The happiest dogs & Mojo training

Toller and Mojo had their first walk together today, they LOVED it!

Toller’s fitness is doing well, although she still gets tired pretty quickly, she’s always running at FULL SPEED! So I’m not sure if her stamina’s still less or if it’s just because she’s so desperate to make up for lost time XD

Now that Mojo is bigger and can hold his own against full-throttle Tolly, they could enjoy some off lead time together. Here it is, in video and pics!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

He’s catching her in size!

They got tired quick XD

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Purdy ginger flecks

And Mojo has been doing some wonderful training, that little dog makes my heart sing πŸ™‚

Yesterday we went into town, and even though we didn’t do much there were so many positives! We bumped into the same child’s toy that Sasha saw a few days ago, and hugely freaked out over. It was good to get Mojo training around it, and obviously he didn’t care.

Then I took him to the metal panel that Sasha was terrified of between 3-6 months old, and Mojo walked onto it like a champ, zero fear πŸ™‚

bestdog4

Also, that’s the town centre behind us – he is still doing wonderful focus around distractions!

Walking under scaffolding πŸ™‚

And finally,Β YESTERDAY I started teaching Mojo ‘scratch’, so that I could transfer it to the scratch board and he could file his own front nails…ONE DAY later, and look!!

This dude’s such a champ ❀

Puppy reactivity & seaside trip!

Mojo is this awesome dog who has been a dream to socialise and train, other than one thing…

He HATES other dogs :/

This goes way beyond normal puppy unease, and is true fear. I can only imagine it’s due to his first home, as there was definitely at least one other dog in the house with him, and the dog/s were completely unsupervised (hence why he came to us, because he was having continuous accidents and things were been destroyed!).

Mojo is doing heaps better with other dogs after weeks of training, but at 15 weeks old he still can’t meet an unknown dog as he’s too scared.

If I know the dog won’t run over to him (maybe the other dog is on lead, or only interested in fetch) Mojo can be on the ground, and we will work on LAT, engage disengage, and general confidence boosting behaviour.

If there is a dog within about 8 feet, Mojo will climb onto my lap for safety. He might do little huffs, but usually he’s happy to sit and watch as I feed treats.

Anything closer than 4ft is in the danger zone. Mojo will back off my lap, growl, and try move away from the dog.

Previously he barked at all dogs, regardless of distance, and trembled. So progress has certainly been made. I can now carry him whilst other dogs are by my feet, and he will do engage disengage. It’s VERY rare he barks in my arms now, unless the other dog is reacting.

The main issue is that he’s 15 weeks old as of this Monday, and not met any strange dogs. I struggled with the idea of ‘throwing him in at the deep end’ and forcing him to meet dogs on walks before his socialisation window closed, but let’s be honest, flooding would just set him up for further failure and much future fear.

So I guess we’ll go slow and steady, and I’ll accept that he will most likely always be reactive, may never be able to meet unknown dogs well, but we can get him more confident around dogs and show him they’re not scary.

If there were ANY decent puppy/training classes nearby, I would give that a shot. Classes can actually be great for reactive dogs as long as they’re well planned, and it could really help him…unfortunately the classes near to us are TERRIBLE. About as bad as it gets. And I’ve not found good classes within 30 miles.

So I can’t go that route and I also don’t know anybody who has a dog that would be good to train around, and even if I did I doubt the owner would understand / help.

Just yesterday there was an interfering old busybody walking two dogs on the beach, one ‘not very nice’ and one supposedly friendly.

After I explained Mojo was a rescue and scared of dogs, she asked “Shall I hold my dog’s bum up to your dog so he can smell it?” (this as Mojo is backing off my lap growling at her dog a few feet away).

Me: *trying to hide a smile at this idea* No thanks, he’s fine just watching for now. He’s learning dogs aren’t scary, so we can’t throw too much at him.

Woman: It’s best if you don’t baby him though, you know. Isn’t it? You can’t treat him like a baby.

Me: (silently) Oh she’s one of those morons. Well, time to completely ignore her

Woman: It’s probably best if you just put him on the ground, stand up, and just ignore him. That’ll be the best for him. So he learns his place. You should probably do that.

Me: *continues to not even look at her whilst reassuring and treating Mojo, who’s doing really well* XD

Eventually she walked off. What an idiot.

Other than that, and some people stupidly interacting with Mojo (saying “oh naughty me, I’m distracting you from training aren’t I!” and reaching for his head when Mojo was focusing on me, a woman who grabbed at his head as she walked past and just carried on walking, etc etc) we had a really nice day πŸ™‚

Train ride on the way there!

Yay seaside πŸ˜€

Mojo’s first experience of a proper beach – of course he loved it!!

So much to sniff, so many new things to experience! Seaweed was a huge hit πŸ˜€

We walked along the beach and all of a sudden this end-of-the-world siren started. It was SO LOUD!! We were all a little bit freaked, I scooped Mojo up and cuddled him, he was dealing well with it, nobody else seemed panicked…turns out it was to announce the bloody tide coming in!! Really?!

It was at this point we met the stupid woman with the two Lhasa’s. Once they’d gone there was a Lab playing fetch ahead, clearly with no interest in me or Mojo, and so I sat the little guy down and we did some engage disengage.

We couldn’t get a photo fast enough to get the Lab in it (two throws of a ball from the slipway was apparently enough for the dog, then it was back into the car), but you can see Mojo volunteering focus and the edge of the slipway where the Lab was running from!

seaside12

After beach fun and saying hello to some people, we carried Mojo around a few shops and then we sat outside whilst my partner ran in to get some drinks and some fish and chips. We found half of a bird’s egg that had hatched, and Mojo decided it was very nice to chew on and mostly eat πŸ˜›

We then pootled back to the train station, and just behind there’s two picnic benches so we sat and ate our grub!

Before eating:

After I’d finished eating hahaha!

Working on him tucking out the way in small spaces πŸ˜€ ❀

seaside16

One quick pootle as my partner drank his cider…

…then it was time to sleep all the way home πŸ™‚

seaside21

I was utterly out of spoons after this trip. The rest of the night was spent feeling crummy and napping πŸ˜›

I had someone comment on FB asking why Mojo was the only one who got the seaside trip, so though I may as well preempt that and explain here too!

Sasha is too fearful; she couldn’t manage the train journeys and wouldn’t enjoy walking through the small town. Kasper is slightly too nervy, but also just too wild and frantic. And Tolly would get tired very quickly, doesn’t like riding trains or buses, and missed out on so much socialisation it would all be a bit much for her.

 

 

Sasha walks so far her legs shrink

No, not really. They’re still as ridiculously long as ever XD

But we did do a massive hike!

We walked along the canal, and wow I forgot how busy a sunny weekend made EVERYWHERE. There are a ton of fair weather dog walkers in this area, we can walk year-round every day at all times and go weeks without seeing someone if the weather isn’t good; as soon as the sun comes out you can’t move for other dog walkers, regardless of what day it is!

Despite it being super busy, Sasha did awesome! She greeted a few other dogs (including a tiny extremely excited furball of a puppy that I wanted to pick up and carry home with me!!) and when two separate groups of walkers stopped to chat, standing on opposite sides of the canal path and leaving us with less than 1ft gap to walk between them, she did so with no anxiety at all πŸ™‚

 

longwalk

longwalk2

Finally we leave the canal and begin following the lane that will let us join the farmer’s fields, which are always dead.

longwalk3

Sasha’s round a slight bend just enjoying herself, I can see her happily bouncing but not what she’s really looking at, and I call her to me to pop her on lead, as sometimes the field we’re going through has livestock in. She comes instantly, I clip her lead on, and when we continue I see that she’d been looking at sheep about 2ft away behind a metal gate!

So that was very cute! And also a really impressive recall πŸ˜‰

We passed through the first field and then Sasha got to go off lead and stretch her legs again. Field zoomies, yay!

Looking around us at the surrounding fields we couldn’t believe there were even several other dog walkers here!! We drifted from the path in search of wood for our vivariums, which Sasha was obviously very helpful with XD

longwalk8

longwalk10

longwalk11

We had a quick rest, enjoyed some drinks, and lay just soaking up the sun for about 15 minutes.

longwalk7

longwalk9

You have no idea how much I love this photo!!

When we were all feeling rejuvinated we collected our sticks and carried on. The views in these fields are amazing, and with a blue sky above them it’s incredible. We decided to walk a little ways extra (if we followed our usual route we’d be on the canal and back in town within 15 minutes, and we wanted to see more of the countryside).

Getting Sasha to sit for this photo was like trying to get blood from a stone. Damn teenager, every time I asked her to sit she would just stand and grin at me XD

longwalk15

longwalk16

We finally turned to come back and rejoin the actual route. We’ve walked a few minutes down the path, and all of sudden there’s a gate?! We’ve been doing this walk for years, this has never been here. Ahead of that there’s an even more serious looking metal fence, with huge chains holding it shut.

There’s no other route off this path, we would have to go alllll the way back (adding 40+ minutes onto our journey), so I hop over the wooden fence to go read the signs on the next fence, to see what’s going on.

longwalk19

Oh. Nice. Back we go then XD

We repeat the entire loop and, even though I was worried about Sasha getting too tired to make it, make it she did. She was lagging for the last twenty minutes, but we got there!

longwalk20

About ten minutes from home she did a big seizure alert, and sure enough less than five minutes later I had a huge seizure, that left me feeling very out of it. It was annoying being so close to home, but I knew I had to sit and recuperate.

The last 10 minutes took 20, but we got back safe and sound and had a lovely walk overall πŸ™‚

A ‘feel better’ walk

Awful day.

Finally managed to get out with the girls early evening (Toller being carried by my partner of course). Despite it being a sunny day the walk was really enjoyable, and I only had one seizure. Sasha alerted perfectly, and we sat out the way to recover – easy!

Had a really nice time…also if this isn’t the cutest photo ever, I don’t know what is. I love my partner so much πŸ™‚

girlswalk12

My girls and my love!

girlswalk

We found a string of dead moles, which was grim. There are so many hunters in this area.

girlswalk5

Beautiful view

For anybody who hasn’t seen on IG, Toller’s vet appt was cancelled this week and pushed back until next Wednesday.

At this point I’m completely sick of our vets. From them constantly getting her name wrong and never finding her on the system (they have her registered as ‘Polly’, we’ve told them half a dozen times to change it…) to the disgraceful way they treated Toller and all the misinformation and lack of information at the time of her accident, I’m done.

Why am I paying these guys so much to look at her, when they’re getting everything wrong, don’t have a clue on her prognosis, and can’t even get her name right?! Hmmm…

A huge fun sunny hike!

**quick update**

Kasper stays. There’s no way we can rehome him, so we’re just going to have to find a routine that keeps everyone stimulated, tired and happy, whilst keeping Kasper separate from Tolly and Charley, and Toller separate from everyone XD

But I’m sure we can do it. We just need to adjust.

**/update**

Had a perfect walk with Sasha yesterdayΒ πŸ™‚

Also I’m considering suspending her out-the-house training, and focusing on at-home tasks for now. I’m too ill to train her outside the house, and it’s making me despair and really beat myself up. Going out purely to train her with the world, then getting seizures and crying because I’ve let her down and I’m never going to be able to manage it is stupid, especially when I actually don’t go ANYWHERE that Sasha couldn’t come as a pet.

So we’ll continue to improve tasks at home, but outdoors intense training will take a huge step back. I think we’ll both appreciate this! The tasks she performs at home are (these are tasks she already knows, not ones I want her to learn!):

  • Seizure alert
  • Seizure response (lying down in front of me so I can fall onto her)
  • Stim interruption
  • Panic alert
  • Interrupting when I’m accidentally finger twiddling, which often results in dislocations (this is caused by panic, psychosis, or even happens in some seizures!)

Yesterday we had our first official ‘no longer having to worry about training walk’, and it was GREAT because I had some seizures, and I didn’t have to feel like I’d ruined anything πŸ™‚

It made a huge bloody difference and was honestly one of our happiest walks!

bighike

I think this is my favourite photo of me ever!

bighike4

Sasha was having SUCH A GOOD TIME zooming and splashing in the puddles, it was adorable! This video is possibly the best thing since sliced bread πŸ™‚

Someone got ever so slightly muddy XD

bighike10

bighike12

And this is a perfect example of the goal with loose lead walking; the lead sits in a lovely ‘J’ shape (or reverse, whatever!)

bighike13

And I seem to be entering a more extreme hypomanic / leading-to-manic episode.

I’ve had a week battling insomnia and getting little sleep every night, well last night 5am came and went and I was still wide awake. It was then me and my partner both realised that it was the approach of summer causing this; lighter days ALWAYS trigger manic episodes, without fail, and there’s nothing I can bloody do about it.

5am me; incredibly bored, wide awake, with an exhausted body!

hypomanic

Poopyhead Sasha

Oh god this cold is killing me -_-

I got about three hours sleep last night, and the rest of the night was spent wiping my streaming and very sore nose, trying to get my chronically achy neck comfy, and almost weeping with exhaustion. Apparently I am really bad at being ill haha! Can’t wait to feel physically better πŸ˜€

Today started off grim and grey, but early afternoon the sun blasted through the clouds and outside looked dreamy. I took Sasha out on my own as my partner had to go out, and omg what a butthead she was!!

At first I took her out on just her collar, because she wasn’t working and she’d be off lead within five minutes. Well, she’s having a teenage day, and so we got about a minute and a half from the house and she was walking ahead, on the verge of pulling, refusing to listen to me etc. You better believe I turned us around and marched us right back home.

I put a harness on her (still no vest so not strictly working) and we headed back out. She was much better but by god is she having a rebellious teenage day; she still needed A LOT of reminders how to act and her focus sucked.

Thanks for acting like an absolute tool when I was sick and out on my own, you butt head πŸ˜›

littleknob1

Is it just me or does she look incredibly proud of herself XD

littleknob

Oh and look who can’t even hold a simple stay, adolescent arse πŸ˜‰ That drop it was on point though, and her second stay was much better!

We did have fun though, I just slacked up a lot and expected less of her, so neither of us got frustrated. She still had to behave, but I didn’t expect perfection or push her too hard.

A video from yesterday – we’ve worked a lot on various behaviours in the ‘between’ position, as Sasha lost confidence there as she grew bigger. I really love working on different things with her in between πŸ™‚

And a video of Charley nailing putting his toy away!

Did you have a nice Purple Day?!

Purple Day is a day to raise awareness for epilepsy / seizure disorders, and today (26th March) is Purple Day!

Obligatory seizure info haha before we get to the fun dog stuff πŸ™‚

You can click to enlarge them too πŸ™‚

I’ve actually had a really really good Purple Day! How ironic is that?!

I had an awesome ‘walk’ with Sasha and Tolly this morning (such beautiful BEAUTIFUL weather!), then early this afternoon we left Sasha alone for the longest yet, and both went into town. When we got back, we dug out my old smoothie machine and made smoothies πŸ˜€

Girls’ walk photos first.

This walk was entirely off duty for Sasha. This meant she didn’t have to heel, she could sniff to her heart’s content, and could basically do anything but pull on lead.

The world threw a lot at us, with a car on the foot-only lane we were going to walk down, a quadbike on the beach, and an unruly out-of-control horse almost causing an accident on this coastal road…oh, and whilst we were on the narrowest part of this road, TEN MOTORBIKES went past!!

Because there were idiots on every off lead walk we approached, I let Sasha trail her lead once we could see in both directions.

It was a remarkably stress-free walk despite all that though, with zero seizures and the only misery emanating from Spud as she wanted to run with her big sister!

purpleday10

The weather was perfect. The sun was magnificent and kicking out significant heat, but it wasn’t too warm because of a nice sea breeze.

Coming off the road we stuck to a fairly small marshy area. We might have had to rely on this small area, but there was still enough room to stretch our legs and have fun πŸ™‚

purpleday11

And some videos of an off-duty Poodle!

(skip to about 15 seconds before the end for the cutest Tolly footage ever)

Sasha’s version of top speed zoomies XD

And this was truly fantastic impulse control! In the 30 minutes between walking up and down this road, a pigeon was killed. Feathers everywhere, and Sasha was of course extremely interested.

We stood about and worked and worked, and within a minute she was doing awesome focus and ignoring what may possibly be the most enticing thing for a dog πŸ˜€

Once we got back I had ZERO SEIZURES, so we thought we’d try head out just us two, and get a leaving of Sasha under our belts.

We headed through to town to Tesco, but within 30 seconds of stepping into the supermarket I started feeling really off (the lights combined with all the colours I guess?) so I had to get outside and sit down, where I had three seizures. I was fine though, I had my stick with me so I didn’t topple and just ignored everyone giving me weird looks XD

purpleday26

We sat for a while as my head de-woozied, then joined the canal. What a beautiful day!

We came off near town, walked down the main street and popped into the cafe by the train station. We sat and had cakes πŸ™‚

We sat about a little longer than necessary as we’d only been out just over an hour, then slowly walked home…final time leaving Sasha? 1 HOUR 20 MINUTES πŸ˜€

The most important thing about this outing was that the only seizures I had were caused by somewhere I went, ie. the supermarket. If I had avoided Tesco, I would have had zero seizures on that trip out AND zero on the girls’ walk before!!!

Such a rarity, so happy it happened on such a gorgeous day ^__^

And of course, smoothie fun!

4-5 bananas (the dogs ate some XD ), a tub of strawberries, a tub of vanilla yogurt and a splash of soya milk. Made six servings, four of which are in the freezer…yummy!

Hope everyone else has ahd an awesome Purple Day πŸ˜‰