June 13, 2005

First Day Home

Today we just got to know each other. We all got up about 6:30 and went for a short walk. Thommo pretended that Dusty wasn't there. I gave her a chicken wing and when she'd finished, I left her in the 'dog-proof' area and took Thommo out for another half hour. Then Thommo got his breakfast while I took Dusty out by herself.

I 'charged the clicker' getting her used to the sound and the fact that it means a reward is coming. I carried the clicker and treats with me and clicked behaviours that I'll eventually want on cue - stretching, sitting, coming to me. We wandered along on leash, never allowing any tension on the lead. If she wasn't going in the direction I wanted, I used my voice or a toy to attract her attention. As Clothier says - it takes two to pull on the lead. My plan is for her never to feel any tension. The lead is an emergency safety device not a steering wheel.

Dusty slept under my desk while I marked essays, Thommo was in the other room with the door shut. They then had ten minutes together alone, while I went to the shop. All was quiet when I returned. Meals today were a BARF pattie in two sections, a half can of sardines and a small chicken wing. She sits and waits for me to put her bowl down, very impressive.

I've been taking her out to the mulch when ever she wakes up from a nap, has a play, has something to eat or drink or every hour if she hasn't been and so far she hasn't toileted inside.

This afternoon we went to the park and met a couple of friendly neighbourhood dogs. There was a children's birthday party in the distance so we watched the children running and shouting. Two boys came over and wanted to play with her, so I got them to snake her lead around on the grass and she happily chased it.

She is now asleep in the open crate.

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