I'm too hot to write anything emotionally substantial right now. It is probably 90 degrees and very humid right now. i'll just recap the latest events and do something profound later.
Wow! What a trip--literally! Loretta got some serious distractions today! She has shown almost zero interest in other dogs all this time. Well, today she got a dog distraction with a little twist. We soloed the modified Elm Street Route, and on the first block of South Street we ran into Jeff McMullen as he was treating his dog for good behavior. Since Loretta and I have been working on treat rewards, she perked right up and went for his treat--several times. I had to double-hand correct her twice and gruffly "hup her up" for several feet. I got to the corner, and my heart was racing like I had been running a marathon. I stopped, put her at sit, and put both hands on her, holding the leash at the collar, deciding to wait a cycle or so until I was calm enough to make a decent traffic judgment. Jeff walked past and told me to pick up the harness. I half-heartedly picked it up; but I wanted to tell him he was nuts because I had no intention of going anywhere and I didn't want my dog thinking I did.
On the second round of parallel traffic, I gave Loretta the go, and we did a nice street crossing. What do I know! There's Jeff with his treat and dog again! We went through it all again! My poor dog really needed some emotional chocolate after all that. Fortunately, she did a great job on the rest of the trip; and when we got back to the van (which was running), she sat and would not budge until that door was open and she could hop in.
We've done some work with exposure to the cat, whose name is Solo. Yesterday, this involved letting Loretta sniff her and practicing getting her to sit when I told her to. Today we treated for attending to me over the cat, and then I put her in her place and down while I held the cat, and I practiced attending to both her and the cat. The cat belongs to the training division; and I am quite glad they have a cat and can do these extensive exposures.
Tomorrow we start freelancing. We will do country work; and I've asked for some trial work while pulling my computer bag since I won't be able to give hand signals. I don't know what else we'll do. I need to make a list.