Saturday, July 21, 2007

Rosie Training Update: Changes Cause Changes

Rosie, parked on top of Mt. Battie, Camden, Maine.

Sasha's angel wings (and moving background) were given to her from a Kitty pal on Catster.

In Memory of the Late Great Princess Sasha-Ama. Thank you for being such a great cat. I wish we had had more time together, but I am sure glad I got some time.

Rosie has been dealing with a lot of changes this year... a change in family structure and routine, and as a result, she has had some problems. None of the problems are interfering with her public access privileges, however they have created some issues in training and at play. Chris got a job down in Georgetown, Maine last October. I was not able to join him, and as a result, Rosie's "Daddy" has been gone a lot. He works mostly evenings and into the night with a couple of days off. He tries to make it here to be with us some evenings, but the drive is two- hours. After a long day at work, sleep might be a wiser choice than travel. We have both suffered, Rosie and me. Chris's absence has left me more depressed and without regular transportation. I am now less active due to both of these issues. The affect on Rosie has been that it has made her depressed as well. It has made her more difficult to train and also has made her slower to respond to my commands. On leash this isn't as big of an issue as when she is off- leash and at play. Situations do arise in the forest where a bomb- proof recall is crucial. Hesitation or tuning me out until she is ready to do what I ask is not acceptable. though for the most part, she has been coming when called, she is not doing it immediately, will continue to go sniff the flowers she had meant to sniff before I called her and make her way leisurely to me. I have become more strict and less tolerant as a result of her behavior and I hate having to do that. I have made it my goal to spend more time with her either cuddling or training or playing together and less time on the computer. The blog entries will show this lapse.

Rosie continues to be obstinent and stubborn and when I back track her training and maybe work with her on lead, she does fine. I am at a loss as to how I am going to approach this training issue. I am unable to travel out to Levant for any training classes, and my money is very tight as I am back on full benefits for my disability since I no longer have Chris's income. I have foodstamps now, but no appetite. I have been having to make Rosie eat her food as well. She is not as filled in and solid as she was last year. I was so happy to have found a decent dog food that she would eat with out me pestering her and force feeding her. Now she is back to that. She will eat the cat's food, her treats, and my food without ever having a hesitation about it, but not her food. This means she is quite capable of eating her food. I have had to cut down on treats (even in training) just to get her desperate and hungry enough to eventually have to eat her own food.

I get so darn frustrated with her lately because she has been so stubborn. However, she remains a great support and my best friend, always there for a kiss or a smile (her kisses to me and her smiling!)

Our Persian mix cat, Sasha, who I got last February from the humane society died a few weeks ago. We only had her a year and I was looking forward to spending a long time with her. She had a massive coronary and died very suddenly. No suffering though we do think she didn't feel very well. This loss deeply affected me. Amazing how deeply attached I had gotten to her in a year. It was like losing a child in a way, because I did have hopes and dreams for Sasha. I am happy that I did rescue her from the shelter as scraggly as she looked at that point. I knew I could make her the princess she was meant to be, and I did. Her hair grew in, her eyes cleared up, and besides an occasional problem with allergies (she was very allergic to fleas, even using Frontline she would still get sores once in a while). I know that Rosie knows that Sasha had died. Then we get a new kitten who turns out to be Sasha's polar opposite. His name is Solace, but we call him Spawn (as in Spawn of Satan) once in a while which seems a more appropriate name for the little devil. He is a handsome kitten and will be very sought after by the females when he is fully matured. He plays quite rough with Rosie, who handles him very gently. she will put his whole head in her mouth but she never tightens a grip on him no matter what.
Anyway, I am going to continue this post later on. I have lots more to say. After this Wednesday, I should be able to say something new about Maine L.D. #289 that is supposed to "Redefine Service Dogs". At this point, Maine is at the verge of either putting themselves deeper into the dark ages, or finally updating their service dog laws so that they comply with the ADA completely. As it was left, possibility still sways towards Maine continuing to be archaic.

Summertime: More Fun! (Year 3)

Rosie and me on the Carriage Trail leading up to Mt. Battie and the Tableland Trail. Camden, Maine.

Chris (Daddy) with Rosie on top of Mt. Battie looking towards the harbor. Camden, Maine

Me and Rosie on the tower on top of Mt. Battie, Camden Hills State Park, Camden, Maine

Rosie at Reid State Park, Georgetown, Maine (State Parks ask that ALL dogs be on 4-foot leashes at all times. Who uses 4-foot leashes??? and on a hike??)