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August 11th, 2007

10:03 pm
We Made It Through Week One

I had the most awesome walk with Cinnabar today. We were working together so much better than yesterday. I am blown away by how fast my dog is figuring stuff out. We had a bit of trouble with turns yesterday, but she had a much better idea of what she was supposed to do today and I could tell a huge difference in her confidence. I also did a much better job correcting her and helping her understand what I wanted. We’re starting to really communicate with each other.

Cinnabar makes me feel so good. I feel like a normal person walking down the street instead of a clumsy blind person who sticks out like a turd in a punch bowl. It’s so great to be noticed because of my dog and not because I’m running into something. I got a kick out of hearing people checking out my dog. We were moving too fast for them to stop us for a chat, which rocks, but I still picked up bits of conversations of passers by commenting on my dog. It made me feel really proud.

I had my first individual meeting with my trainer today. It’s something they do here to keep everyone aware of their progress and gives us a chance to address any concerns that come up along the way. My meeting went great. My trainer said I was doing well with Cinnabar and that we were right on track in the program. I felt like we were doing good, but it is comforting to have a little assurance.

I learned some interesting stuff about Cinnabar from one of her trainers. First of all, I found out that she loves water. She’ll get in a pool or play in a hose and has a ball. I’m glad to hear it. She’ll fit right in at the lake and in Mom and Dad’s pool. I also learned that when Cinnabar was being sassy and misbehaved during training, the instructors called her Cinnabutt. That cracks me up. I totally understand why they would do that.. She can be a little butt at times. She tries to get away with stuff all the time and I really have to be aware of what she is doing. She has already chewed up her new fleece mat that she is supposed to be sleeping on. She also got into trouble today during obedience training. We were doing her obedience practice with an intentional food distraction (a saltine cracker) on the floor near enough to be in striking distance. She ignored the cracker briefly. I got her to heel, then sit, but as soon as she did her first down, she lunged for the cracker before I knew what was going on. We set up the distraction again and started over and she got it right the next. Time. Hopefully she has learned her lesson, but I definitely have to be on my toes with her. She seems like she is just looking for trouble all the time.

We got dog toys today, so I was able to have a little fun time with Cinnabar. She really had fun and seemed to appreciate the chance to just be a dog. We played tug with a tug ring and she bounced a Kong toy around. Then I let her gnaw on her new nyla-bone for a while. She loves to chew. I’ll have to stock up on nyla-bones for sure. She really likes to get rowdy when she plays. She is a 57 pound puppy when I give her the chance. She’s hilarious. I’m so glad we finally got to start having some play time. It really seemed to help her relate to me and helped her relax.

We have the day off from class tomorrow so I am going to take Cinnabar to the paddock to play for a bit. I haven’t had an opportunity to take her over there yet and give her a chance to play off leash. I think she’ll have a blast. I also plan to spend some quality time at the pool. Other than that, I have no big plans and hope to chill out and get rested up for next week. Things are going to start getting tougher next week but I have no doubt that Cinnabar and I will get through it with ease. Toodles for now.