Monday, April 29, 2013

Focus Dogward

Two HeadsIt's been a dog-focused week. Last Sunday I decided to crate the dog regularly for reasons that are a little gross and a little embarrassing but totally normal. I figured it was probably going to go ok but I prepared for the worst. That's just the way I roll. I left detailed instructions for the dog walker about easing him into it, informing me of the least little anxiety he might show, not worrying if he didn't want to get back in after his walk, giving him a basket full of treats, and turning around three times and spitting and...well, you get the idea.

On Monday I rushed home to release him and everything had gone...fine. On Tuesday I rushed home to release him and take him on a walk with Sara and Bu and the walker told me that he'd gone directly into the crate when they got back home. Wednesday I rushed home to release him and get ready to take him to knitting club where he would cause trouble with Bu again and the walker's note was honestly incredulous. She'd never known a dog who voluntarily, nay eagerly, went to his crate. I began finally to believe that he was not only understanding the program but really liking it. His overall demeanor seems more calm and focused and, dare I say, happy. Thursday I didn't rush home. We leisurely got ready to walk with Rachel and her visiting dog, Shadow (pictured looming goofily above Ed).

Good Dog At this point I stopped thinking about my dog for a while because I fell in love with Shadow. Seriously I love him. He got up and posed for that photo, he gently sucked treats out of my hand, he carefully rose up on his hind legs to give me a hug and a kiss. He's a gem! He had to go back home on Sunday. I miss him.

But back to my dog. We had our Life Skills class with Bu and Stella on Saturday. Oh, you know, and Rikke. She came, too. Ed was...disinterested at best. Not sure what was happening with him. Options include but are not limited to his being full of Scooter Snacks from a morning with Michelle, his absolute worship of the sun, his getting freaked out early on when we practiced being left alone with a friendly stranger, and my doing something that wasn't sending the right signals to him. We ran each dog through a mock CGC test and he probably would have passed if he'd taken the test that day but he did weird things like not come when he was called after he'd been put in a stay and trying to drag our friend Mike across the field (Mike pegged him as an easy dog, Mike got unexpectedly schooled, sorry Mike!).

On Sunday we rested. Well, I took the handsome dude in the second photo on a super-successful walk. Ed stayed home, happy as a clam, in his crate.

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