Friday, March 31, 2006

As I hit the link to create a new post, I realized that I still have not changed the time on this thing yet. That's something I should probably do.
Life has been fairly uneventful for the past week, seeing as all I've done is sleep and drink tons of water. Christena and Carmen handed in their last essay of the semester and I'm sure they both felt pretty good. I'm still not very well. All I do is sleep and when I'm awake I want to go back to sleep. It's really annoying. My parents sent me flowers with a little note attached that said, "Wish we were there to look after you." It was a nice gesture and the flowers are beautiful. They are so fragrant the whole kitchen smells of them.
It was beautiful here yesterday, so Ashley and I took Jetta and Medley outside for a grooming session. We then just sat there for a while listening to the birds and soaking in the sun. I think Jetta thoroughly enjoyed herself. She sat staring off into the neighbours' yards, plotting the fluttering birds' capture. The yard is not fenced in, so it is not a good idea to let her off her leash. It's so strange to me that dogs should be tied up. I've grown up with dogs and the first command they learned was "come." Leader Dog, for all of the great things they have done, did not give the dogs a recall command. I've heard this is how it is at most schools. It must be the kind of training the dogs undergo or something. Whenever I'm at home, Flash just goes outside with you, prances around in the yard and then usually comes back and lies at your feet. My yellow lab I had while growing up-his name was Sasha-always did the same thing. That is why when I went to guide dog school and they told me that Jetta had to be on a leash at all times, I was so surprised. If I were to go outside with her, the way I do with Flash, and let her wander about, she'd be gone. A lot of my friends who are guide dog handlers say the same thing. I guess the dogs have grown up always attached to a human in some respect or another, so when they are given freedom they dont' know what to do with it. Oh well, Jetta does get to go places most other dogs can't. Maybe it's a fair trade off. Anyway, I'm sleepy again. Back to bed for me.


L^2 said...

Hey Jess,

Actually, Leader Dogs does have a recall command, even though they generally encourage us to keep our dogs on leash. The dogs know "come" - it's in the daily obedience routine. The lecture tape on obedience training even encourages us to work up to a point when we can trust our dogs to do these commands off-leash in areas of high distraction.

I use "come" for Willow and even though she's not always perfect (as if anyone could be), it works whether she is on regular leash, 20 foot long leash, or off leash running around the yard. Willow will even come to me when we're swimming in the lake - she absolutely loves this. I do have to admit that when we are out for an off leash run with my sister's dog, Stella is the one who has the best recall of the three Labs, but she has had the most practice (because she is the most easily distracted). Willow typically doesn't want to be anywhere I'm not, so she usually sticks fairly close. And when she doesn't, I just yell "Willow, Come!" and she comes racing back.

So, if Jetta comes when called inside your house when she is off leash, then you just have to work your way up to trusting her off leash outside with distractions if you decide that's something you really want to be able to do with her. Because I can't see Willow unless she is right there in front of me, I'm not always comfortable allowing her off leash outside (in the parts of our yard that are not fenced), but it is nice to know that she will obey and come back at those times when I need or want to give her more freedom than the leash allows.

Hugs and hope you have a good weekend,
Laura, Willow and Stella

Jess and Jetta said...

Hey girls,
Jetta is horrible at coming. I've even had a Leader Dog rep. work with us on this and it hasn't helped. It doesn't matter what I do. When she's on a long leash or a short one, she comes, but as soon the leash is unsnapped, even in the house, her ears suddenly become deaf. lol Oh well, all dogs aren't perfect. Silly Jetta.

L^2 said...

Hi Girls,
Sorry to hear Jetta doesn't do come for you. I know it must be frustrating. Have you tried bribing her to come to you with peanut butter or a really big treat or something? I'm sure you have, but maybe it jus takes a certain yummy thing to get her attention.
I understand what you mean about going deaf as soon as the leash comes off though. I didn't get my whole train of thought in on my last comment, but what I meant to say was that when my sister, her husband and I take the dogs for a run Stella is the best about coming back, but Willow is the worst. She does really well when it's just her and I out in the yard, but add in her doggy friends, her people family, and a new place to sniff and she listens a lot less. At times like this, when we're out for a run, I'm glad there are 3 people there to watch out for her instead of just me. However, in this case it's not that she runs away, it's just that she finds a good spot to sniff and doesn't want to leave it to go with us further down the trail. Silly dog, but I guess she's just trying to make up for not being able to sniff stuff when she's working. :)

Jess and Jetta said...

I've tried treats. When we're walking down a trail she follows, but if I'm at the park with her she goes off, finds something to sniff and stays there. I then panic thinking she's gotten lost or something like that. She's good at everything else, it's just coming when I call her. Oh well, I guess we're not perfect.

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