Saturday, July 07, 2007

Will it ever stop raining?

We finally had a break from the rain today so we got some outdoor work in on jumps and weaves. Her weaves are pretty solid on all sides and she is even starting to anticipate the weaves and work away from me a bit. I still have the channels open about an inch. I don't think she's quite ready to have them closed all the way. I want her to be confident and solid so I want to set her up to succeed by not moving on until she is ready. We are working "go on" over jumps. She does well as long as I throw a ball for her. I am also setting up the jumps at varying distances and heights to help regulate her stride and jump style. We also did some single stride jumps to make her more aware of her hind end. I wish I had known to do these things when she was younger, but at least its never too late to train the right way! Weaves are a prime example.

The Karen Pryor Clicker + arrived yesterday and its super cool. It has five different sounds it makes in soft and loud modes. I was hoping that the sounds other than the click sounds might work for Moxie. Unfortunatly, Moxie saw the clicker in my hand and it was all over. She has developed a totally irrational fear of the clicker, and I'm not going to fight it at this point. She responds best to verbal praise anyway so if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

We went back to UBH for a therapy visit on Thursday night and things went well even if Moxie was a bit hyped up. After 16 straight days of rain, she hadn't had any real excercise in weeks and it showed. She got the chance to run and went nuts. It didn't help that I brought treats and she was hungry. So I've learned two things about this particular visit, I need to wear her out ahead of time, and I need to feed her so she isn't begging for food the whole time. On another note, I recognized one of the patients. We were hospitalized together last summer. It was awkward, but I don't think he recognized me which is good. It was a nice example of how far I have come in a year, and a reminder of how much further I have to go. I am not so far removed from the state hospital and my illness that I could not return someday. Though I hope not. I also hope this young man finds some peace himself. Though a far cry from the mental hospitals of yore, being institutionalized is no picnic, thats for sure. UBH, being a private hospital, is considerably nicer than the state hospital, but its still no place you want to be. Its lonely and frightening. I'm just glad I have the opportunity to give back now, and bring some warmth and love in doggy form to the patients at UBH.

I find myself living my days in anticipation of my next doggy event, therapy visit, training class or competition. I think I'm addicted. Well I got paid yesterday, so I can go get the things on my want list now! Yipee! Shopping!

1 comment:

Saint Lover said...

You should feel very proud of yourself that you have come so far in a years time. Keep plugging forward and dont let yourself get down if you stumble a little at times - you are only human. Giving back parts of yourself is very rewarding and helps your sense of worth. I am very happy for you.

I never bring treats to the nursing home visits because I want my dogs to be more focused on loving on the residents than begging for food. They are champion beggars and it is hard to say no to those big brown eyes... Moxie will figure out her routine and will set into it very nicely. She is a fabulous dog!