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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Road Trip!

We’ve just gotten back from a trip to Cincinnati, OH, for a Healing Touch for Animals® advanced proficiency workshop.  Treasure and her buddy Brinks accompanied my friend and me.  We had a great time, and I have to say how extremely proud I am of both dogs.   They have both only been with me for two months at this point, and neither one has traveled, and both are barely housetrained.  They both did so very well!
Treasure travels well in the car, but a nine hour drive is difficult for any of us.  She rode calmly and slept most of the way.  She handled rest area and gas station stops well.  In the beginning, my friend tried to walk her, but I wasn’t really thinking on that one. Treasure was in a new place on a leash and the first thing she always does when she’s put on the grass is to orient and to find me.  Well, she was looking and I wasn’t there, so we switched and I made sure either to walk Treasure myself or to take a minute to connect with her once she was on the ground so she knew I was nearby.  Once she knows I am there, she is content to sniff and do whatever she needs to do.  I did notice that she responded to the vibrations from all the trucks at the rest stops, following them with her nose.
I took as many of Treasure’s own items from home that I could.  She had her own crate and bowls and her own blankie, so she would feel at home.  I took an ex pen with me for pottying at the hotel in case I ran into trouble.  Treasure still does not really like to potty on leash although she is getting better.  If she decided not to go, I thought the ex pen would allow her a little bit of freedom.  The hotel had a small plot of grass right outside each room’s door, which was just the size for me to set the ex pen on … worked out great.  It was easy to quickly wisk her or Brinks outside in a hurry if necessary!
Once at the hotel, Treasure set about immediately exploring, while Brinks the puppy bounced around her head wanting to play.  But until she mapped out everything, she ignored him.  She was on a mission!  I had brought along her Angel Vest in case she needed it in a new place, but she wasn’t upset at all by a new place to explore and in a few minutes felt comfortable enough to play with Brinks.  She slept in her normal place on the bed with me, but I think she was very happy not to have to share it with the other dogs at home!  The last night she even slept with her head on the pillow next to me and under the covers.  She stayed there all night. 
The workshop was three full days, and I made sure to once again take Treasure’s own crate and blanket so she would have her own stuff to orient to.  During lecture times, I kept her on a leash with me at my chair, but she had her open crate next to me and she chose to lie in the crate with her head sticking out, or right next to and touching the crate.  It was like her anchor to something familiar.  She was very good and she got extra practice with pottying on leash during the days! 
Treasure was great with so many people she didn’t know handling her and loved the new techniques.  She was even very accepting of the essential oils we worked with.  I wondered if it might be too much for her because her sense of smell is so much more sensitive due to her other senses being out of commission.  But she really seemed to like them. 
I love to take pictures. I love my dogs.  And, I love to take pictures of my dogs!  So I tried to pose Treasure outside of the facility on Saturday where they had a lovely fall display.  Many pictures later, this is my favorite one of her.  Did I mention it is very hard to pose a b/d dog and get a picture of her looking at you?  And in my case it is very hard to get her to stay in one place long enough to take pictures at all!  She hasn’t quite learned to stay yet!  Maybe that will be this week’s project!

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