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Loretta at the ACB convention

I saw my first dog guide instructor this morning. He understands my still lingering fear of dogs and rough play, and he helped me rough my dog up a bit and give her some stress relief. She needed it badly. Traveling gently down the halls and across the pedway is truly an art, and my dog has been rather traumatized. She's had  extreme cane tappers smack her hard on the side, people body slam her in the face, bigger dogs growl in her face, etc. She was a real trooper until yesterday; but yesterday it was like the life just went all out of her. This morning she did some great obstacle work, and I had a chance to give her some big rewards for it. That was good for both of us. I've dropped food (unintentionally) right next to her face, and she has left it alone.

This probably makes it sound like working a dog at convention is the cruelest thing on earth. To tell the truth, working my dogs at ACB conventions has always been a major part of the bonding process. We go home a better team because of going through the challenges. I learn how to interpret my dog's signals and respect her needs. She learns to trust me to provide for her emotionally and otherwise. I learn to trust her in challenging situations where there is plenty of help if I truly need it (including dog instructors); and that enables me to build trust for challenging situations when there is no help. That makes taking my dog to convention worthwhile.


Jul. 8th, 2008 11:15 pm (UTC)
Augie has been the same way today. He would hardly pull at all, and when we got back to the room he dropped right into a sound sleep. I think this will be a really good experience for him over all, though, and I can tell that he's becoming a more attentive guide because of it. You should've seen him dodge the crazy blinks in the pedway this afternoon. I was so proud!
Jul. 9th, 2008 02:38 pm (UTC)
Loretta's progress
Loretta is doing much better today. She finally decided to relieve to her heart's content, and that seems to have lifted her spirits quite a bit. She's dodging and weaving like a pro, and wagging and enjoying herself. I'm sure she'll be ready to go home, but I really enjoy seeing what she's made of and I'm amazed at how few corrections she has really needed.


Sarah Blake LaRose
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