turns on the light and opens my crate.

OUT I leap- but not twords the door.

I JUMP onto the bed, lithe and soft, and I begin to lick Dad frantically.

He HURTS!

Can't you see, the way I SMELL it??

Dad begins to stir. He takes his 'snuffy' off... I am licking him all over the ears and jaw and face now, as if he were a newborn puppy. Dad! Dad, I am here!

I look to Pa, and he is holding the pill bottle up.

I do a DANCE of Joy, turning circles.

PA!! Pa UNDERSTANDS again!!

I have done my JOB!!

Dad chuckles as he rises and nods.

Pa says, "The timer says '14 hours'..."

Dad says, "I forgot to take one before bed. Oh God, I feel like I've been hit with a sledge hammer down there."

I strut to the box of foil pouches.

PA!! Dad needs one, if he is to get his medicine!

Pa is ahead of me, he waggles the pouch in his hand and chuckles.

I do another dance!

This foil pouch has juice and water in it, I guess. I think it's yucky, but when Dad takes his medicine, he drinks one of those too- so I know they must go together!

Pa gently peirces the pouch with a tiny straw, and hands it and the pill to Dad.

I do a little victory strut, and come for pets and cuddles, my rightful praise for having done my new JOB.

I have a PLACE in the pack now!

I have the Value of a JOB now!

I do it WELL these past couple weeks, and I am further rewarded when Dad and Pa take me out for my 3-am pee.

They laugh softly, because I have always needed that trip.

"3am" Dad says, "You could set a clock by it."

But then I am done, and so are Pa and Dad, because /apparently/ I know when it is the right time to take a potty trip! hah!

Dad praises me and holds the door to my crate open. "Okay, night time!" he smiles.

...Pa staggers back to bed, leaving his shirt on the floor beside him.

I stand there, with a petulant look.

AHEM.

You forgot something.

Dad leads me into the crate anyway, so I SIT there, inside it, instead of laying down...

AHEM.

Pa laughs, and gets up to go over to the treat bag. "Ah..." he chuckles. "I forgot."

He holds up the dog-cookie, and Dad chuckles too.

"Betrayal cookie!" they chuckle-laugh, and I wag my tail.

It is an old old holdover- from the days of puppyhood, when I did not want to go back to bed, after my 3am pee.

They would say, "...I have a Betrayal Cookie... a tasty, TASTY betrayal cookie!!"

...I would run and get in my house.

Only AFTER I am in my crate, do I get the Betrayal Cookie!

They are very tasty indeed.

And who doesn't like a mid-night snack?

I lay down, and Pa staggers back to bed.

"Are you coming?" he asks, sleepily.

Dad smiles.

"Just a minute." he says.

"I want to make a blog post... on Cora's Blog."

Pa smiles, and rolls over.

I curl against my favourite blankie in my crate and close my eyes.

Dad sits on his special pillow on the desk chair, and the sound of his soft, steady typing lulls us both to sleep.

Dad smiles.

I cannot hear his thoughts, but as I doze off, I can smell him.

He doesn't /HURT/ anymore...

...and he is better hydrated...

...and he is HAPPY.

LONG-Overdue update!

Oh this is SO overdue, I know. SO MUCH has changed... so much has happened. I will try and make a few more updates over the next few days so it isn't all one big spam today!

On one hand, a bad thing happened: We finally couldn't pay our rent anymore, and had to vacate our house. We struggled and struggled, and the Landlord was a crazy the whole time- but we have chosen family, thank the gods, and they have a split-level home. There is a HUGE downstairs room (almost two rooms in one, really- BIG too!) that is more than enough space for us- they have other cats and also rehabilitate feral kittens, so our two girls (Madame Leota and Dee Dee) are VERY happy to have become a part of a 'colony' of household kitties- and Cora can be downstairs here with us!

So the 'bad thing' turned into an AMAZING good thing!! The household IS family, and we are doing WONDERFULLY!

It did not go off without hitches, though! We have had some hurdles with Cora, that weren't directly related to moving, but seemed harder because of it.

Her barking 24/7 was finally enough to drive me (and most everyone else) insane, and we had to resort to very harsh training in that- but the good news is, it WORKED. She has a brand new 'sparkle collar' of neon yellow that yes, is an electronic anti-bark collar, but it currently has a 'dummy' battery (dead/non-working) and she knows when the collar is on her neck it is quiet time- when it's not, she can bark. Quiet time is when humans SLEEP. ;)

It took about two or three weeks for her to fully train to it, and I will post about how that went, because we were /strongly/ anti-electronic colars with dogs- so this was a learning experience for us too! The proof of it working is in the fact that she willingly (and HAPPILY) puts it on, and is also MUCH less barky any other time now, too! She /learned/, she didn't just get hurt or scared into shutting up!

Another thing was that I was starting to think she would never get this whole 'Service Dog' mentality like my prior dogs, Axel and Big Bertha had- that she would never change from 'our puppy' to 'my Service Dog' and start to do the 'mommy dog' things instead of the puppyhood things. -but she is finally starting to grow up there!

I honestly think it had more to do with literal AGE, and that she also had been raised by us, so it was harder for her to adopt a caregiver mentality to those who had BEEN her caregivers- as humans, we WANT our pets to be perpetual 'puppies'... working dogs of any other kind, they need to grow up and be real pack members, with jobs and niches of thier own. She took longer to get there, but it is happening!

I have been unfortunate enough to require another surgery to correct a fissure/fistula, in a very uncomfortable place (ow!) and Jim/Pa is going back to finish his college- she needs to switch on NOW. ...she has brought herself to the table in the last three or four days, to do just that!

I have had a minor surgery to put drains in, and they must remain for 8 weeks- a very long time to have surgical drains in a tender place!! ...and in the last few weeks, she has started to notice HOW Jim/Pa takes care of me... and that when I am in pain, he gets upset, and brings me medicine.

The last three days, with 100% accuracy, she has alerted Jim to the medicine and me, insisting he wake me up... for him to find I was JUST then starting to wake/rouse because my poor bits were /hurting/. She smells the pain, and she wakes me and alerts him- and then REALLY WATCHES while he administers medicine. She is VERY interested in which pills he gets, and from where... that bodes VERY well for her being able to 'take the reins' and become an alert dog to that, and help me take which medicine when, this semester while he is at college!

She is so very sneaky, and so very high energy, she is such a challenge- like just now as I type, I hear her chewing on something that sounds suspiciously NOT like a dog toy or bone. She is hidden JUST behind the dirty clothes bag, so I ask, "what have you got? is that yours, or mine?" and she looks suspiciously up at me- but I was finishing up a sentance here- so I said, "okay..." like it must be hers... I'll trust her...

...and she brought over to me a PEN, most certainly NOT allowed for chewing! She laid it in my hand guiltily... and of course I praised her and gave her treats! Good Girl!

That is a surprisingly BIG part of Service Dog training! Not only must she not chew on things she shouldn't, but she must willingly surrender those things- gods forbid she pick up something in a store, or here at home, that is dangerous! (or super-expensive, like medical equipment!)

So I am very pleased, if a bit amused it took SO LONG... and will still likely take longer. Even so, I have a feeling she is developing finally, and won't 'wash out' after all, which has been my fear for a good YEAR now. I have been very afraid that she couldn't fit that role, wouldn't WANT to, and a good Service Dog has to WANT to fit the role! It seemed like every time I thought she was 'turning on' she'd go back to puppyhood... this time she seems to have genuinely grown, genuinely matured!

I will post more updates, go back to posting silly Cora-posts, and give some training info as we go along, now... with HUGE thanks to our wonderful Housemates, without which this would have never happened- we would have been homeless, and with two cats and a partially trained dog, that would have been disaster! We are so happy here, now... it's just amazing. Life is so GOOD, despite the health problems and college worries and things... I am very grateful.

To you all, too- for helping us get Cora, and work for this LONG to get her to this point. I have learned so much! (like not to raise your own puppy! heh! Have someone else do it, or get an older dog!) ...and she is so happy right now, too.

Hugs to all her aunties and uncles our there! I know if she could, she'd totally give you allo so many puppy kisses you'd be dripping wet. ;) She likes her kisses. ;)

Tags:

Training Update: Good Stuff!

I had what I would call proof, tonight, that this new environment is REALLY good for Cora, and she is finally maturing in her training!

We had some trouble teaching her the 'Service Dog' concept of 'bring it here' and 'give'... a PET plays 'fetch'. You might ask them for a specific toy, or to willingly give it up to be able to throw it again or end the game, but a Service Dog has to learn the names of different objects and to bring them to you for essentially no reward. (except in training, they get treats, and later, they get LURV!)

Usually, I'd throw, drop, or simply set down the object, and Cora would grab it, run some laps and bring it back. Like it was play.

Today, she finally showed /total/ (100%) understanding.

Even with her brand new toy ball (which she LURVES to play fetch with in the bedroom) I could do any of the above. set it down, throw it, roll it, bounce it... anything. She waited patiently untill I asked her to get it- OR to simply rerward her for staying in the sit as i expect (but did not have to ask as a seperate command!!) OR... and this is the great part- I could specify a DIFFERENT object!

Despite the lure of a bouncing play ball, she would willingly bring me a pill bottle, or a SOCK... a thing she previously preferred to play 'keep away and chew up' with!! Simply because the training session was on "pick (X) up." and then "Give it to me".

I am just THRILLED, because I was so hopeful that the change of the way we live day to day, and the way the house and living spaces are set up, are SO different... I hoped she would take it not only as better, more beneficial to HER, but also with the big change, she might suddenly wake up and realize she is not the PUPPY anymore... she has a place in the pack, and a JOB too!

I am really pleased with this. I just can't say how much, words can't quite capture it. YAY!

I want to note- a LOT of this improvement has been because my partner, thatcaptjim has been working with her daily, including her long morning walks. Without his work, this wouldn't have happened either. I have been woefully short on spoons for training, and he has taken up the challenge and done fantastically!!

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