We ended up having a huge trip out today!
Overall it was a really good walk, we had some absolutely amazing training experiences, and although there were some really shitty bits, they were also great for training.
I’m hoping to belt this all out in one post so it’s over and done with. If the post is disjointed and weird I have a foggy head. I feel like when I’ve had a seizure head my blogs are very “then we did this and then we did this and then this happened”, but I cba waiting and only blogging when I feel okay, I want to share our news.
Immediately after heading out we bumped into THE Basset Hound with the idiot owner. She walked her dog right along a grassy verge, and Pixie watched very calmly then blanked the dog to sniff at the grass (I was giving her the toilet cue) 😀
Pixie’s reactiveness to other dogs was quite a significant reason for me not wanting to work her, but she has made such fantastic strides in that regard. The past few days she has seen or walked past half a dozen dogs within a 12ft range, and hasn’t reacted at all.
Once in town me and Pixie walked to the square while my partner bought some high value treats and a drink. Pixie sniffed about the bench I was sat on then came and sat on my lap until he returned.
We walked through town to the canal, then Pixie was bagged for a bit (the path along the canal is very narrow and usually full of off lead untrained dogs, screaming children and cyclists!).
Once we rounded the corner she got to go down and have a sniff – even when I release her she spends almost all her time offering wonderful behaviour such as heeling, so I just reward her whenever she feels like offering it 😀
We looped off the canal, over the bridge, and made our way to the fields.
When we first found this field we considered it as a safe place for us to walk dogs with issues…that was until we discovered that zero dog owners in this area respect the farmer’s request to keep dogs on lead. Every time we have used this field we have seen an off lead dog in it *sigh*
We left the field through a kissing gate, walked along a lane with building work being done, followed the path beside a forest and finally into a small village. Lots of new experiences for Pixie, she had never been here in her life before.
We meandered over to a small pet shop – we’ve walked to this pet shop at least four times before and it’s never been open, well this time it was!!
I asked Pix if she wanted to come in, but she seemed unsure so I gave her lead to my partner and went in for a quick browse. It was a nice little pet shop, way better than the slightly bigger one we have in town – they had more of a range of stock and the prices were waaaay better.
I went out to ask my partner if I could buy a few toys, and Pixie was so excited to see me that as soon as I appeared in the shop doorway she rushed in and was walking about happy as Larry! She walked to the rear of the shop with me, she didn’t sniff any of the stock and her focus was amazing – here she is in the dog section!
The pet shop owner was really good and didn’t even think about coming to bother Pixie, and there were two Bulldogs in a pen by the till and they didn’t make a peep either. Really great opportunity for training!
I chose two toys for Pixie and when I took her over to toilet on the grass we had a play with one of them…this video is so cute, and check out at the very beginning for the dog walking past us in the background that she ignored.
And I know I say this all the time…but remember this is the dog who had never been walked, had zero training, was so scared of everything and didn’t know how to play!!
Play over, we headed back the way we’d come and just before we went into the field where dogs are supposed to be on lead, we saw an older man walking an off lead Springer. I took Pixie to a bench about 15ft from the end of the field and had her sit on my lap.
The man came and talked to my partner about the house that was being built behind us (?!?). During this the man and Springer were both only 4ft from me and Pixie, and SHE DIDN’T MAKE A PEEP!!!
She wasn’t overly anxious at all! She was getting lots of chicken for being good, and the man moved off after a few minutes. The cutest thing is after someone has talked to my partner, Pixie will watch him so intently to make sure he is okay!!! If he doesn’t reassure her she will watch him for the next few minutes, whereas if he immediately fusses her and says he’s okay, she stops being concerned and carries on XD
Instead of joining the canal we followed an uphill path to the right which took us to some really beautiful farmers’ fields.
Again I wasn’t expecting her to work and kept releasing her to go explore, but she offered a lovely heel!
We did a lot of training with various gates. Here we are working with a kissing gate 🙂
We had some play time with her lead trailing and her new toy here, but then this old man appeared from behind a hedge and scared both of us haha!! I took Pixie away down a path away from him; he was old (her least favourite), wearing a hat, a little odd, AND had appeared from nowhere as she was playing, so she already wasn’t comfortable around him.
We went down a ditch to create room, and this bloody man followed us! Even worse he marched directly at us! He kept coming at me and Pixie, and now we were stuck at a dead end. I picked Pixie up as she was huffy-barking, stood as far off to the side as I could, turned from him, and fed her treats. She was quiet and accepting treats as he passed.
I was a little annoyed in that if he hadn’t come our way Pixie wouldn’t have reacted at all, but I absolutely did not blame her for reacting to him, and I was very happy with how immediately she bounced back 🙂
As we were leaving the fields I started to feel very off, and knew a seizure was coming. Pixie had been walking and staring at me lots (staring is her most subtle alert) but I thought she was just working for treats XD
We were still a good 20 minutes from home so kept walking. The path we followed involved climbing over a lot of furniture that someone had dumped there, and some high concrete ledges. I felt very unsafe climbing over these, but luckily didn’t have a seizure in the process 😛
By now I was feeling really unwell and knew a seizure was imminent. I also had what we’ve dubbed “seizure rage” hahaha! I told my partner and Pixie to carry on and go home (I don’t know why, I wasn’t thinking straight) and told my partner I’d call him…but Pixie wouldn’t go!
My partner was insistently tugging at her and telling her to carry on, and she was just pulling back and staring back and up at me, god bless her! ❤
So I knelt and called her to me and we cuddled, and I walked a few meters further then was like “Yeah…I need to sit down” XD I sat and, what do you know, had a cluster of seizures. This is a photo from the spot where I fitted; the white circle is where I was climbing over things to get to the path…I need to start paying attention to my auras >__<
Pixie was absolutely incredible!
As soon as I sat on the floor she came to me. When I was out of it she sat by my side, and as I was coming around she climbed on me, pawed at me and licked me – this is exactly what she has been trained to do!!! *happy dance*
These are pics of me during some partial seizures and before and after a biggie 🙂
Feeling a lot better and almost ready to carry on (see that little smile on my face? I’m coming back to earth! 🙂 )
The way back through town was an absolute nightmare, as the world threw so much shit at us…thankfully I don’t remember hahaha XD
The worst bit was as we were stood to cross a busy main road in town. I was completely out of it due to the after-seizure-effects, and my partner was having to carry Pixie and keep an eye on me. We were stood facing the road waiting for the lights to go red, and there was a middle-aged woman and a girl about our age standing uncomfortable close behind us.
At some point my partner heard the woman making that awful kissy-kissy noise that people do to dogs, and Pixie moved in his arms and when he turned the woman had been reaching for Pixie BEHIND HIS BACK AND OVER HIS DAMN SHOULDER!!!
She hadn’t asked permission, she just reached for our dog without us even knowing! My partner was furious and said “She’s a seizure alert dog. Leave her alone and ignore her please!” To which the woman said “oh” and laughed…
On the walk from town to our house (about 10 mins) we had to deal with two large reactive dogs we know from the village, a motorbike gang (wth?!) and a horse and cart going past. Apparently I just kept saying “I want to be at home. Why aren’t we home yet?” XD
My partner said Pixie was fantastic, but I’m still glad I don’t remember it 😛
And that was our walk.
So…Pixie did absolutely amazingly incredible. We managed me having seizures in the middle of nowhere, and coped with it. We had our first member of the public we had to tell to back off. And we had a really nice walk overall 🙂
Here’s Pixie just after her walk, playing with her new toys ^__^