Thursday morning I got to do obedience with a real dog! And it was great. Padawan did wonderfully. She was remarkably responsive and didn’t make any mistakes. Granted, it is a low distraction environment right now and we are working individually with instructors at this point, but it’s still been less than 24 hours. SHe’s a pro.
Healing up to breakfast was a tad bit challenging, because she was so excited and she got up quite a lot during the meal, but in the van and at lunch she laid quite positively still. We had our first walk around 10 this morning. Padawan was on it. She found every curb perfectly and navigated around people and carts and cars flawlessly. We even had a mini traffic check. We were crossing one street when a car turned in front of us. She slowed to allow it to pass then sped up, got to the curb, and all was well. She started out a bit quick even for me, but we ran it off and got a little bit slower as the morning went on.
On our second route, Padawan’s pace was perfect. She found every curb and the only thing I could fault her for was stepping into the street a bit too early. She did slow to look at a pigeon at one point, but looked back at me quickly and kept working just fine. There was another car that pulled in front of us at an active driveway. She stopped for it, then waited for me to listen and give the command to continue.
I really was not expecting to have such smooth routes today. I am sure we will run into challenges, but when my trainer asked if I had any questions at the end of our second route, all I could think of was, “where are her flaws?”. Apparently she has them… but all I can see so far is that we need to work a bit on staying and waiting. She is go go go all the time, and I love it, but sometimes we do have to stand still for a little while, unfortunately.
In the afternoon, I attached Padawan to her tie down so that I could lay down for a few minutes between lecture and dinner. Padawan saw me lay on my bed and immediately leapt to join me, only to find that the tie down was a little too short. So, she settled for standing with her front paws on my bed, bouncing at me and licking me. My heart melted. I wasn’t expecting her to want to be with me that badly… so I got up and sank to the floor with her. She wiggled and jumped to put her paws on my shoulders. I got face kisses, and she rolled and wriggled herself around until finally coming to a rest draped over me with her bum on one of my legs and her head on the other. We cuddled like that until we heard the announcement to go to dinner, and even then I took my time getting up. It was too sweet!
Later that evening I got to play with Padawan for the first time. We went with our instructor into Alumni Hall and I got to sift through a crate of various toys to see what she might like. The bone wasn’t of interest to her, but she ran joyfully after the tennis ball and played soccer with a big bouncy frog that did not really fit in her mouth. It was absolutely adorable. She makes me laugh.
I also heard Padawan’s bark for the first time. She was laying comfortably still beside me in the student living room as I worked on blogs. Padawan saw/heard a fellow classmate and her dog in the hallway and suddenly leapt up with a loud “woof woof woof!”. It scared me at first because I was so focussed and she had been so calm, but she was, I think, just excited to see her friend and wanted to play. With a firm “quiet” and “down” command she went easily back to resting, and I got back to work.
Friday (Friday already?) we have the same routes in White Plains and a lecture on grooming. We’ll check in with you then.