Sunday, November 2, 2008

Second Saturday at GDF

Today we got up bright and early and breaked the dogs. Then after breakfast, we headed to the gathering room and the trainers, Valerie, Jodi, & Lisa all fitted our dogs to thier new harnesses, :) After we got everyone fitted for thier harnesses, they told us we were going to the mall for the day. But before we went to the mall, we were going to go out back and try breaking the dogs again (so we didn't have to do it at the mall) and then we'd walk to the back of the break area and work our way past three obstacles that were completely blocking the sidewalk and then on to the bus.

Here's the break area:

We did so and Rei did great, immediately taking me right to the sidewalk and then down and around the obstacles and immediately back up to the sidewalk and then on down to the next one and doing the same until we made our way completely to the bus. :)

After everyone had completed this exercise and we were all loaded on the bus, the two vehicles made thier way to Smithhaven Mall. We all unloaded and made our way to the food courts and had a seat together and chatted until it was our turns to walk the mall.

When it was Rei and my turn, we took off and golly, it felt sooooo good to be able to walk with my head a little higher, be relaxed that I wasn't going to clobber some little kid, and even if someone cut in front of me she would take me around it. Such a feeling of independence and relief to have again. We zipped on down the main corridor to the other end, and came to the Sears. We made our way to the escalator to practice that and began our work there.

Rei did well with the escalator, but she almost likes them a little to much. LOL! She likes to run onto and off of them, which can make it a little dangerous for her. It's not too bad going on, but getting off, you really, really have to watch her. Basically once you give the command for off, she takes off running off the escalator. the concern is that if she hits the end of the leash before being off the actual belt, then she can lose her balance, get her nails/pads of her feet caught into where the belt goes into the floor. So I have to be really, really careful to make sure I'm moving as quickly as I possibly can so that she doesnt hit the end of the leash. We did this several times with improvement each time. Lisa also suggested that I really work with her on the stay command so that she'll listen well when on the escalators whenever we use them. She also asked that I not use any until she comes out to work with us some more on this at a mall.

After 3-4 times of working the escalator, we made our way back to the other end of the mall, passing Santa Claus and his picture taking station along the way. I can't believe they have it out already!

After everyone was done, we all came back to the foundation and Suzi and I had a lunch date with several of the local puppy walkers and another grad. I'll have to post about that later, as it's time to head out for the morning. :)

***to be continued***

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