|Emma, 17 weeks, truly enjoys playing with toys.|
Today Psycho Mom arrived when Emma started the bark for bark sake barking. She is picking it up from my dogs and I really don't want her learning that bad habit. I was sitting at my desk and when she and Max began to bark because they heard a gnat fart outside I picked up a magazine and banged on my desk and yelled (a rousing "ahhhh ahhhhhhhh ahhhhhhh") until the house went quiet. I turned to see Emma and Max sitting and staring at me with utter confusion. At that point I gave them treats and went back to working on my computer.
It took three more rounds of barking from any of the dogs, but suddenly the house was silent for more than five minutes for the first time in months. Why hadn't I remembered that story from our Head Start classes when Max and I started? It would have saved me the almost 1 year of Thank You training I did to quiet them as much as they are.
I have been working on training both Max and Emma through their morning and evening meals for the past week. Max and I had stopped using his meals to train with and with the puppy earning her meals from me I felt it was time for Max to do the same. I knew she would progress into Level 2 quickly and so spent the first part of training Max and Emma in turns on reviewing Level 1 behaviors with him. They are starting to understand when I finish with one the other gets their turn and I am seeing both now work harder to earn their kibble when it's their turn.
Emma is very focused on the game now and is starting to show clear signs she understands the basic concepts of shaping. I will soon work on shaping her to an object just to shape her and let her explore and try new things to get clicks. I am on several dog training lists and on one a woman told of her dog who'd had a stroke and that the behaviors the dog remembered after the stroke were the ones that had been shaped compared to the ones that had been lured. The more I can shape Emma into new behaviors the better she'll be at them all of her life.
In mid December a friend of mine, Alan, had a major cardiac event that lead to oxygen deprivation brain damage. The CT Scan by late December showed he had extensive frontal lob damage, mostly scar tissue and very little working brain tissue remained. Technically, Alan lost his battle the night of his cardiac event, but his body hadn't stopped after it was revived 28 minutes after his heart had stopped. Wednesday his body stopped and Alan was pronounced.
In late December I was asked to help find foster homes for Alan's two Pug dogs. I spent the last of December and the beginning of this month working on that and finally got the Pug Rescue to step in and offer vet care and foster placement for the boys. Today I met the woman from the rescue and tried to find Alan's home. I got lost, go figure. We called and for the first time got to talk to Alan's partner.
He's grieving badly and when we said we had placement for the boys he balked and hung up on us. The lady from the rescue said she would continue to try to get the boys placed and the vet care they need; I have done all I can at this point. It left me drained after spending so much time in the cold and driving around and dealing with the very emotional man who in care of Alan's boys. I came home and realized I would need to force myself to step back and let what happens happen with the two Pugs because I cannot deal with the stress of this anymore after all that has happened between loosing two friends and trying to train a young dog.
Why am I saying this here? I have video of Emma's field trip, but didn't down load it to the computer or edit it for upload to YouTube yet. I simply couldn't deal with that and ensure I got Emma's after noon training, which had been interrupted, done. I will post it as soon as I can.