(VICT) Our Progress

Thane and I have made tons of progress this month. I was really feeling like 
I caused a lot of issues by not moving outside my comfort zone in training, 
but a few real good training sessions on the main road and I can say that 
Thane has really proven himself.
Today on the walk, Thane made it more clear than ever that he understands 
stationary obstacle avoidance. We have had some pretty wicked storming and 
winds here. It feels like Old Man winter returned. Well a huge tree branch 
broke so that it was leaning into our normal path. When Thane veered around 
our normal path something inside me said, *Trust Your dog* I trusted but 
then verified Smile
I was so proud of him. He did the same thing at Safeway- veered around a 
display on the sidewalk of hedge type bushes which I had forgotten were 
there.
He still needs some work in how he walks crossings but that will come with 
time. I've been doing most crossings with my guide cane. Today he did every 
crossing after leaving the park from his run.
He has that *herding head position* at times but it took Met about two years 
to separate that from guide work so I don't expect that to disappear 
overnight.
But and this is a big *But*
I feel we are at that point where I only dreamed of being- time for public 
access to begin.
Of course I am a bit nervous about how we both will handle it. I'm debating 
whether to do it with my cane or in-harness but think if he needs me to do 
the cane, I can just pull it out.
We went over to Safeway today so he could get used to the outside area. We 
met up with a neighbor as he was leaving. Thane and I just sat near the 
easiest entrance door- a big wide electric door you can walk in or out of. 
With the present leash hookup on my chair, this is the best door for us 
right now. (I have figured out pretty much the lengths needed to make a 
leash like I use with Met that will make the other entrance more easy to 
handle as well) Anyway, he got to see people come and go at the entrance. He 
was not at all surprised by any of it. The really nice developmentally 
disabled young man who works there saw us and talked to me. He was glad to 
see Thane and of course could not resist petting him. Thane needs work when 
people pet him but since most people really are good about not doing it 
without permission (at least they were with Met at that store) I'm not too 
concerned. His default when he is too excited is to do *paws* into my lap 
rather than jumping on others anyway. What Thane needs now though is 
experience working amongst the distraction of people. I love his taking 
notice enough that I know they are around though and do praise him for that.
Getting out and training like that really rejuvenates the pup within him 
too- its so fun to watch him after we return bouncing around like the silly 
adolescent he is. Then when its all out, he konks out for a nice nap.
I will keep you all posted when public access happens. It may be one of 
those things when we both are just really in sinc that we try it. Hopefully 
this will be one of those *Hey Mikey, He likes it* type of experiences Smile

Karyn and Thane (GDIT, HDIT)
http://www.pawsitively-k9.com


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