Wow, I can’t believe I’ve been here almost a week already! Time is flying! I know I skipped a post; working here is exhausting. I’m beat by 7:30. Anyway, back to yesterday – day 5.
After the morning rituals, it was off to White Plains for the day. I got to go on two walks, covering the same route we had been on previously. I may not have mentioned this earlier, but the trainers use a “support leash” when a student is walking with their new dog in the beginning. This way, they can control the dog, while the dog and student both are adjusting to this new way of walking. The support leash came off Jingles during the first walk, and we walked together with the trainer behind us for the rest of that walk and the other one. The first walk was, of course, great I am learning so much! The second walk, however, didn’t go quite as well. Jingles is still adjusting to having a bathroom schedule, and going to the bathroom in a defined area of concrete. She is approaching this adjustment with obstinacy, refusing to go, usually getting distracted by leaves, sticks, other dogs, or the wind. Well, because of this, the poor thing had an accident on route. She kept swerving to the side, to parking meters or grass. We’d correct her and move on. Finally, she just couldn’t hold it and went right in the sidewalk. I felt so bad! Poor thing. The instructor said it was fine, and normal really, as she’s still getting adjusted to the new schedule, but I felt so bad. Other than that, she did great.
That basically sums up yesterday, because honestly, the days are running together, and I am once again, exhausted.
Today was a more relaxed day than yesterday. Unfortunately, I didn’t get much sleep. Jingles was being obstinate about the bathroom again and didn’t go before bed. She then proceeded to wake up starting at 1:30 or 3:something, I can’t even remember. I just know I have been up off and on since 3:45. Anyway, she would wake up and whine, scratch her bed, after a bit, go back to sleep. I was so afraid that she really had to go and was going to wet her crate, since she hadn’t gone since the afternoon. I decided to stand firm though, and would just tell her quiet and roll over, hoping for the best. In the end, she was able to wait until the morning. I am glad I held my ground, because I don’t think she would have gone in the night. But I digress.
We were in White Plains for the first part of the day. Each of us took a walk on the same route with our dogs. Jingles did very well. We made some mistakes (I probably made way more than her), but the walk was great. The trainer told me when we were finished that we looked really good, and that the mistakes I was making are normal for the point we are at. That felt great.
After White Plains, we came back to campus for lunch (an amazing curry chicken salad) and then we learned how to “target” doors and chairs. This was really interesting. You use your fist, place it on the item you want targeted (like a chair) and tell the dog to touch your hand. Every time she touches on command, she gets a treat. This motivates her to do it again. Then you back up, leaving more distance in between you and the object. Finally, you end up about 10-15 feet away from the object, and the dog will to right to it when you tell her. Truly amazing. I am excited to practice!
After target practice (haha), I did a load of laundry, had a wonderful dinner of shrimp scampi (really getting spoiled here), went off to lecture, and groomed Jingles.
This evening, she actually went to the bathroom, yay!!! Now, the pup is passed out, and I am about to do the same. Tomorrow we will be learning some very useful new tricks, and I want to be at my peak. Night folks