Dogs have no sense of time. Everything is in the now. Yesterday is forgotten and forgiven (if necessary) and tomorrow doesn’t exist. Today is their life. Today is what counts. Emmy is sooooo now! Something that “spooks” her one day doesn’t exist the next.
We have been working on a couple of new things that seem to stress her: walking on the treadmill and adjusting to a Peticure ™. The Peticure ™ is basically a Dremel ™ tool with a little cap on it both to allow a toenail through and keep hair out. It “files” – or better “grinds” – down the toenail without the crushing action of clippers and with less chance of getting into the quick. Marvelous invention.
Emmy, after 2 sessions on the treadmill and 2 sessions with the Peticure ™, decided she could not “remember” how to go Under the chair. She went Under the table (went under it, turned to face me, and lay down – one cue for a complex behavior). After going through a number of other cues, we tried Under the chair again – nothing. I put in a call to PAALS to talk to my counselor and ended up in a conference call with the director, me and my counselor. The suggestions, which I took, were to reduce the intensity and length of training on Treadmill and Peticure ™ for a few days and rather spend the time on the basic obedience cues and the other well-worn cues she knows and does well.
I took these suggestions to heart, and we reduced things down for a couple of days. So on Thursday afternoon, two of the grandsons were here and Emmy had played and worked off a bunch of energy. I took over and ran her through her obedience and some of the special “get it” cues. Then on impulse I sat in the chair and told her “Under” – and she did it spot on! No hesitation. So on Friday, I did the same thing, and she balked. She did a “down” rather than an “Under.’ Just would not go Under the chair, despite treats being offered from all possible kinds of directions.
What is going on? Is it the tone of my voice? Am I “emanating” an “aura” of “no confidence?” OR is there something in the house that is spooking her? Next time our Priest is here, I think I’ll ask him to do a “quick” house blessing, and in the meantime, I’ll sprinkle some holy water around myself. It’s not as effective as when the Priest does it, but it may hold things off until he can be here.
Today, she doesn’t remember that I wasn’t very active yesterday – wasn’t able to train for as long as I usually do. We did little short sessions. Obedience, treadmill, light switches – these are just part of the normal activities. But we did “Hilf,” and “Take it – Hold – Bring it” and “Find Someone.” But only one or two tries – successful ones or we would have worked at it a little more. Also tried “Under,” and were not successful. But I left off, not to make a big deal out of it, and we’ll try it again tonight or tomorrow.
Today she really wants to work, so we’ll spend more time at it. And I’ll take her to the grocery, and we’ll play frisby in the hall. Maybe I can find a soft plastic frisbee at the pet shop next door to the grocery and if she accepts it, we can play frisbee in the yard. That will make it a lovely day.