We were told that the puppy raisers have been notified so I will go ahead and share AJ’s actual name.
AJ stands for Amanda Jane!
I'm not sure yet what I'll wind up calling her for sure but Mandi is what is coming out of my mouth the majority of the time. I will continue using AJ though for the sake of ease in typing on social media.
6:00- wake up at 5:50am. I was definitely dragging after last nights fire alarm and wanting to get caught up on the blog too. My mind was just going so I ws up WAY too late. :-P
6:45- feed, water, break the dogs: So yesterday morning and throughout the day- AJ wasn't drinking water when it was offered more than once during the day. Then we went to the break area this morning and she pooped and then squatted but only peed like a 3 inch size circle, which hast been normal for her, especially overnight. But given she hadn't been drinking I was taking note of it but was going to watch it.
We then came inside t took off my coat, and got my stuff laid out for the day and then put AJ's harness on to go to the dining room. I opened the door and she started out the door and all of a sudden dropped to a squatting position and I was like CRAP she's peeing on the floor! She wasn't peeing but she wouldn't budge from that position either. I tried coaxing her with food and called her and een walked about 5 feet away from her to the main hallway but where I could see her and called for a trainer.
I then realized that the trainer, Cameron was still outside with a couple of other teams and I stuck my head out the door and still watching AJ, I called her to come in and she came over and I explained to her what was happening and AJ was still in that same position as we came back to her. She then decided to get up and move but after discussing things with the trainer, combined with her licking too, we are suspecting a UTI. So later we did collect a urine sample and hope to have an answer tomorrow if she needs to be on some meds to help her feel better. Since she was now moving, we leash guided to the dining room.
7:20- breakfast was a fruit cup, ham & cheese omelette, and a croissant roll.
8:00- We are going to Huntington again today and we worked our routes to the vans and this was an interesting day as there were food distractions and toy distractions today. It took a bit as the trainers were using lots of various squeaking/furry toys and there was a plate of Doritos laying on the sidewalk for the dogs to work past and these dogs LOVE to play with toys, so it was a challenge for the teams to work effectively by the distractions.
With our turn, we made our way across the street and quickly AJ perked up and showed some interest in the flapping stuffy squirrel toy. A verbal NO got her to re-focus quickly and she moved right on by without much break in stride. We reach the corner and make a right down the other side of the square and this time Barb put the heat on with her stuffy toy. She came right up to the sidewalk and and in a high pitched voice talking to AJ and calling her and offering her the toy and waving it close to her. AJ of course responded and I put her in a time out- which is taking up the leash super short, pulling her head up against my leg, no and we are not making eye contact, and counting to 10. Then I pick up the leash and would hold it in my right hand until we get to the next stop. As we are standing there during the time out, Barb continues to talk in her voice and I look at he and said if it was anyone else but you I'd be like Back off!. Barb then continues and is like why cant the doggy have the toy and it was then time to pick up the handle and leash and I looked at Barb and said, LEAVE THE DOG ALONE! She just started busting out laughing and we took off to the obstacles that completely blocked the sidewalk, to where we had to go off the sidewalk, around the end of the barrels there, and back to the sidewalk. AJ worked this flawlessly.
We start to work to the the corner of this square and Barb had moved to the other side of us, on AJ's side, and begins to wiggle the toy at AJ. AJ starts to show interest and look towards the toy and with a sharp NO!, she snaps right back into her work and completely ignores the toy and marches on to the corner. We work the rest of the way around the square and to the van. We load up in the van and AJ actually climbed up into the van very nicely without balking much too.
We go back to Huntington and today's distractions on the square were just a pre-cursor to distractions in Huntington. Cristina and Brad walk with me and we took off at a very nice pace and both of us were pretty confident in knowing our route. Cristina backs way off and allows me to give AJ the directions of where we are going and to assess if it is safe to cross the lighted intersections. We are coming up to the end of the second block and all of a sudden I hear "Here Puppy!, want a toy!!!" I never saw where the guy came from but I could hear both Brad and Cristina commenting with pride as AJ didnt even turn to look at the guy and they were like Whew she showed him, She was a WORKIN' Don't bother me! Whoo! Proud dog momma moment there for sure!
We cross the street and and make our way down the narrow sidewalk and into the store. We start through the store and made it to the midpoint of the store and I must have cued her down the wrong aisle from what we'd done in the past but we worked onward to the doors outside and the curb. Made our right turn to the next street intersection and crossed over and started working back towards Panera. It was here that AJ really began to slow down. We get back to Panera and Cristina said that tomorrow we will change up the route a bit, as she's slowing down because she doesn't want to quit working and is dragging it out. I just chuckled and said yeah, Rei did that too... We actually had to completely change her routes to get her to work at her normal pace when we trained together in Oct. 2008.
We get back inside and start gathering stuff up to head back to the foundation. As the other teams are loading up, I asked to talk with Brad about the fire alarm stuff so we chatted for a few minutes and had a good conversation. He saw me out to the van and we made our way back to the foundation.
11:30- Once back at GDF, Cristina worked my student partner inside first and grabbed what she needed to get a urine sample from AJ. I leash guide to the break area from the van and give her a chance to break. With a successful collection, we head inside, ditching the coat, the sweat shirt, and backpack and we formally did leash guiding down to the lunch room.
12:00- lunch was chicken Parmesan and ravioli. I was so tired I was falling asleep sitting up so I asked what time we were starting back up on things and it was 12:20, and I had until 1. So I went back to the room and set my alarm for 12:55 and laid down and took a short nap. Boy did I feel better afterards.
1:00- Today is train travel. We drove in two vans and tight with big dogs to the Roankonoma Station of the Long Island Rail Road or LIRR. We learn how to walk along the platform correctly, making sure the dog always stays between us and the tactile edge. We are taught how to board the train, put the dogs under the seats and we ride the train for one stop. It is here that I REALLY like having a micro lab if you will. :) She fits nicely in tight spaces!
We all pile back into the vans and work back to GDF and all of the trainers work with their students on leash guiding. Cristina comes and gets AJ and I and we go to the snack area to work on fist targeting. While GDF isn't able to actually train AJ for hearing tasks, this target training is going to be the tools I need to be able to get something in place for her. Cristina gave us homework; that by Thursday, we are to have trained our dogs to target a specific item. We also cover how to do obedience. I had known the old methods of obedience but I wanted to make it hadn't changed in now to perform obedience with our dogs. I am then able to have her leash guide throughout the building and out to relieve.
4:30- feed, water, break the dogs. AJ had no interest in going to the bathroom since it hadn't been that long since she'd gone.. So we put the dogs on tie down and another student and I go down to the tv room to set up the room for our awesome super bowl party tonight!
6:00- we had quite the spread of food for the game, meat and cheese tray, veggie tray, chips and dip, a cake, a cheese cake with fruit on top, pretzels,and meat lovers pizza and garlic knots. The pizza arrives and the game starts soon. There was lots of yelling back and forth as we had some die hard Patriots fans and some anti Patriots fans.
At half time we took the dogs out for their last break. Unfortunately the Rams let us down and the Patriots won the super bowl. Donna the night nurse helped us clean everything up and we all took off for bed! It was great to have an evening to hang with some fellow students and to take a break from the dogs too. I’m sure it gave the dogs a much needed rest from all of us as well LOL.