Thursday, November 03, 2005

Day 105

The retrieve continues to be a battle. Today I figured I would just keep it inside and lower the distraction level and keep my hand on the dumbbell. None the less, it was still a battle, with me saying "yes, you will" and her saying, "no, I won't" or "make me". Two sessions pretty much the same with each ending when we had two good clean retrieves.

Class night and she all but puts the Service Dog vest on by herself, trots out to the car, waits for the command and then hops in just like she has been doing this for years. When we got to the building, she got so busy saying hello to some of the other dogs that she forgot to keep track of me. Realizing that she was not in the group of dogs that entered when I did, I keyed in the security code and then hid in the dark corner.

She came trotting in with some other students, went right on passed me and into the training room. Pretty quick she was back out and headed for the lobby and the front door. At that point Linda came in carrying my training equipment bag. Sanity zeroed in on the bag, ran up to it and started sniffing as she followed Linda back to the training room. I continued to hide and watch. Very quickly she was back headed for the lobby again. This time she looked worried. A couple more students came in and she gave them a short once over and continued towards the front door. About then Linda came out headed back to her car. She spotted me and asked what was going on. I held my finger up to my lips and then whispered "Tell Sanity to find me."

"Oh," says Linda and then, after she gets into the lobby I hear her say, "Sanity, where's Margot? Go find Margot. Go find her."

Now Sanity is pretty much running back to the training room. From where I am standing I can see her looking around the room. Then she is out of my sight, but I can hear different ones asking her where I am. She comes flying out of the training room, tears passed me and heads for the front door once again. Another student comes in. Sanity sniffs them and then starts to return to the training room again. Only this time, she is moving very slowly and her head is swinging from side to side. Sure enough before she reaches the doorway to the training room she turns around and head still swinging from side to side starts to cover the entire lobby area a little bit at a time. Finally she spots me standing back in a very dim corner.

Grrrr! Woof! Slow approach with that head still moving slowly from side to side. Oh, its you! The entire rear end starts to swing from side to side and the front does a little victory stomp. With much praise for her successful find we both head into the training room and class. My bet is that it will still take a couple more such experiences before she realizes it is her responsibility to keep track of me. What a fun game to play and one I seem to never get tired of playing with my pups.

Did a Novice run-thru with her at the end of class. Her on leash heeling isn't too bad. Off leash is sort of a joke since she still has a long way to go before she does more than approximate heel position. Her sits were awful. Every single one of them was done with her swinging way to the left with her butt. The stand was nice and steady and the recall was done a exactly the speed I want. In the group exercises, she is holding a 3 minute sit and a 5 minute down with no problem at all.

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