Friday, November 18, 2016

Week 9 & 10 Update

It's been a busy and exciting two weeks!  I got a last-minute project at work which took up all my time (imagine doing 3-4 weeks worth of work in one week), and then Sarah Stremming read the thank you e-mail that I sent to her on the latest Cog Dog Radio episode.

My work was nutso last week; it caught me off guard so I wasn't able to finish my weekly update post, so I am combining last week and this week together; I'll try to keep it concise!

This past 2 weeks Ida and I... 

... went to the big off-leash park by ourselves.

... went to the shelter, and Ida hung out with the staff in the office while I worked with dogs in the back.  They were understaffed and two of the regular volunteers didn't show up, so we ended up staying for over 8 hours.... whoops!

... while at the shelter, we walked around a place with weird scary echoey noises (the adoption floor).  Ida hated it, so we headed back into the office area and she watched people/dogs through the window instead.

... almost missed agility class because of the work project that kept me overtime; I just barely made it on time but it required me to... go faster than Ida is comfortable with and she did not like it.

... played fetch in the cul-de-sac again, in the dark.  There where a couple of times when vehicles drove past, and Ida watched - calmly, with tail up (although not moving), no yawns, no lip licks, or other stress signals - before resuming play.  Maybe I'll add toys to a walk around the whole cul-de-sac; shorter time outside, but better exposures maybe?

I noticed...

... Compared to two weeks ago when we went with our doggo friend, Ida was much less comfortable at the park by herself.  She finally relaxed about halfway through the walk (instead of in the first 10 minutes).  I think having another dog not only boosts her confidence, but the other dog also deflects some of the attention away from Ida which I think helps her.  We'll be doing only buddy-walks from now on, and I'll have to figure something else out for decompression walks when we can't find a buddy.

... At the park she made friends with a large black dog - normally the kind of dog she is afraid of.  It was a lab that was walking ahead of his person who was just behind us.  After their initial greeting (which was brief and calm), the dog mostly ignored Ida until at the very end she invited him to play, and they chased/wrestled for a couple minutes before the other dog's owner leashed him up to head home.

... Ida's getting too much of her bottom cue from my body position, so I have to figure out a way to fade that out.

This next week I plan to...

... survive mostly?

... hopefully go on a buddy walk.  I have put some feelers out to a few new walking buddies.