|Emma, 17 weeks, explores her first puzzle toy.|
All week long Emma has woke me at 7 AM with a riot of noise from her crate. It is guaranteed to make me sit up and respond in a grumpy voice. It is a promise of escape from the crate and a rush to the front door to use the outhouse. What she has discovered this week is that the longer she runs the riot in the crate the longer it takes me to release her. The first day I was able to warm a cup of coffee and sip some of it before she quieted. The second day was half that time. She split the time again yesterday and this morning she did the riot and promptly quieted as I got up to release her.
She's not rushing the front of the crate when the door pops open and I have added a whole two seconds to her wait time in the crate before I release her. Then the race is on. Max is trotting and yammering at me all the way to the front door. Dieter, who'd been released prior to Emma, is skittering in a dance in the living room and Emma is bouncing like a Gazelle through my home. The front door is a mix of legs and heads as the dogs mill around the door waiting for release and once Emma is on lead and all are settled on their bottoms we start our day.
I have been going full force this week and not getting to bed and asleep until late most nights. It took its toll and this morning I woke with a raging migraine and zero energy. I had feared this would happen, since last night I didn't have the energy to work on Emma's blog or post notes on her Facebook page. Every so often I overdue it and use too many spoons and then need a full day of rest to recover. Today is that day.
The problem is, when one has five animals in the house there is no true rest. While the dogs were out, including Emma whom I didn't have the energy to walk outside this morning, I fed the cat her morning moist food. She's convinced she must eat and eat now the moment I may be awake and will yowl at me until I have done so.
With the dogs in, I pulled Emma into the bed with me and curled around her and fell back asleep. She was fine with that until her belly started speaking to her. I on the other hand realized I wasn't up to even getting dressed yet. What to do?
I fed the big boys and Attitude. I didn't even care if Attitude left the bed for her breakfast, just that she ate. Dieter, who has recently decided that eating his meal can wait until Attitude has finished hers in the event he might get some, lost out this morning. He walked away from his bowl and I picked it up and put it up. I am not playing the "waiting for something better" game with him.
With Max fed, Attitude medicated and Emma's food ready for delivery I brought her back into the bed and worked on Zen and Target. Today's training is a combination of scheduled lessons on Zen and Target on the bed and how to self entertain when her handler is bed ridden. She's doing well, playing with toys next to me and enjoying her day of bed training.
My friend Redd came over in the late afternoon, so I worked on Sit in the living room this evening to finish off her dinner. I was able to walk repeatedly around her tonight without her breaking her sit. She's a bit worried about my going behind her, so I will spend the next couple of days making her feel comfortable with my moving around her while she remains seated.
Emma is offering eye contact as a tool in her toolbox tonight. We worked for half of her dinner on Focus tonight. She is testing to see if I am actually clicking for just looking at me. Later, when I was working on Sit with her she began offering Focus when she was confused about what I wanted from her. This is a good sign and I am happy to see it.
Go To Mat
Redd dropped by today. Most people knock on my door and wait for me to answer it, but a few just walk into my house. I find it difficult to train basic door manners when this happens and it happened today. Before I had a chance to contain the dogs and setup for a door greeting Redd was already in the door with four dogs mugging her.
Since I spent the morning in my bed, I may have missed Redd's knock. Anyway it goes, Emma got lots of practice jumping on Redd when she came through the door because I didn't have a lead on her or was able to body block her from jumping on the company.
I need to continue working with Emma on Four on the Floor, since she tends to loose her mind when excited and automatically jumps on people when it happens. Redd was good enough to not give her any affection or attention until her feet were on the floor and about a minute after she came into the house Emma began containing her energy and offering sits for attention.