Thursday, June 14, 2012

Camp Doglando, Day 3

Its hump day of week one, and we are way ahead of our game! This morning we started off with a walk up and down Colonial, working with the real life distractions that surrounded us. The walk was a struggle for several of the dog-camper teams, of course the summer heat never favorable for us... buts its life in Florida! After a refreshing break we headed to the Waterford Lakes Panera for our first lunch outing with the dogs. Dressed up in "adopt me" bandansThe dogs did awesome in the bus ride to Panera, no whining, whimpering or over excitement, they were just happy to be with the campers and to come along. Once we go to Panera, we tethered the dogs to the chairs, and every dog laid down, while their campers ate. We had visitors go by and you would not have known three days ago, these dogs were in the shelter. Its not about training, the kids learned first hand it's a choice of lifestyle and the dogs know how to adapt to it. We wrapped up lunch and took a walk around Waterford. On a short, loose leash, the teams were challenged to have their dogs walk right next to them wihtout pulling, and when they stopped, their dogs had to assume the "sit" posiiton. This was their proudest moments so far, I think! Every team successfully had their dogs walking beautifully, and sitting every time their handlers feet came together to a stop. Watching them, was like watching a beautiful dance... their partnership was strong, their communication and understanding was solid... they were swift in their movements... it was awesome! The funny things was, our morning walk was horrible! The complete Every camper felt defeated, exhausted and unaccomplished... some resulting to unnecssary force due to the frustration they felt, some giving up, and others just letting their dogs pull along. The difference was, they had to practice what they learned, and that is to separate their emotion from the exercise... and think of it purely from the way the dog sees and feels it. Despite the afternoon heat, the campers begged to stay longer and extend the walk... its what happens when things are going to so great! But, as importantly, we need to know our limits with the dogs, and respect how well they did too. We headed back to Doglando for swim time! Yesterday was our first time in the pool with the dogs... it was everything like you probably imagine it to me..... most did not like it. This lesson was vital in our ability to teach the dogs to trust us and more importantly for the dog to know "it can do it!" Those kids that were patient despite the challenge it poised, were able to get their dogs swimming along with them within 30 minutes. Two dogs are seeking to have a dock diving career! Overall a great day, a lot accomplished... kids and dogs exhausted, mentally and physically.

1 comment:

Pant and Wag said...

Thanks for sharing nice blog on dog grooming.

Pant & Wag