May 7th, 2008

Fiona and me in the snow

pictures! Today's summary with the beginning of freelance

Before I go into today, behold ... pictures of me and Velvet. These images aren't resized. Perhaps once they are uploaded, I can make scrapbook resize them when you view them, but for now ... they could be a bit large. But maybe I've fixed it.

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Today went well for the most part. Velvet didn't eat any bread rolls off the table, the food continues to be good, and for the most part, my last solo went well. I remembered the route, and Velvet did well, but she ran a street that looked like a driveway to her. Luckily, we didn't get killed, so all was well.

We continue to have problems as we enter the street. Jim says this is normal, and that since she'd gotten traffic checks before, some of them close, that she has been hesitating, sometimes to the point that I'm having to coax her with praise and lots of pats out into the street. I know that it's safe, so now we just have to get her confidence up that I will be safe if we cross when it's safe. It will happen soon enough, but it's still hard for me to deal with. I knew that I would have a time where I it wouldn't be perfect and easy ... every new student has these times ... but I was still hoping it would be perfect. Not that fast I suppose :), but life hasn't always been that easy for me all of the time. We'll make it through, but for now, I try to think of the positives.

In the afternoon after going on the solo, we went into RightAid (Spelling probably incorrect) and we tried her out around isles, in a small crowd, and at a counter. Once we got to RightAide, she performed perfectly. She even did well on the way back from there, making the crossings with not much hesitation. Tomorrow, we may be doing busses and trains which is always fun and helps to excite the dog a bit.

We had a veterinarian lecture tonight which I thought would be a bit on the boring side, but was actually informative--to ma. I asked several questions, which probably prolonged the meeting a bit, but I hope that they were not only helpful to me, but also were ones that others might have wondered about. We learned lots about flea, tick, and heart worm preventative, along with that other favorite topic of ours, bones and toys, and many things I'm too tired to recount here. The main thing I took home is that it's very important to keep up our dog's health, and, since we're trusting in their eyesight so much, have their eyes checked by a veterinarian opthamologist regularly. I didn't do that with Fiona, but didn't know that veterinarian opthamologists even existed, so now I know. My vet told me about a cataract she had developed about six months ago, and I wonder if I'd have found out sooner by seeing a specialist. Again, I guess these lectures are there to help us to relearn and remember things we've forgotten or newly found or researched stuff that wasn't known for our last dogs.

My room smells like a tack foom now. I put on the first coat of oil on my new harness and leash this afternoon, and I was surprised to experience that the oil brought that charactaristic leathery smell you get with new leather. The only problem with the oil is that it's thin and ... well ... oily, and it's hard to get off of your hands and clothes if you spill it on them. It's hard to keep off of your hands though, so you just deal with it. Without a good oiling, these leather things are less resistant to water, and they tend to crack and break down before they should. You're supposed to be able to oil your harnesses periodically, and I know you can, but I never did in the ten years I worked Fiona.

Well, that's all I can think of now, plus, it's getting really late. More soon.

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