|Emma, 20 Weeks, fresh from her bath.|
I woke both dizzy, exhausted and with a migraine this morning, so I decided to skip training for breakfast and slow down enough to recover and not loose the entire day by pushing myself too hard. I tried to get Emma to do a down by the front door and again she shrunk into herself and gave me a lot of appeasement behavior. This is a sign that doing a down by the front door makes her very uncomfortable and I needed to make it less stressful for her. I didn't feel well enough to address it at that moment, so I let her out and went about getting myself sorted out. I gathered the dog bowls and decided the porcelain bowl I have been using Emma I would switch out for a stainless steel bowl so Max could pick it up for me. A new problem emerged; Emma was absolutely terrified of it.
She shrank into herself, stood and skulked away from the bowl while giving me a ton of appeasement behaviors. Strange, but I again was not in a position to deal with it. I gathered up the porcelain bowl and put her kibble in it and offered her breakfast. Remember, she eats from this bowl off and on when at my home, but again today she shrank and skulked away. With a sigh I just poured her food on the floor so she would eat. With the food on the floor, she gladly ate her entire meal. Clearly I need to make bowls less frightening and will come up with a plan on her not being afraid of them later. I'll probably use Target if I can, if not, I will ask my trainer friends for advise and go from there.
Once my head stopped pounding and my energy levels increased, I went to Costco with my son Walter and bought a bag of food for Emma. Her owners have her on a different food than my dogs are eating and generally give me a large food storage bag of food to feed her with. I ran out of her food after her breakfast and decided I needed to be certain I always had enough food for her at my house.
When we returned and had lunch I took her and my dogs outside and let them play in the yard while I took advantage of the exposed ground and scooped poop. Anyone who lives in this region know that January is the month dog poop gathers unheeded in your yard, buried under layers of snow and frozen by near sub-zero temperatures. This January was no different. Most days were in the high teens and some dropped into the single digits. Winds whipped and snows fell and the poop went un-scooped for nearly a month. With four dogs and a small yard this can mean a lot of cleanup on the first clear ground day. Today was that day.
Emma enjoyed racing about the yard and playing with Max. I had to call him back a couple of times because he got a bit rough, but overall the two played well while I worked in the yard. I am, after this afternoon's adventure of scooping, considering putting corks in all of them. At one point I turned and Emma was in one of my raised garden beds digging at my covered artichoke plant. When I said her name she gave me a "what?" look and then went back to digging at my plant. Looks like this spring I'll be teaching her to stay out of raised garden beds.
Since the metal bowl bothered her and doing a down by the front door bothered her I decided today to do training in that location and using the metal bowl for her kibble. Below is the description of our success!
|Focus||Lazy Leash||Go To Mat||Crate||Distance|