Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What's With All This Traffic

March 22
Boy, do I have one tired pooch. We’ve worked another full day of unknown situations. This morning, we worked on traffic encounters. This is watching how Nadine reacts to cars stopping in front of her, backing out of driveways, making it around parked cars, etc. Nadine guided me on the sidewalk around several blocks and an instructor let me know when the class supervisor was coming in a car and from what angle. Nadine did perfectly. She kept me safe and showed that she knew just what to do.
Unfortunately, she got nervous in the afternoon on our route in an area without sidewalks. She would stop at every parked car and didn’t want to go around them. She was keeping me safe by keeping her distance. The instructors said that the dogs would be effected after their traffic encounters that morning. It was my job to be a good leader and keep up my confidence and encouragement so she could work through it. Unless I move to NYC, we won’t have that many traffic encounters in one route again. She did great in the sidewalk less area despite shying away from the parked cars. I learned the techniques necessary to get around safely without a sidewalk, which will help in my area on some busy streets.
We also were tested on dog encounters. As Nadine and I made our way on a route, my supervisor stood off to our left with his big dog. Nadine didn’t give him the time of day. She just cruised on by just like she was supposed to. My trainer was so proud.
We went to see the vet today, and got information on keeping them healthy as well as their health history. Nadine had pneumonia as a pup and a few other problems, but is completely healthy now. There is a dog run here with lots of grass that we can take the dogs to and let them run. Labs have this particular run that they call scooting. It’s where they tuck in their bum and race around like crazy. She loves to run in there, and it’s so good for her to work out her anxiety and to relax and just be a dog. We played tug of war with a rubber tug ring, and she’d pull it away and race around the dog run. Then, when I called for it, she’d bring it back and I’d give her food. She did great at this game until it was time to go and she would not bring it back. So, we had to leave it there and someone else brought it to me. She was a stinker, but had a blast. I hope our backyard grass can handle her racing.
Finally, I had a 40 minute massage by a therapist who comes in to work on the staff and students. It was heavenly! Of course, she barely got started when my time was up, but it did help a lot.
Now, I’ve put sleepy Nadine in her kennel and I’m headed for an early night’s sleep. Another day filled with learning and some fun too.


Renel said...

This dog is very talented and you are remarkable.
[I hope the holes in the fence are only Lucy size]

Ms. Clickety Clack said...

Navigating without sidewalk is a good idea. Although I woud still hold off on testing 12th east...maybe that's in a few weeks when the mud and puddles have dried up. Glad you are still doing great! See you soon!