8th Day Of Home TrainingPosted: September 22, 2010
I totally could have had a duvet day today! I was just so tired! Oh well-you still have to get up and take care of the morning routine, otherwise we would have a very annoyed doggy!
My instructor came at about half 9 again today. We first of all went in the car down to where we did the new part yesterday with the short handle. My instructor got me to take my cane just to look at some of the kerbs, just to see if i could see how wide they were and that.
We first of all got Ushi out of the car, and walked her down the new bit that we had learned yesterday and Monday. There was one point where I was on the zebra crossing, but wasn’t on the tactile. Apparently it doesn’t matter, as long as i’m sure that this is the right crossing. Apparently as soon as you step on any part of the crossing, the cars are meant to stop. The only other problem I had was getting Ushi to “find the shop”. I got her nearly up to it, but she went a bit past it. My instructor suggested that I slow her right down once I feel the rough ground undnerfoot. Then when I tell her to “find the shop”, she should have no bother with it at all.
We headed back to the car after this, and stuck Ushi in the boot while we took out my cane and the short handle. Before anyone thinks that it was an actual boot, it wasn’t-it was an estate car, with the seats in the boot. Only the seats were taken out, and a big duvet was spread out for the dogs to lie on.
I first of all went down the first corner at the church with my cane, first using the inner shoreline, and then following the kerb. The pavement was about 16 paces wide from the wall to the kerb. This was only at the corner, otherwise it was just the width of a normal kerb. I had tensed up my arm always at that point, as i didn’t want to miss my opportunity to go “up to the kerb”. The instructor said that that was pushing her left a bit, and it was really hard for her to move. (We demonstrated this later with the short handle). I basically have to relax my left arm as much as possible, and learn to trust her a bit. It is hard to do though, as as soon as i am not sure of something I tense, without knowing i am, sometimes. Because I was tensing up, Ushi had to practically cling to the kerb, when there could have been room for us to get by just fine in the middle of the pavement. My instructor suggested that I tell Ushi “In” and “straight on” once I got to the corner.
We decided that since Ushi was so distracted yesterday on the corner, that instead of going to the kerb, I would just carry on straight on, until I came to another corner. I would go up to the kerb as usual, but I would do a “left behind”, which is where you tap the side of your leg, and the dog sort of goes around in a half circle kind of. You do this kind of left at a kerb, so that you don’t fall off it, and so that if something drives past, you won’t get hit or brushed by it. On an up kerb you just stand facing her, and telling her “over” and doing the forward motion with your arm. We were kind of going back on ourselves until we came to the corner where we just indented, and then told her “Up to the kerb”. This was like the top of a “T junction”. We would then cross over, and be on the home stretch.
It was quite easy to do after a while, which was good.
We then did the two other kerbs before the house, and then we used the short handle to practice the new corner and that.
After that, we went back to the car as my instructor wanted to explain about how the small block route that we started with joined onto the matching visit walk. We first demonstrated it by using treats simulating the shape of the route without all the kerbs and such. They moved too much, so we used spare collars and leads. They were more stirdy, and it was easier to follow. I started to understand it a bit better then. My instructor is so creative!
We headed back to the car after this. Before we drove home, my instructor showed me on the short handle how difficult it is for Ushi whenever I tense up. I discovered that it was really hard to move, but when i was relaxed, she moved rather nicely.
We got back to the house for a quick break before we decided to go out and do the matching visit walk.
Ushi was a little madam when I went to get her from spending. She started running round the garden each time I went to get her! Calling her wouldn’t work either, so I had to get a little cross. She eventually stopped, and I put the lead on her, and gave her a correction, as she went to run around again on lead. Naughty girl!! Don’t know what was wrong with her!
Well I only had two mistakes on this walk. One was where I wasn’t far enough round the corner on a “rounded kerb”, so I did a left behind, and then went on further round. Ushi was then trying to guide me, but I stopped her. My instructor said that I need to let her do her job, or else confidently tell her where to go to. So I did a “back turn”, and re approached the corner. Once I got that, I could cross no bother. The second mistake was that we went past our house!!! Ushi was sniffing and all, and usually she finds the door, so I walked on until I got to the corner at the bottom of our street. I did a “back turn” again, and my instructor started saying to me to tell her to “find home” in a really excited voice. She practically raced home! It was a great walk-I just need to remember to stay confident and give her directions, and be aware of my orientation.
My dad is going to accompany us tomorrow for the second walk, just to observe us working, and so that he feels a bit more relaxed about me going out on my own. (it might be a different story for me though!). Don’t tell anyone though-but i have a little feeling that maybe I will qualify tomorrow. I don’t know for sure, but I just got the feeling earlier. Will let you know what happens though!