Three and a half months. Countdown for Bon Voyage has happened with our sweet Haddie. We are going through socialization with precision and trying to think out of the box. Brushing up on this and that, while trying to find continued new experiences. I am feeling that this side of training is not as challenging as the first thirteen months with Haddie. It'll be interesting to see if our next puppy is the same in the speed of growing up.
The short story of a long, unfortunate accident that caused my mom some time in a wheelchair, is that it has offered a great training tool for Haddie. Receiving the okay from our Trainer, I have been allowed to work Haddie with my mom in the wheelchair.
Our CCI Chapter combines Puppy Raisers with those who are disabled and have a working service dog from CCI. Also, our Trainer often conducts meetings from a wheelchair (she is not disabled), giving exposure to the moving object from day one of training 8-10 week old puppies. A wheelchair is nothing new to Haddie.
However, working with a wheelchair is, so our Trainer gave me some pointers and we were off to the Mall with my mom and Haddie. It. was. so. fun.
Haddie is a funny puppy. She is pure puppy at home, a wiggle in her step and a playfulness about her. But put her in a Vest and a Gentle Leader and she becomes very serious. The bounce in her step becomes a full-attention, I must get this right, all joking-aside kind of walk. Something my Trainer has cautioned me about Haddie, perhaps we need to find the "fun" in socialization.
Get her at a Feed Store, or with a Wheelchair, and she becomes that "fun" puppy. Who would have thought?!
Her tail wagged the entire trip, she would not only check-in with me, but she would check-in with my mom too. She got the concept of Heel, and backing up, and turning both directions with the wheelchair. I think Haddie felt like a Graduate and she was very proud of herself! When our time was over, she actually looked disappointed to have to jump back into the car to return home.
Obviously I wish that my mom never had her unfortunate accident, especially landing in a wheelchair for a prolonged time, but the blessing on the other side is the perfect training opportunity for Haddie. My mom has made a direct, positive impact on our sweet puppy and for that ... I am thankful.