Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cali Day 3

Forward is cemented. And, she loves it. I was able to move back towards her
hip. I didn't have a handle so I couldn't go back much. But, I'll be able to
do some crafts tonight and get us set for tomorrow. Her real guide harness
won't arrive for a few weeks still. And, her "Guide in Training" id hasn't
yet arrived. I'll make a temporary one for starters.

She led us down the driveway, back up. Found the door to the arena, followed
a shoreline around the arena and avoided obstacles. She pointed out
interesting things. Hmmm. Click that? We'll see. Not yet. As we followed a
shoreline by the barn we came across the water hydrant. She pointed that out
to me. That did get a click. "Forward" from there took us nicely around it,
around the tree and down the driveway. Her space perception is outstanding.
We shore lined up toward my kennel building. She discovered some 4 x 4's blocking our way. She stopped and pointed those out to me. Click. "Forward" from there took
us on a right turn which would take us past my goose neck trailer, she led
us wide past that. Tomorrow I will set up an obstacle on our normal route
and see what happens.

I sent her to the trailer she arrived in. I asked her to go "in". Seemed to
me that this would simulate a bus. Previously, she'd been led in to the
trailer. This time she took me in. We turned around and I asked her to to go
"out". I stopped her at the beginning of the ramp and pointed out the
difference. I asked her to go slowly down the ramp and stop at the end. She
learned "wait" today. "Forward" again and we were off down the driveway
again. Perfect. I'm also planning to use the ramp skill to help us get into
other vehicles.

I haven't yet taught her to get into a vehicle. I'm wanting to be sure that
she will never again potty in a vehicle including the trailer. At the moment
she thinks that the trailer is a suitable place to go. Or, she did when she
came. I can't be sure now.

So, even though we are ready to go to town, my town, not any big town, the
real learning for Mona will have to be on sidewalks and cross streets with
traffic and such. But, before I do that, I've got to be sure she will not
potty. She has not potty'd while working at all.

With the new more controlled feeding schedule she is going on a more
consistent basis and not as frequently. I think at first she was nervous and
her poo's showed that being a little loose. At first, because she was used
to grazing 24 x 7 she seemed hungry. But, now she's being fed 4 times a day
and she didn't finish her last meal all the way. She "saved" some for later.
Of course, the hay stretchers she gets while working help her too.

I wanted her to understand that she could still graze but only when she
wasn't working. So, I took her out last night to graze on a special halter
and line. She won't ask to graze in her working outfit although I was able
to send her to grass so she could have a few nibbles. Even though she
doesn't have grass and we were passing a lot of grass, she never once put
her head down to reach for it.

She does like the arena. It must seem like where she's used to when she went
to shows.

So, after working we developed a plan for the next steps. Pottying on cue is
high on the list. And, riding in a vehicle. I will likely take her on her
first trip to town in my little trailer. I went shopping for her today and
bought her a reflective vest, a stall ball, and some parts to make a
relieving harness. Because Mona lives in town, there may be times when she
won't be able to find a suitable place for Cali to be able to "go". And,
since it's only healthy for her to wait a certain amount of time being able
to relieve in a bag which can be wrapped up and put in the trash will be
important. This will allow Cali to go places where Mona cannot control the
times to go out like train, bus and airplane trips.

I got her a bell for indicating that she has to "go". And, a rug for her to
stand on a mat in the house.

Like a puppy her first foray's into the house will be very controlled. Stand
on a mat. Stand tied. Just stand, like when I write this update. We'll ring
the bell before going "out". That way, she can find the bell to ask to go
out in time.

We tried on her new vest and she didn't mind that it had elastic that goes
around her loin. That will not be the final set-up but I was pleased that she
didn't mind the "dressing up".

She pee'd for me right on time. Good girl. Now to start logging this.

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