Wednesday, June 4, 2014

GADA Team Training Day Three

Well we got off to a pretty rough start at my house this morning. Annabelle was attempting to exercise her right to plan the day and it wasn't working out very well for her. She had to have a bath before we went to the Goodwill doghouse and she wanted no part of a bath. After multiple tears and trips to time out, she finally saw things my way.  Annabelle and Nana Faye would be coming along behind me because Annabelle's temper tantrums had us running behind and I didn't want to be late.
Tim and the pack of dogs

For the third day in a row, everyone was so happy to see each other (dogs and people alike).  Once again volunteer Candi provide us with a yummy breakfast of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I could really get used to showing up at the Goodwill doghouse for breakfast every morning. ;-)  Once Annabelle and Nana Faye arrived Annabelle made a beeline to the dog room to visit. She is so excited about Murphy coming to live with us.
Annabelle, Murphy, Topper, Jerry, and Danny

Puppy love

We starting practicing new commands with the dogs right after breakfast.  It is so gratify to have Murphy already following through with the commands for me. He is such a sweetheart. You can see in his eyes just how much he wants to please me. And this is all thanks to Tim, Ramona and the countless volunteers who have worked with him endlessly over the past two years.   The first round of commands were really fun. When I want to pet Murphy, I can tell him visit and he will lay his head in my lap. How sweet is that?  Snuggle is used when you want a doggie hug. He will put his paws on my shoulders and lay his head down. Unfortunately, I couldn't get Murphy to snuggle with me. Maybe tomorrow. The paws command instructs Murphy to put his front paws on the foot plate of my  wheelchair. And over tells Murphy to roll over on his belly.
Annabelle, Murphy, and Me
Mason and Danny

After our practice round, Ramona started her lecture on challenge and resistance. At some point all the dogs will challenge us. It is a test of our leadership. Challenges can come in a variety of forms, such as; when the dog looks at you and ignores the command, fawning, going belly up, grounding, and laying on the floor refusing to move. The best way to over come these challenges is to be consistent and not take it personally. If you fail to meet the challenges properly, your dog may begin to resist you.  Ramona gives us all the information we will need to assist us if our dog challenges us or gives us resistance.
Annabelle and Jerry
Me and Murphy

We break for a fabulous homemade lunch that was prepared by volunteer Deb.  She made chicken salad, pimento cheese, baked beans, potato salad, deviled eggs, and brownies. I'm telling you, they are spoiling us!! There was even an assortment of dog cookies donated by a The Cookie Lady on Signal Mountain. They were so cute and yummy, too!!
Ramona and Deb
Murphy cookie
Ramona and Tim

After lunch we covered the dog management lecture. To properly manage your dog you must use all the principles we have covered so far; motivation, correction, consistency, and leadership. These principles must be used everyday, both in public and in the home.
Rich and Topper

Our second practice session covered the following commands:
Get it.
Bring it here.
Nose it.
Find help.
Rich and Topper
Me and Murphy
A stroll around the classroom 

We all had a great time with these commands. Our service dogs will be able to assist us with so many of our daily activities. And the best part is they really WANT to help us.
Jeremy and Jerry
Jordyn and Eddie

Before we left for the day, we were all give a bag of goodies for our dog. Each dog got two different length leases, a collar with their name in it, a toy and a box of treats. We were also give a bag of dog food to get us started. Each of us needs these necessities because tomorrow we bring our dog home forever!!  Training will still continue but our fur babies with be with us 24/7.

It's a bittersweet night for Tim and Ramona as they settle in for their final evening with the three boys they have loved and nurtured.  
 Loving on Tim
All piled up on the couch

Don't forget you are all welcome to come to our graduation on Friday, June 13th at 5:00 at Unum. I would love to introduce you to Murphy and all my new friends.

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