Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Words of Wednesday

Haddie spent a lot of her day in the car and on an extended outing. She behaved herself in the lobby of a large doctor's office, in multiple waiting rooms for most of her morning, and spent her evening at CCI Class.

She was the star of the medical building this time with many older women and gentlemen, wheelchairs and walkers, some wrapped up tight for winter making their bodies seem bigger than actuality. The smell of the office, the elevator up and down, the pouring rain during Hurry breaks, the pharmacy with over the counter meds perfect puppy nose height ... through it all .... she did great. The comments were easy to hear of passer-bys and onlookers. Thumbs up to Haddie's good character and amazing looks.

The second lobby served the most entertainment for Haddie as there was something on the chair that I was sitting in that she could not leave alone. A spec of a stain, but whatever it was, she wanted a piece of it. After many failed distraction attempts, we opted to go for a stroll downstairs, away from her craze.

Since we had ridden the elevator "plenty" of times for one morning, I opted to try the stairwell. A tip to other newbie puppy raisers - this might serve as an excellent training opportunity all by itself. I was somewhat watching my clock so as not to miss the person I was waiting for in the doctor's office, I didn't spend as much time as Haddie needed to feel comfortable in the stairwell. I will find another stairwell closer to my house to keep practicing.

You will remember the next time you enter a stairwell how sounds change dramatically. There is a distinct echo and everything just seems more pressurized for whatever reason. We didn't even more off the landing. Haddie just sat and I just talked to her and fed her treats.  We went back to the elevator to continue our task at hand.

Tonight in training, a fellow first timer brought up how she feels guilty when her pup is on a tie-down, or in the kennel when she is busy and can't spend time with the puppy. I could relate to her statement 100%! She was very eloquent and said it much better than I am - but I am so glad she brought it up. This was during the transition time between the Advanced Class and the Puppy Class ~ so we got the pleasure of feedback from our trainer and experienced Raisers.

The take away - is put the guilt away. According to our trainer, these dogs will (for the most part) upon graduation be living a sedentary lifestyle, not to mention that dogs in general sleep about 20 hours of every day. The point of puppy raising is to acclimate the dog into your lifestyle. A Raiser popped up and said that he takes his dog to work with him every day, and she is on a tie down while he's working. And I must say, his dog is one calm, well behaved 5 month old puppy. Amazing, actually.

My new focus: yes, definitely weave training into Haddie's day, take her on outings for socialization, and when at home do not count the clock on Haddie's schedule - weave her into that part of my day too. I think sometimes I forget that Haddie is to be following my life, rather than my life following Haddie. I am not a source of her entertainment and have to be "on" all the time with her. Having her chill out and be with me matters. But with me also means, "Stay put, Haddie - I have laundry to fold and bathrooms to clean and computer work and piano to teach, and dinner to make .... "  I forget that simple matters. 

Words of Wednesday ....

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