Thursday, October 28, 2010

Training Day 8

    Today was the last day of training! Tomorrow morning Dante and I have our public access test, and then it's off to 4 Paws for paperwork and then Graduation! We are going first, so we have to be at the mall at 9:30am. We'll finish testing around 10:30, and then we'll be going back to the hotel to pick up Brianna and the kids before heading to 4 Paws.
    It seems like yesterday that we were leaving to come up here, and now it's almost time to go home. It might not have been a long time, but it has definitely been tiring. I feel like I'm about to drop from sheer exhaustion. The kids are tired too. Tristen had a rough day today, and Rebecka has been getting whinier and whinier. I haven't had much patience these past couple of days either. We're definitely looking forward to going home.
    This morning we did our usual basic obedience practice drills. The afternoon was spent listening to Jeremy go over information about taking the dogs home. We talked about how to introduce them to other pets, how to keep them safe in and around the home, and how to incorporate them into our daily lives, among other things. We have to keep in mind that the dogs will be in a totally new environment, and the only thing that will be constant for them is us. It will take time for them to get used to their new home, and it's important that we are consistent with them. This means daily obedience drills, and reinforcing the "rules" with them. They have to realize that they have to listen and obey regardless of where they are. It is perfectly normal for the dogs to test the boundaries once we return home after graduation. After all, they have been around the trainers at 4 Paws for so long, and then one day they look around and think "Okay, I haven't seen Jeremy (or Jennifer, Jessa, Christie, or the other trainers) at all for several days now, I wonder if the rules still apply..." It is our job to let them know that Yes, the rules still apply.
    After class Jessa helped me give Dante a bath. I was a bit intimidated by his hair. I didn't want to end up getting it tangled, but Jessa told me that the only thing I could really do was brush it out good before wetting him down, and then brushing him again once he was completely dry. The other dogs were bathed in the dog tub that they have in one of the restrooms, but Dante fit into one of the sinks, lol! Once I toweled him off a bit we used the dog blow dryer on him. He didn't like it at all. I'm hoping he will take better to our dryer at home, or at least learn to tolerate it. At least he is small enough that he can't really put up too much of a fight. Not like Ajax who has to be manhandled into a bath, lol!
    I am packing up most of our stuff tonight and getting it loaded into the van. The more I can get done tonight, the less I will have to do in the morning. I really don't want to have to get up any earlier than absolutely necessary, so I'm fairly motivated ;)  We look forward to seeing all of our friends soon :)

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