Tuesday, May 21, 2013

8 Months, 2 Weeks: Training - Day 101

Emma enjoys visiting with my son Walter when he visits.
Ever had one of those days that doesn't go your way?  I had one yesterday.  Dieter ruptured a disc in his back over the weekend and is in terrible pain.  He's a high need dog who requires I carry him out to potty and back into his crate so he can rest.  The entire time he's yelping in pain or whimpering with sporadic yelps and sharp cries.  Off and on he's unstable on his feet and stumble when walking, which makes him cry even harder.  Since he wasn't on pain medication for his back, I spent part of the morning calling the vet and trying to find out what he can take that won't interfere with his upcoming treatment of Prednisone and allow him to at least breath without crying.

He spent the morning whimpering in the crate and too fearful to leave it with the bouncing Labradoodle outside of it.  At one point I offered for him to come out and go outside to the bathroom and after he exited he promptly turned and re-entered the crate.  I do have to say, at least he likes his crate.

When I dropped him of Saturday for evaluation for his pain and learned he'd ruptured a disc in his back, I had told the vet tech taking him back that he crated well and I meant it.  He enjoys sleeping in his crate at night and when such events as this happen he is content to lay in the crate and sleep without much complaint.  The fact I can set him on the floor just before it and he can step into it, thus lowering his pain levels when entering, and cue him to go in without his fleeing or refusing entry makes our lives easier.  It also made his stay at the vet while Emma was in class so much easier on him.

When I picked him up they commented that he did indeed crate well and he was amazing.  They normally have dogs who cry, protest and call for lawyers when crated, but Dieter just curled up and relaxed while he waited for his evaluation.

By mid-day they called to inform me that they had found and set aside a medication for Dieter, which meant I would simply feed Emma her lunch and not train with it.  I had to run to get Dieter's medication and then get it into him so that he wouldn't give up because of pain.  He was headed that way, shutting down because anything he did caused extreme pain.

He ended the night refusing to eat and sleeping the day away.  He wouldn't even move to use the bathroom when I carried him outside and needed to carry him back in.  He slept the night out in the office in his bed under my desk.

Today's Lessons:

Loose Leash Walking

Emma is taking Loose Leash Walking at a class and has homework for that class.  Since I couldn't focus enough to really look at the homework for the week, I instead worked on building up her ability to turn with me while I am walking so I can then transfer the skill to the power chair when it turns.  I used Level 2: Step 2 Lazy Leash to begin this process.  I worked on walking her up and down the floor and rewarding her for being in position beside me.  She was not on a leash when I did this.  I then worked on clicking any movement of her rear end as she turned with me when she was on my left and I was turning into her.  She is not a tight on that turn as Max is currently, but she is learning the process and is getting a much tighter turn with me when I turn.

While Emma is taking this class I will focus on her homework, as best I can with an injured dog, and won't be worrying about updating her Levels progress or observations during her blogs.  Once she's completed the class I will return to the normal blog format.

Emma is doing very well with her loose leash walking and once the class is over I'll evaluate where she is in regards to the Levels and update accordingly.

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