Now that we have our dogs, we have a very set and regimented schedule that we keep throughout the day. We get up at 6 AM and park, feed, water, and once again park the dogs. Parking means allowing them to relieve themselves. After that, we go to obedience. Breakfast is at 7, and we’re out of the door by 8. We spend all day at White plains, walking a route in the morning and in the afternoon. We have lunch in between those routes and then head back to the campus. We feed, water, and park the dogs again, and then go in for afternoon lecture. Dinner is at 5, the dogs are watered and parked at 7:30, and then parked again at 9:30. Needless to say that the days are full and I am tired.
During obedience, we have the dogs practice sitting and staying, giving them treats if they do so. We also practice recall and having them stay when we tell them.
As we continue this regimen, it will be full of distractions, such as loose dogs, food, and likely other scenarios that I cannot even imagine. 4.0 did an excellent job and was rewarded appropriately.
We headed to the lounge where they finally peed and pooped after having held both for 24 hours. I wasn’t worried–they were going to have to go eventually. When they offloaded their environmental software, I cheered.
We walked a longer route today and 4.0 did a wonderful job. They constantly check in with me, slow down when needed, negotiate obstacles, and did perfectly when a bicyclist cut in front of us. It was a beautiful day in White Plains and everyone was out and about, but that didn’t stop 4.0 from navigating through the crowds! 4.0 got a lot of compliments on their coat.
We did many street crossings and the instructor had a support leash clipped to the collar so that they could nudge 4.0 when necessary. I am trying not to be impatient, but I cannot wait until the support leash is taken off and I can feel independent as we travel. Being able to fly solo will make me feel like 4.0 is more mine and like our bond is really cementing, but patience is a virtue and I’m trying to cultivate it. It will come soon enough.
After lunch, 4.0 and I walked the route once again where they did even better. They were distracted by a little dog, but with some redirection, they began to focus more on me.
At some point, 4.0 jumped on me while I was sitting down. While I should have told them ‘off’ in a firm voice right away, I was so stunned by that show of affection that I gave them a few seconds as they licked my face before making them put all four on the floor.
We returned to the school and had a lecture that covered different terminology that the instructors might use for us or that we might use on our dogs. We also discussed curb approaches, which 4.0 nails quite well, putting me in position to make a perfect street crossing.
4.0 and I are getting more used to one another bit by bit. They have a bit of a stubborn streak and I am definitely up to the challenge.
I have been greeted with more tail wags and even a little bit of a lean in to me. I am starting to feel like maybe, just maybe, they are starting to like me. As for me, I adore 4.0 and their quirks and personality and look forward to winning them over and proving that I am someone that can be counted on for affection and giving good direction.
Tonight, my instructor took 4.0 and I in to the grooming room to play. I really got to see them be uninhibited and it was a real treat. 4.0 loves tennis balls and squeakies! I look forward to sharing the videos and pictures that were taken of us.
If there is any downside of training, it is that I am in a lot of pain with my knee. My lower back also is hurting fiercely, but it wasn’t as bad as it was yesterday, and tomorrow it will be better still.
As I write this, 4.0 is curled up beside me on a towel. Their butt is on my foot. When I put 4.0 in the crate, they will probably snore like they did last night.
I cannot wait until I can discuss 4.0 in greater depth and tell you all about them!
I keep thinking that on my downtime I will be able to read a book, but I can’t choose anything I’d be able to concentrate on. Sometimes I can barely put the words together for these posts!
If you have any questions or topics that you’d like for me to address, please feel free to ask.
Breakfast; Pancakes and bacon
Lunch: chili dog and potato salad and something called a black-and-white cookie. It has vanilla frosting on one side and chocolate frosting on the other. I am not a fan. I am a cookie traditionalist!
Dinner: Barbecue chicken, potato salad, green beans, grilled corn on the cob, and bread pudding. Some classmates and I also sang the soulful, stevie Wonder version of Happy Birthday to You to one of the staff members, complete with hand clapping, which riled up the dogs. Oops! Still can’t take me anywhere, I guess.