Jan. 14th, 2011

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Is it really day five? Wow, time does fly. I'm working with something like half a brain at present, (I am very soon to take a page out of Dalton's book and go to bed, after I take him out one last time, of course), so please bear with me as I recap the day's events.

First off, answers to questions I have received. If I miss anything, please feel free to comment again with whatever question you have so that I can answer it. Juno work is when the instructor simulates what the dog would do. Yes, crates are provided in the rooms, as well as tie-downs. The dogs are crate trained as pups, and most love them. Dalton is one such pup. The rooms also have televisions and fridges in them. There is no wireless Internet at the Yorktown HQ, but they have Ethernet connections in each room. Wireless does exist at White Plains, though. It used to exist here, but it was having issues. One of the tech people said he hoped to have it up and running again sometime later this year. I think he said possibly by next month or so. A traffic check is when a car comes in front of your path in the street and the dog is responsible to keep you out of harms way.

Now, onto my day. Parking, feeding and watering this morning went without incident, as did obedience. I need to be sure to remember not to switch the leash into the right hand when I want to reposition him, because then he thinks that he needs to be on my right if the leash is in the right hand. We're both learning, and I'm sure it will be okay in time.

Breakfast, too, went fine. I ad a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. While we're on food: for lunch, the main dish was a sausage and pepper sandwich. I'm onestly not completely positive what I ate for lunch, (we [the people at the table where I was sitting at dinner] were talking about it, and I honestly couldn't come up with it - I guess my brain is just *that* fried), although I seem to think that maybe it was peanut butter and jelly, although I know I ate that another day previously. Not that it's hugely important... Dinner was fish, but I had a ham and cheese sandwich instead. For breakfast, the drink was coffee, lunch was more coffee, and dinner was water.

Speaking of coffee: I headed into the coffee room this morning to get another cup of said beverage prior to loading up in the van with the other two ACTION students, (we rode separately into White Plains this morning), only to discover that there were no cups left by the coffee machine. Horror of horrors! This is a true crime, I tell you! I don't know who did it, but it wasn't cool at all. Haha! Coffee is extremely necessary in the morning! Graham saved the day by bringing me a cup when he came out to start the van. Crisis averted with much gratitude!

The morning route I worked a double with one of the other ACTION students. It went really well. I was about to say I can't remember anything that really happened en route, but that wouldn't be true at all. See, my brain really is fried! Oh man... The morning route was complete with an unexpected traffic check which had me slightly shaken up and I didn't even realize was a traffic check until after the fact when Graham mentioned it. When I first stepped off the down curb, I slightly tripped over a snow mound, and recovered from that, only to be met with the traffic check. I didn't even know that the car was there! Dalton was a fantastic boy, though, and handled it nicely. Other than that, I can't remember anything of any significance on our route. His pace and pull are so wonderful, and it's so fun working him.

The afternoon route was where things began to shine. I did a single, and Dalton and I really seemed to start to mesh as a team. I was able to really read him and know how he moves and approaches obstacles and handles certain situations. In narrow places or places where there are obstacles, he will tend to slow down and be extra caucious of his surroundings to make sure that I am okay. I think the traffic check earlier in the day may have had something to do with it, too. When the area opens up or is less full of potential obstacles, he will take the initiative and pull out/speed up the pace again. I honestly really like how he handles that. His turns were textbook, and his clearances were spot on. I can tell he has fun doing his job. Perhaps I can get some pictures of the two of us working en route sometime. As I was able to read him, I think he, to, is starting to be able to read me and know how I work. This afternoon's route was for sure the start of something truly amazing that will only get better in time. He is still definitely attached to his trainer, but my thought is that in time, that attachment will shift over to me. I look forward to the day when that happens. I am starting to work him in the Yorktown building, and again, it's really fun. They now train the dogs to place their two front paws on the first step of stairs going up, and it's really funny, because he's so tall that when he does this, I think he's actually up more of the staircase than he actually is! I need to make a conscious effort to reach down and feel his position until I get used to what it feels like naturally. That way, I can praise him accordingly instead of correcting for something that doesn't need correction. I'm just not used to such a large beast is all. I also worked on targeting with him as far as my room door goes, and he seems to be getting it. We shall put him to the test tomorrow when I work him too and from breakfast.

Lecture tonight was on working the dogs inside versus outside, targeting and leaving the dogs alone for short periods of time. I may or may not have forgotten something, I'm not entirely positive. Oh yes, we were also issued half-check collars. I left Dalton in the room alone for fifteen or so minutes in his crate, and he did fine. I actually put my Victor Stream on record to see what he do, and the only thing he did was let out a slight groan shortly after the door closed when I left, but that was it; no other peep out of him at all. While in lecture, he did decide to be a little escape artist and somehow wriggle out of his collar. I have no idea how he did it, but the next thing I know, empty harness. I was of course still holding onto his leash, and so I was able to put it back on him. Crazy dog!

7:30 park time happened shortly after lecture, and then I have been hanging out ever since. I chilled in the coffee room for a time as people were in there. I made a point to look and see the status of the cups for the coffee machine, and everyone, (especially those on Facebook, where I put out a status about the potential crisis), will be glad to know that they have been re-stocked. Hahaha! This is a good thing for all involved, really it is!

Olivia's puppy raisers called me awhile ago to let me know that LivDog is safely with them. It seems that she is settling down nicely, after apparently having some words with Bryn, another dog who they have also. If I remember correctly, Bryn is a release dog from GEB, from one of the litters of a puppy the family raised who is, or was, a brood (SP?). It's a relief to know that she's finally home. I hope it doesn't take her too long to actually feel at home. She is pretty adaptable, though, so I'm not really all that worried.

I honestly can't think of anything else that I wanted to write about, so this is where I end this, post, go take out Dalton, brush my teeth and then go to bed. Again, many thanks go out to those who read and comment about my training, whether it be via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail or on the actual journal. Thanks, also, for the questions that some of you have had. Feel free to send more. More tomorrow.

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January 2012

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