Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Week Two continues.............

Well, dear dogblog readers whoever and wherever you are, no photo with this entry! Not that there weren't a lot of "photo ops", but yours truly just didn't have the energy to take too many today. The one I did have someone take in Fortino's, the grocery store about six blocks away, just ended up depressing me because it was another "wagon train" shot. I think I will feel so much better when Pina and I are home just being Pina and Linda, rather than part of the SSD (Special Skills Dogs) "class-in-training". Please don't misunderstand - the trainers are terrific people and I have truly enjoyed almost all of the others in my group! I must be truthful - there is one "client" in our group who is beginning to be quite irritating, and I know that I am not the only one who feels this way. I feel badly for the dog who has been placed with her, because it wouldn't surprise me in the least if the dog is removed from her keeping within the next six months. What a waste of a highly trained dog that would be! It is hardly my place to be judgemental in this situation, so I won't dwell on this, but rather focus on my own progress with Pina Colada! We added two new skills today - "Push" on the kind of door with the horizontal bar type of opener, and "Tugs"! I was so happy "Tugs" has finally been introduced, especially living in this residence! I can hardly wait until we are allowed to have our dogs do this for us outside of class! (Patience, patience..............I'll tell you what "Tugs" is in a moment.) Just to explain - the dogs have all been completely trained in all these skills, BUT they have been doing them for the trainers who trained them. In establishing the very important bonding with us, the new "humans" in their lives, "baby steps" need to be taken as we build up the dogs respect and willingness to do these things for us. Not all of the skills will be needed by all of the clients, but we are being exposed to them, and are encouraged to practice them all. Now "Tugs" is the skill where the dog can open/close doors,chest drawers,cupboard doors, refrigerator doors, washing machine/dryer doors provided that a tie, or a sock rope, or pull of some sort is attached to the item to be opened/closed. I may not have Pina use this skill too too much at home (although I can think of a couple of places where it might be handy), but here? It has been such a pain dealing with the two large doors in my room - the one from the hall into my room, and the door to the bathroom - when on my scooter with a dog's leash in one hand, and manoeuvring the scooter with the other, and constantly being at a wrong angle to try to close the door! I'll use "Tugs" as soon as we are given permission to make my life here a little easier!
I am feeling a little "brain-dead" today, perhaps suffering from information overload! With the introduction yesterday of the SSD harness as the official "uniform" when out in public came additional do's and don't's.(I already messed one of those up tonight - she is not supposed to do her "busy-busy" when in harness, and I forgot to take it off when we went to the "busy-busy" toileting area!) Good night - Pina and I must get our beauty sleep because it is picture day tomorrow!

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