Friday, January 13, 2006

Day 176

I wanted to take some pictures of Sanity this morning. It was her first day wearing the shoulder pack that I normally use as my purse. Unfortunately that want was not to be, seems I forgot to change the batteries and with no batteries the camera was totally dead. I am such a dolt, having to confess I noticed the tiny blinking light a couple of days ago and even mentioned it to a couple of people. Mentioned it, as in, "gee, I wonder why that thing is blinking". So ok, now I know.

When I first put the "in training" vest on Sanity she was very proud of it and really strutted around. Seems wearing the shoulder pack is a tad bit different. Don't know if it was the weight or just the different feel, but for a short time she seemed to want to take it off. Then a switch clicked over in her brain and she seemed to realize that this was a real job and got all serious. By the time we had reached the nail salon she was more than ready to do this newest of jobs.

When we were ready to leave the shop I noticed there was a fellow outside with a blower strapped to his back. He was blowing the parking lot and sidewalks clean of trash and debris. Since this would be a new thing, something Sanity had not been exposed to, I choose to stop at the door and put the leash on her. Leashes are funny things. It seems to me they transfer a large chunk of responsibility from the dog to the owner the instant the thing is attached to the dog's collar.

We went out the door, the fellow swung the blower around because he had no way of knowing we were coming and sure enough Sanity's first reaction was to shy away. Without the leash she would have jumped too far from me and lost her mental contact. As it was, the leash was just enough to give her pause, she looked over to where I was, readjusted herself in time to the taps I gave on the ecollar and we continued on as if nothing had happened. As for the fellow with the blower, well he turned it off until we were in the car. A thing I have mixed emotions about; one part of me was glad he turned it off since I didn't want all that dirt blown on me. The other part was sorry he turned it off since I would have liked to have had a chance to work her around it for a bit. Ah well, I'm sure there will be other chances.

The retrieve saga continues. Last night she refused to pick up my shoes for me, corrected her and we worked through it. I was so depressed, wondering when this long battle of wills would come to an end. Then this morning she carried a food pan from the crate room up the stairs on the first try. In fact, she pretty much ran up the stairs with that pan. Of course once she reached the top of the stairs she dropped it with a clang. That part was pretty funny. I was in the midst of praising her for making it up the stairs when she dropped it and I had to stop the praise. Before I could give the pan back to her or even get a single sound out of my mouth, Wrap shot past at top speed, snagging the pan on her way to the kitchen. Sanity just stood there with this "what do I do now" look on her face. Too funny. Me? I left her standing there and followed Wrap to the kitchen. Then Wrap and I pretty much had a good laugh at Sanity's expense. Wonder just what she will do tomorrow morning.

Part two of the retrieve came while we were at the nail salon. When getting ready to leave I dropped the leash. Without thinking about it I said, "Fetch" and she did!! Being the greedy soul that I am, I just had to drop it 3 more times. Each time she retrieved it for me. Now as I sit here typing this out she walked passed, noticed an empty Coke bottle sitting on the floor beside the desk and guess what?

You got it. She came back, looked at it for a moment and then picked it up and handed it to me. I am so happy I could almost cry because I know the turning point has been reached. From this point on, even though we will backslide now and again, I know the biggest battle of all is over. Done. Finished and we are on our way.

Footnote: as I was proofing this entry Sanity showed up with three more "offerings". Things she would previously have shredded or eaten, only now she is bringing them to me.

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