Sunday, May 19, 2013

8 Months, 1 Week: Training - Day 100

Next week I'll film Emma and I working with the power chair
and show how she's doing with it.
Has it really been 100 days?  Wow!  Emma has come so far from the bouncy puppy who was worried about being dropped off at my home that first day and today.  She is overjoyed to arrive at my house and settles right in like she never spent the weekend away.  She is able to communicate with me and even is starting her service dog skills!  What a difference 100 days of training can make in a dog!

I should, technically  be on day 101 with her, but Ms. Emma decided on Thursday to raid one of my raised beds and eat a lily bulb - which is poisonous to dogs, and had to have her stomach emptied for her safety.  As per vet instruction I used hydrogen proxide to make her vomit and then kept an eye on her for the day and didn't feed her until evening.  I decided she'd be better off watched than trained, so I didn't do any training.

Friday I decided to use that extra day with her to work on walking in the real world with the power chair.  On that day my goal was not loose lead walking, but learning safety with the power chair.  I did nick a toe with the wheels once, but she did a simple "hey" like she was startled more than anything and she started really watching the wheels.  There was no harm done to her toes, but she learned if she didn't monitor where her feet were I could end up running over them.

On Saturday I had to take Dieter to vet and leave him while I took Emma to class.  I was so worried about transferring her and getting Dieter from the vet I forgot to give out the homework sheet for the weekend.  I will have to hand that over on Monday and the family can then practice that homework next weekend with the other homework they'll have from class.

Emma was a star going through the door while attached to the wheelchair and walked nicely beside it to our spot.  She did great settling next to it, though she's still learning to lay in alignment with the chair and not facing it.  She even put her head on her feet within 3 minutes of arriving and at one point took a short nap!

She did fantastic in all of the exercises, is transferring her loose leash to both wheels and walking, and was a dream to work on the sidewalk since I had taken the "magic" out of being outside with the chair the day before.

Emma is even starting to turn properly with the chair!  Time to take her other places and work on turning "into" her on both the left and right side (her on the left or right) so she stays in alignment and teaching her to lie next to the chair, stop next to the chair and sit next to the chair in alignment.

Emma is over the hurdle of learning to walk beside a chair, now she is in the fine tuning phase!

Nice work, little dog.

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