The adventures of SD Juno and SDIT Kaline (and their human, Colt).

25 August 2012

Saturday Class No. 4 and a San Francisco trip for Juno

Used up all my spoons for the day, oh boy. We got up early because the parents were having the carpets cleaned. Dad, the pups, and I went to Borrone's to grab breakfast before class. Kaline worked on under and attention with other dogs around; I tried to follow Sonja's advice but sometimes it's hard, when Kaline is just staring away at other dogs. I'll work on myself.
Kaline on the way to class. He looked like an alien.
Class was great fun. We did retrieving stuff at the beginning; Juno got to demo hold and out, and then I got to play with Kaline. He's too little to really do hold and out yet, but I had a stuffed anteater for him that he could work on fetching. He had an excellent time.

Heeling didn't go as well as it has been, for some reason—I worked with him on informal loose-leash walking after class though, with the clicker. We gotta get cracking on that for the CGC in mid-September! We did a ton of different recall stuff and Kaline did pretty well. Still working on coming in straight, but his sit-stay was rock solid and at least he came gleefully in my direction. One time Percy, the young colored bull terrier, practically sat on Kaline and my guy didn't get up, just shifted a little. He got compliments on his confidence—we had the dogs in really close quarters, in down-stays, and Kaline just rested his head on his paws, chilling out. Not a lot really bothers him.

All through class, whatever we were doing, I had my clicker in my hand and was c/t-ing Kaline for choosing to give me attention. It was really fun, it was like our own little class within a class. And our loose-leash work was cool too, he really seemed to be having a good time and understanding what I wanted. We'll get it in time for the CGC!

We came home, everyone's brain fried, and had naptime, Kaline in his crate and Juno snuggling with me on my bed. Then I did grooming for both dogs—I got their nails so short, what a great triumph! (Yeah, I know, my life is super exciting.)

There was a San Francisco Atheists event in the city at 4:30, so Juno and I took BART there. I was already getting hyper-anxious; Juno had to do a lap-up before we even got on the train.
Juno keeping watch before BART scared the crap out of her.
Juno had only been on BART one time before, and she did not at all enjoy her second trip. She does fine on trains, in cars, and on airplanes, but something about the BART train's noise and movement really bothered her. It makes kind of a high-pitched noise at some points, and then you'll go through tunnels and the crashing noise of the train on its rails reverberates all around. Juno's head was up, her ears were at attention, her eyes were wide, and she even whined a little, all very out of character for her.

Luckily, I had brought her dinner in a baggie, and Juno is about the most food-motivated dog int he whole world. I treated her whenever the weird noises happened and whenever she looked at me. Right at the end of our 40-minute ride, she finally sighed and put her head on her paws. Grin.

She was so stoked to leave the BART station that she did some of the best momentum-pulling she's ever done! Juno was excellent going to the pub, pulling steadily and following my directionals. Being in the city on our own ratcheted up my anxiety, but Juno kept me moving. We found the pub without too much trouble, but it was really crowded when we got in. Another lap-up. Then we settled in at a group table and listened to Greta Christina's excellent talk on Atheism and Sexuality. Juno curled up cozily on her mat and slept through the whole thing.
Chilling out at Schroeder's with the SF Atheists.
Greta Christina!
Juno on the way back to BART.
Getting back on BART was the absolute worst part. After sitting through the talk, I was having flareups in pretty much every joint I could think of, and I was basically out of spoons. I was anxious about how Juno would be on the train, anxious about going underground, riding in the toilet-smelling elevators ... And then the train arrived, crammed to the windows with people. It was all I could do just to get on.

Of course, did anyone sitting in the disabled seats get up for us—a clearly marked service dog team? Nope, not a chance. I couldn't grab any of poles or straps, cause my hands hurt. We were pressed in on all sides by people. Juno was doing touch, over and over, hard, on my open right hand because I was about to have a panic attack. The train lurched and to save myself from falling I went on my knees on the floor next to Juno, trying to ground myself by stroking her and concentrating on keeping her from sliding around. After one stop, when a couple people got off and we could get next to a wall, I moved us there, Juno blocking in front of me. The guy whose bike was behind me against the wall started yelling not to bend his spokes, and I almost just melted down. It was just really bad.
Juno doing grounding work on BART.
Finally we got an actual seat, and Juno laid down behind my legs and put her head on my feet—more grounding. This third time on BART, she was the cool, collected one. It was like she'd gotten all her scared-ness out on the previous ride, and she was back to normal for the ride home. I was really proud of her. She did an awesome job today. Best dog ever.
Cuddling to keep warm waiting to get picked up at the BART station.

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