Saturday, May 5, 2012

Hello from Elena

Hi, it's Elena tonight doing the daily update.

It was another day of special assignments! One of the caretakers up at Deja's lodge wanted to spend some time giving an informal training class with a couple of the dogs that react negatively towards other dogs just by walking by the other runs.

The first dog he worked with was a stray that was picked up on the streets of L.A. along with her 11 puppies. This little girl is only about 2 herself. He explained that most dogs that are strays typically get along with other dogs, and her reaction is atypical. Her reaction to the other dogs was more out of insecurity rather than fear along with not being used to being collared and leashed.

With this dog, he used the leash as a training tool - not by tugging back on it when she was reacting to the other dogs, but by pulling down quickly in the direction the dog was turning and re-directing her attention to him and not the other dogs. He did reward her when she exhibited good behavior and it was very interesting to see how he was able to re-direct her. The ultimate goal, of course, is for her to be able to be walked by the volunteers. It seems as though if they are able to continue working steadily with her, this could certainly become a reality. The extremely interesting part of watching this demonstration was the fact that a lot of this was going on right outside of Lucas' run, and all he did was watch and wag his tail!

The 2nd dog - Uma - was also reactive to other dogs when being walked by their runs. With this dog, he is using the clicker method. She certainly was much less stressed than the 1st one. We started out walking down the path with her walking nicely and him clicking and rewarding. She did react later when we got further along the path when she saw another dog, but again, he was quickly able to redirect her and get her on the right path.

We then got to walk a few dogs. I walked Squeaker and Pulgas. Joyce walked Laila (another Vicktory dog), Selene and Ava. Lucas was working in the office today, so we didn't get a chance to spend any time with him.

It was then time for lunch! They have the most delicious vegetarian lunches!! And such a deal!

After lunch we went back to Dogtown and pooped scooped the walking trail. They walk a lot of dogs on it each day and as you can imagine, it gets pooped on a lot! We left around 3:00. It was a very hot, sunny day and we were fried.

We had dinner with one of our friends who used to be a caretaker at the Lodges and is now retired. He still goes up every Friday and spends the entire day walking the red collar dogs.

Oh, by the way, our formal dinner attire generated many compliments last night! We left John Wayne dressed in one of our pink outfits! One of the funniest parts was when we drove into the parking lot to see a lot of cars and a couple men standing outside talking! Joyce says, "Isn't this a formal attire restaurant?" They got a good laugh and we had a great time!

See you tomorrow!

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