Doggy Diaries – Soap, treats and the hill, oh my!

This will be long, so fill your beverage and grab a snack haha!

I gotta start off by saying that I won a drawing on a blog! Here is the link to the post about me winning. Toby’s raiser makes soap from goat’s milk, and not just any goats, her very own goats. So I won two bars of goat’s milk soap, but not just any bars of soap, they’ve got carvings on them! I didn’t feel one of them yet, but the one I took out of it’s pretty wrapping has a dog laying down with a bone nearby and I can actually feel the texture of the hair on the dog’s body. Very cool! Toby’s raiser didn’t carve them herself, but she made the soap, and it’s so soft and silky with a really light pretty scent. She also included a bag of dog treats for Jayden, little paw shaped treats that are a little chewy. Jayden gobbled one last night and then wanted more haha! So that was so cool to win that and B read me the card that Toby’s raiser included, which was very sweet, with descriptions of the soap. I thought maybe the treats would come in handy for high value rewards.

If you’re not familiar with high value rewards, they are for use when a dog does a behavior you’re really pleased with. Either something new, or something you’ve had difficulty with. I had heard about jackpot rewards because the cds mentioned them before I went to school. Basically a jackpot is just more kibble or whatever you’re using. So like when Jayden targets a new thing, I give him a jackpot. I also give him a jackpot at the mail and at the front door, every time, so he’ll do anything to get me to those places.

A high value is some kind of really tasty different treat. At school when we did recalls, my instructor used broken up Iams biscuits. So these treats from Toby’s raiser were gonna be perfect. So, on to today.

Dave picked us up and asked where I wanted to go. I had an odd request, because I needed dog food. I’m not used to having dogs lol. Gotta get in the habit of planning ahead for food. I still had a few days worth, but really wanted to get it and I did not want to go to the pet store on a weekend. So we drove to Petco but they didn’t open until 10. So we went over to Petsmart. Luckily they’re close together, and they opened at 9. Sweet. Good thing I had my Gentle Leader haha! As soon as we got out of the car, Jayden was distracted by another dog and wouldn’t heel so I could get into guiding position. So he got the GL. It was definitely a great obedience lesson and Dave was impressed how just the sound of my voice snapped Jayden out of any distractions. He didn’t need any corrections, just vocal cues. Turns out the Petsmart has a clinic, one of those concierge type ones, can’t remember the name. But they have a scale you can use, so we went back so I could get Jayden’s weight. He’s right where he’s supposed to be yay! Then we went and checked out the food and Dave saw how confusing the Science Diet can be haha! It was on sale, bonus! So we went to check out and Jayden popped out of his sit twice, which earned a correction and then he sat the whole rest of the time I was checking out.

We came back home and dropped off the food and then went to tackle the hill. Don had told me to get out my cane the next time Jayden was hesitant to go down the road, so my plan was to use the cane and stop periodically and give a high value to try and make it more positive. I had my cane folded up in my pocket and we worked out to the spot. A car came and Jayden wouldn’t budge, good boy. We worked to the first curb then the second then walked down next to it and got to where he usually stops. And he didn’t stop. He kept walking. Holy crap. I’m saying YAY really loud and saying good boy and I thought about stopping to give a high value but I didn’t want to stop him so at the bottom of the hill we had a party! He got two high values and lots of love and praise. Then we crossed the road and went back up and when we got home, we had another party with more high values. Wow!! Dave and I were both shocked. Dave was wondering if maybe Jayden had gotten “warmed up” at Petsmart, but I think really what it might have been was all that obedience there. I was really firm with him there, so maybe it just reinforced that I’m the alpha? I have no idea. Thoughts?

So I was just so happy and I called Don and left him a message when I got home. Jayden proceeded to stretch out on the tile and pass out for awhile haha! It was already pretty warm by the time we got home.

My maintenence guy came over a little bit later because my sink had gotten clogged. Actually the disposal had gotten clogged, so when I ran water on that side, it backed up into the dishwasher and was leaking yesterday. So Jayden got all excited because he was actually able to say hi since he wasn’t in harness. I did put him on his leash though so he’d leave the maintenence guy alone while he worked haha. I had to run the dishwasher empty with some bleach in it because it smelled rotten, so now I’m finally running it full of dishes. I’ve been a slacker when it comes to my kitchen.

At Petsmart, I also picked up some more Kong cookies, liver flavor this time. So Jayden just enjoyed one of those. He gets that cookie out in like seven minutes, no matter how hard I cram it down in there. Now he’s curled up next to me on the couch, relaxing after a day’s hard and wonderful work!

Oh and the school had called to follow up on my experiences there, so that was really good to get that taken care of. It’s always so hard to talk negatively about anyone, but it’s so important that the person involved knows what’s up, so that things aren’t repeated. So I feel really good about that and it also just showed me even more how much GDB cares about their students, so that was another really positive thing that happened today. Now I’m tired, time for coffee 😉


Filed under accomplishment, coffeeholic, Doggy Diaries, dogs, GDB, gratitude, guide dogs, intelligent disobedience, Jayden, num num food, plugs, traffic check, transitioning, weather, white cane, working dog

4 Responses to Doggy Diaries – Soap, treats and the hill, oh my!

  1. If he can get Kong cookies out so fast, have you ever heard of the Everlasting Treat Ball? Most dogs that takes about an hour to two to clean out (ie it’s not really “everlasting” but it lasts longer than a kong for most dogs)

    For the hill, maybe he just needed some time to think it over and figure it out? I’ve seen that happen with a lot of dogs. They balk or act stupid about something for a while, then you leave it and don’t try it or do anything with it for a bit and then when you try again it’s like BINGO! and the dog acts as if he’s done that every day of his life perfectly. It’s actually pretty normal as that is just a plateau of the learning curve that all creatures go through when doing new things. I mean you think of all that Jayden has had to learn and adjust to in the past few months (I mean he wasn’t at guide dog school all that long learning tons of new stuff, then he was matched with you, then he had to come to your house and learn new stuff, as well as generalize and habitualize all of these things to all sorts of new places) and really doesn’t surprise me if he has a few spots like that. But that’s awesome that it all worked out and he did terrific!!

  2. I’m glad you enjoyed the soap! (and that Jayden enjoyed the treats!).

  3. Katrin said what I would have. Trix had some uber issues with a couple of scary crossings. And we did the same thing…and one day, snap! Something clicked and my poochers had a doggy lightbulb moment! And she’s never messed up those crossings since.

    Yea cool soap and yea yummy Jayden treats and yea petsmart scales. Oh I wish I had a scale that wasn’t my vet’s. Oh well. I wish I was as strong as one friend. He just weighs himself and then herks his 60-pound dog up in his arms and jumps back on the scale. Never gonna happen with me.

  4. Ro

    I’m glad to know this was fairly normal. I spoke with Don last night and he said my message made his day; he was so happy. I’ll have to look into the everlasting treat thing. That sounds cool. I might start freezing the cookie in the kong hahaha.

    Yeah I couldn’t do the scale trick. I can barely stay steady when it’s just me haha!

    Toby’s trainer, I used the soap in the shower yesterday and it was so nice!!

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