Thursday, September 17, 2015

Shadow settling in

Tuesday 15th: I headed down for a private session with a dog trainer. Rachel and Ruth came with and I was glad they did. The trainer gave us a lot of ideas and it was nice to talk through it all on our way home. I am sure I would have forgotten things if I was on my own.
One main change was getting a halter for Shadow for walking. Although Shadow is pulling on the normal lead - the main reason for trying this is because I want to go for walks with Shadow and Asher in a pram. And be able to go on my own, pushing the pram and leading Shadow. The trainer said she would even use a halter in that situation - even with a dog that never pulls. It just makes it so much safer. And Shadow adjusted to it really quickly. It fits really comfortably and does not restrict the dog's mouth at all. It just means that if they try and pull, their head goes down (as the lead is attached under their chin). So they just can't pull at all.
It's ended up working really well, as I have been able to get out for walks and not need to constantly be training Shadow to not pull. She just naturally walks along side the pram. The exact spot I want her walking.
Then it was off to dance and St John for the girls. So a rather busy Tuesday this week.
Wednesday 16th: Hannah found this dress and looked very "old fashioned" today. The hair style adding to the picture quite nicely.
And good to get a photo of Rachel with Shadow. Shadow enjoying a bit of a cuddle and closeness while Rachel does some work on her novel.
Shadow playing with Asher today. I couldn't get a nice clear photo as the two of them were moving around so much.
An update on the knee. The big bandage is now off. I put two extra plasters on to make sure that the stitches (that were sticking out a bit) didn't hook on anything. You can see how swollen it is. And it's very stiff. He can hardly bend it. He will see the physiotherapist after his follow up appointment with the surgeon on the 23rd.
I finally remembered to take a photo of this very special letter that we go. Ruth even made the envelope herself - creating the "window" with the address.
This letter had me in tears and then laughing.
I learnt afterwards that she just loves putting a PS on the bottom of the letter. So she wanted to add something. We just had such a laugh. At least when asked to write a thank you letter as a school assignment, she chose this to write. It is beautiful.
Asher having some cuddle time with Shadow.
Asher and Hezekiah feeding Shadow. This is another change the trainer has suggested. We take Shadow's dry food for the day and then use feeding as opportunities to teach. So when she is fed, we use her "food name" which is "Sha-dow" (2 nice clear separate syllables). So even if the children are holding her food, she can only take the food when she hears "Sha-dow". She was already very good at waiting till told she could have her food, so it's not too much of a change. It's a great thing to learn though because there are little people around who sometimes have food in their hands. Shadow is just like any other Labrador and she LOVES food. So we don't want her steeling food from little hands. And the kids do love feeding her.
Thursday 17th. Shadow keeping Asher company while she works on her puzzles.
Hezekiah actually said he wanted to go and "pick up the poo" this afternoon. What a helpful boy. We need to try get a good poop scoop for him to use. He is learning from Ruth's great example as she has already headed out to do it without being asked.
Enjoying some more play time with Shadow coming to lie close to her.
And some extra excitement for Shadow today as she visited the Brownies. Ruth did this as part of her animal badge and enjoyed showing the girls all the tricks that Shadow can do. I should have brought her halter with though, as the girls would have liked to see it and be able to each take her for a little walk.

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