Training for the city

Chico and I are in Washington, DC for the next ten days or so. And, as the woman who checked me out at Target the other day said, as if things aren’t good enough, I’ve got a nasty, fllu-ish cold. I’m lucky enough to have use of an apartment, and I spent the afternoon, half asleep on the bed, and every time I heard the door, or a car or people right outside, I happy-voiced ‘it’s the neighbors!’ and dished out the high value treats. Chico’s already giving me the “pay up sucker look” (instead of barking like a maniac) about 50% of the time he hears something. Same approach is working when I walk my reactive dog on the street – various combinations of the word friend – which Chico knows means a treat is coming, proactive pez-dispenser style giving of cookies, asking him to walk beside me with his nose touching my finger (an extended version of a pick-up from agility), and sometimes pulling to the side and playing the  ‘look at me’ game, is making walking in the city quite possible, maybe even kinda fun. Which is something it has not been on any previous visits here.

And last evening, Chico completely ignored a snarling, snapping, enraged, and impotent Schnauzer that was across the street on its walk. Chico didn’t even ask to be paid for his good work. But I shoveled a fist full of cookies at him anyhow, just to make sure he knew how good he was.

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