This is the first chance I’ve had to post, and even this will get interrupted for dog relieving time in a few minutes.
After breakfast which was this incredible banan bread with peanut butter and banan slices, we met in the fireside room to discuss the plan for the day. Then we drove to downtown Gresham.
I was the first to go out. I went with April, my primary instructor, and Keith the class supervisor. Keith walked near me, helping to prompt me with things, and I’m sure, there to grab me if I had any balance issues.
I was blown away but Petunia’s work. It was a short route, just a few blocks with easy turns and simple crossings. But there were a lot of elevation changes, wheel chair ramps, driveways sloping up and down as you walk across them. Things like that can cause balance issues for me. But petunia seemed to sens when she needed to slow down, or when she needed to stop for a particularly step slope, or when she could just breeze on through. It was amazing really. Sure, we have lots of learning to do, but whereas yesterday I was feeling like I was not knowing how to interact with her, tonight I feel so confident of our progress and future.
We had lunch there in Gresham, a fantastic brito that I had in a bowl. Then we had another workout.
The route was a little longer than the morning. There were more turns and crossings. There also was what I’d call a crack int he sidewalk, though it was really a sort of lip to a grate. We patterned Petunia to this because it is something I would definitely fall over. April guided me and we just led her to it and stopped. Praising and celebrating, to let her know that stopping there was a very good thing. Then we went back and I had her guide me, and she stopped right where she should. We had a huge party there!
Since she isn’t very food motivated, we tried some high value treats, things that are more interesting than standard old kibble. She liked those for a while, and then got bored and stopped taking them. So we’re working on all the other ways we can praise and reward and motivate her. Lots of hugs and neck scratches, joyful praise, and even silliness, making silly sounds and playing with her a bit.
We were finished early, so when we got back here, three of us got to go, one at a time, to the free run, a fenced in grassy area, where the dogs can run around and let off steam. She ran and she rolled, she got mud on her head, she snorted and snorted and just had a blast. Every time I called her to come to me she came, gently touching me with her nose. This is so important to me after Bianca’s terrible recall. so, I really praised her for it.
We also got to start grooming them today. We have our packs with a couple different brushes and toothbrush and paste. Petunia enjoyed grooming very much. I love grooming my dog. It’s a relaxing time for both of us, it’s good health for her and makes us both bond together better.
After dinner, we had a session about playing with our dogs and were given three toys for our dogs.
And that’s really it for the day. We have an all day session in downtown Portland tomorrow. I’m exhausted, so I’m going to wrap this up and get ready for bed. I have pictures and will try to upload them, but in case I can’t figure that out, check out my facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/sherriola
Happy trails to all!