January was a bit of a quiet month for us. We didn’t see many people and didn’t spend much time in the malls or stores because we are trying to stay away from that pesky virus. Mum and I are disgusted because when we go to the food fair to practice me ignoring food on the floor we find it positively gleaming with nary a crumb to be found. One day Mum spotted a crumb and we headed over to walk past it but a lady beat us to it and swept it up before we even got there!! It rained a lot in January so some days we weren’t too interested in walking very far. I have been doing some special work to help me not get so excited by other dogs and critters that we see when on our walks. Mum has “ditched my food bowl” so I only get a wee bit of food from my bowl, enough to retain my good manners at meal time, and the rest comes from Mum’s hand. One of the exercises we do involves Mum putting a kibble on the floor beside various objects, telling me “search”, then walking away. Right away I look at her and follow her, then she says “nice” and gives me a whole bunch of kibbles! Dad doesn’t approve because he says dogs shouldn’t be eating food off the floor, but Mum has noticed that I still know to not take food off the floor if she doesn’t put it there for me. This exercise is designed to increase my confidence and optimism and to help me be calm, and it works!!! When we encounter other dogs and squirrels on our walks I usually just look at them and we continue on our way. Mum was so pleased with me one day when I sat quietly for a photo and totally ignored the great blue heron that was right behind me, then further on in our walk Mum was taking my photo in front of a flower bed then turned around to find a lady with her big white Standard Poodle right behind her. I had just looked at it, and didn’t even break my sit!
We are also doing a 25 day challenge called “Sexier than a Squirrel”, with a new game to play each day. It’s lots of fun and makes me think that Mum is the most fun and interesting thing in my world – even sexier than a squirrel!!
I had a little boy surgery at the end of the month so things have been pretty quiet for us while I recover. I have actually started to like the blow up cone that I wear during the day, and happily “dress” in it – it makes a great pillow! I even accept the hard plastic cone that I have to wear at night.
Submitted by Puppy raiser Nola Chanroux