My last couple posts had to do with some big troubles Chico and I had because of his socialization deficiencies and the plan to deal with the specific complaints. After a year and a half, I’m pleased to report that Chico, while not perfect, knows where “home” is (“home” being the name I gave the parts of the yard he can freely go into) and if he leaves it (like I said, he’s not perfect), he returns on command. Every week he gets better about not running up to people walking past the house and barking at them; his sensitivity to cars passing the house is greatly reduced; handyman/caretaker M has his own jar of cookies for Chico and, from what I see, they have become rather fond of each other. The riding lawnmower (which doubles as a snow plowing machine in the winter) still makes Chico nuts, but it can be managed with cookies (mind you, I can’t do anything BUT spend cookies distracting Chico when our lawn is being mowed – the 15 minutes that mowing takes usually requires that I hand over a dinner’s worth of mixed kibble and treats, but that will keep Chico pretty much completely quiet).
You may have picked up that in addition to working on things here at home, part of all our training is doing something Julie calls “taking it on the road.” Taking Chico places with me is designed to give him a broader range of experiences which in turn build his self confidence, allowing him to better cope with both day-to-day and brand-new situations.
So, since I am a bit insane, when some friends flew to Toronto, Ontario and rented a camper for a week before going to promote a documentary at an expo and invited me to join them, I said “Can I bring the dog?” and when they said yes, well, off we went.
So, stay tuned for our adventures, coming over the next few posts.