Original Posting 11/14/19
Yesterday was a very light day for me, I was feeling under the weather as it was cold and wet and the barometric pressure was up pretty high with the rain front moving through. My head was aching, but I went to breakfast with the hubs which is something we try to do to do on his off days cause we really don’t get much time together these days.
Then we went to visit mom at the Nursing home, which is always a stressful time in which I really wish I could have Kona with me, but I’m not sure how they look at that, since they are a state run nursing home and don’t even allow therapy dogs to come in. I’m not sure if they would allow service dogs. I spent most of the time there writing yesterday’s blog so that I could keep my mind occupied on something other than how stressed I was.
Later in the afternoon, I had an appointment with Aspen one of my Therapy dogs in training. Our main focus was her not forging ahead of her mom. Leash walking can be such a source of frustration for us slow humans.
There are so many different ways to teach leash walking but one of my favorite ways is to teach your dog that if they pull on the leash you are not going to go anywhere with them. I like this method of training with them because it teaches them that they can go where ever they want as long as they do not pull on you.
The walk itself becomes the reward for them staying with you but you have to make it a point to STOP every single time that they pull the leash tight. I tell my students that you might practice for an hour and only get 20 feet and that is fine as long as you stopped every time your dog pulled the leash tight.
Also we have to reward them for paying attention to us while we are walking with them. It is unnatural for our dogs to slow down to our pace and not explore while out on an adventure with us. Apparently this is not something I have a video of working on so I need to fix this this next week while my hubby is off work and can make some videos with me.
After Aspen’s appointment, I took a group of Therapy Dogs in Training to visit our friends at one of our local nursing homes. We have been going to visit these wonderful women and men for almost 3 years now and they love seeing us come in. We have a set schedule of when we visit and we have pups that dress up and pups that do tricks and pups that just love to snuggle and make people smile.
Scooby (grey Staffy) and Ms Lilly (yellow Lab) are both pulling double duty they are Service Dogs who like to go to the nursing home to give all the love they have stored up and are not able to give to people when they are on duty.
Lincoln is a Springer Spaniel who is going to be going to St Jude’s to visit with the kids and help to cheer them up.
Of course Ms Kona is learning to sit politely for people to pet her since that will be part of her Canine Good Citizen Test. Normally Ms. Marley comes with me for Therapy Dog visits she is one of the ones that loves to dress up.
As we were leaving one of the ladies grabbed my arm and was so just so thankful that we had come and brought the babies to see them. She said having to leave her baby behind was the worst part of having to go into the nursing home but she looked forward to our visits, and that helped me remember why I work as hard as I do.