Sunday, March 11, 2012

Still Living

It has been just over a week since Hermione has joined our ranks. Things are moving right along as expected and I'm really impressed with her progress.
She is still waking me up every two hours or so, and even though I am slightly sleep deprived, I'd rather she did that as it is helping with her toilet training. Her favourite way to wake me up is to climb on my pillow,  grab my hair by the roots and pull. Maybe a more gentler tactic wasn't working. Either way, it lets me know she has to go and that I better get my behind out of bed.
Her name recognition is also coming right along. If I call her name now, she looks right at me, no matter where we are. She is still waiting to get her second set of vaccinations, but we have  been slowly introducing her to public places by carrying her everywhere. there are a lot of dog friendly pubs in our area and Hermione has become a regular at one just down the street from us. If she is to be a therapy dog, I think it is important she gets used to noises and people as soon as possible. We're very careful about letting people pet her still as we do not want her catching something.
 Since she seems to have a grasp on her name,   we've moved on to "sit" and her response to that is even more impressive.
For every meal--she is eating four times a day-she is asked to "sit" before her bowl is placed on the floor. I only started this yesterday and she already does it. She doesn't hold it for very long yet, but the point is, her butt hits the floor when I raise  the food bowl up. Since she does the action pretty consistently, I've put the word "sit" to it. Once she gets that, we'll move on to sitting without breakfast, lunch or dinner being the end result.
Glacier is warming up to her every day. He even fell asleep on the same couch with her last night, all curled up together. This is a feat in and of itself because upon her arrival, he didn't even want to be in the same room as her. I think once she has grown a bit, they will probably play quite a  bit.
Today Glacier and I walked to meet Tenie at the grocery store and I was impressed with his work. He lined up and stopped at every curb perfectly and even kept me from face planting when my toe caught a raise in the sidewalk.. catching his handler is not part of his job description, but when I started to trip, he stopped dead in his tracks, planted his paws and allowed me to brace myself on his back. He's such a great guy. I'm glad to see that Hermione's arrival has not impacted his working negatively.  Glacier obviously has a very important job and his reaction to such an intrusion is more important than anything else.
Glacier is not just a dog. He serves a purpose to keep me and him safe. If Hermione's presence impacted him so much that he refused to work, then we'd have to figure something out. Since everything is going well, that is not an option we need to explore.
As much as I love Hermione and working with her, it was very refreshing to walk with just Glacier this evening. There's something to be said about a smoothly functioning working team. He is used to me and I to him and we almost don't need verbal cues anymore. Going from being alert for puppy misbehaviors all of the time, to walking comfortably with Glacier is a huge reminder of just how far Glacier and I have come. It also reminds me that I definitely can trust him and to appreciate   what he does for me. It'll be great to work with him on the university's campus in September.
All in all, my life is all about puppies and dogs right now. I helped C design a "human clicker" training exercise for her dog training classes. It was meant to demonstrate to the handlers how useful the clicker is and how fun training can be. It was a lot of fun and really pushed me out of my comfort zone.
Hermione has fallen asleep in my lap and since she is blocking my Laptop, I think I will leave you for now.
Hope everyone had a good weekend.


Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

I am so very much thrilled that Glacier and Hermione are getting along FAMOUSLY. She really is doing well with the SIT. Super Job.

Amber DaWeenie said...

Everything sounds like it's going so well. How is Roscoe handling the newcomer? Can't wait to see pictures when you can get some. I just knew you'd be great at this!


Torie said...

I'm glad Glacier isn't too bothered with Hermion. I'm sure it's alot of hard work right now devoting your time to Glacier, Hermion and the sugar gliders. That's really good that she is starting to sit at meals as it stops her rushing her food.

I'm dying to know how the bonding is going with the gliders and you.

Oh and have you got your mango minster prize yet?


Two French Bulldogs said...

Ahhh so cute. We are going to try waking mom up that way
Benny & Lily

Jen said...

Glad things are going well with both dogs.

Sarge said...

Hey Jess!
Wow, sounds like things are going great with your pack! Maybe Hermione should try licking your face instead. BOL. Glacier is such a great pooch! I bet it was a nice walk.
Grr and Woof,
Sarge, COP