Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Nike, through Mid-April

From Nike's Mom, Elena:

Well Nike had her first day at day care. I was a mess. I also had her groomed while she was there because she is not scared of the bath and I’ve been playing with her paws frequently and I wanted to see how she would do with getting her nails cut. She did fabulous on the grooming, but I think she was a little overwhelmed at first by the other dogs. Up to this point, we started having ‘bring your dog to work day” on Fridays and a couple people would bring their dogs in. She was great with that playing and just having a ball, but of course she always knew her mommy was there. I started bringing her to daycare 2 days a week to get her socialized. She is insanely in love with this guy, Pat that works there and she follows him everywhere and even opened the door on him while he was in the bathroom! My Dad was here for a visit and Nike was crazy about him, too. We brought my dad with us to dog class at the dude ranch. He was incredibly impressed with the training. Nike was hitting her 16 week mark and all her obedience skills were great, however…she was starting to challenge me on her recall. I would call her and she would come happily bounding at me and then takes a sharp turn just as she got to me and veer around me. No worries. Dee had us practice at closer ranges and doing a collar grab when she got to me. She still needs work, though.

April 1-15

Still working on this recall thing. We are getting better. I’ve been practicing with her in our hallway (Dee’s advice) so she doesn’t have room to veer around me. It’s working great. I am also getting longer “stays” out of her. On Dee’s suggestion we also started practicing walking together at “heel” on very long steps and very steep hills. Nike is doing that fabulous. I use “with me” and I am extremely confident she won’t pull me down a hill or steps. We continuously work on different terrain and in different environments. Sadly, I had to leave Nike for a weekend because of my military obligations (I was playing soldier in the field one weekend and couldn’t bring her with me. She stayed with her Daddy (Donnie) and Dee came down to do one on one training with them. I firmly believe in not missing one single week with Dee, especially at this young age. Even if it’s group class or one on one, we do something with Dee every week. ee knows I have military obligations and will sometimes have to leave Nike. Regardless of the care environment I leave Nike in, Dee is willing to come train with her, so that we keep developing. Dee has incredible commitment to me and Nike. Nike did great that weekend, but when I got home she was really jumpy. I thought “oh, no, am I going to have to start over?” Nike was literally jumping up on me constantly that first night back. The next morning she was a totally different dog. I could not believe what a mature young lady she was being. So I guess that first night back was just excitement.

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