A blog about living life despite battling Cystic Fibrosis.

Service Dog Diary [05.29.17]

Finn at the Memorial Day Parade

Dear Service Dog Diary,

Today was a little rough for me. We had started off the day very early (early for me at least… haha) by going to the Memorial Day Parade. I’m really glad that we got to go because I love parades and it was good practice for Finn. He gets very curious when the drums come by, but besides that he does great! We saw a few friends at the parade, which was awesome. Here’s the hard part I’m having at the moment… Many of my friends are used to just coming up and saying hi to Finn. It’s finding the right words to educate in the midst of all the hustle and bustle that I have an issue with. I find that this is only an issue in social settings where you normally find pets. It’s all a learning process. Finn may have training and learning left, but so do I!

Needless to say, the focus at the parade was a little less than stellar. He did a really good job of laying next to me as I sat on the ground watching. He also did a good job at “leave it” when there were a couple other dogs around. All in all, I was very proud of how he acted. Especially because I was not feeling my best.

After we arrived home from the parade, we practiced “touch” for alerting to eating for my enzymes. Our first session of the day solidified “touch” on my knee. Then we added in the Cheerios again to work on the cue of eating. He isn’t consistent yet, but is starting to understand that eating is the cue for the alert. He is much more responsive and consistent when he is standing. I am having him practice while in “stand” and “down” positions. He seems to be learning the alert quicker in the “stand” position. When we are out to eat, he will be laying in “under” position. So I work with both positions to set him up for success.

Again, we worked on a bit of positional work. This work included “heel”, “side”, “switch”, “back up”, and “forward”. He is doing very well with the positional words. I can tell that he is starting to become familiar with them. He is starting to respond quicker and I do not need to rely on lures to get the correct response. Small wins, are wins!

I began compiling a list of Finn’s vocabulary so that everyone is on the same page with his commands. I’ll get that posted on the blog somewhere too. Perhaps someone else will like our vocabulary! At the very least, you guys will know what I’m talking about when I just state the commands we worked on. I can’t believe how many words he knows already. It blows my mind! Also… when did that even happen?!ServiceDogDiary_Signature

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