Everybody is tired right now. All of us parents are tired and venting to each other online (because we’re often too busy with our children and too tired to actually socialize at breakfast and dinner). Our children are tired and acting out, harder to control, having more seizures, running away more, every problem we are here to ameliorate magnified. Even our dogs are tired, working all day every day and then practicing at night, stand, sit, down, stand, sit, down, bark, would you humans just shut up already? Even so, we are all trying our best, from the dogs to the children.
This morning’s track went much better than previous ones, I felt. I could actually tell that A’Kos had Kender’s scent this time, I could recognize the head snaps as he moved in and out of the scent trail. This makes me feel so much better about the tracking, because I was starting to feel a little stupid, like I was the only one not getting it. Combined with this afternoon’s work in the mall, I’ve have a couple of clear and successful tracks in a row, and I’m feeling confident that we will have this down by the end of the week.
After tracking, it was back to the training center again for more practice. We practiced tethering again with Kender this time, and once he realized he was connected he started repeating, “I need some help!” It reminded me of what Jarod would do going in and out of stores when he was 2 or 3, dropping limp from my hand and then shouting, “Mommy, you’re hurting me! Stop hurting me!” at the top of his lungs. Hopefully nobody will listen to the boy tethered to his service dog, either.
In the afternoon we went back to the mall for another chance to walk about with a trainer to observe us and answer questions. I walked around the mall with Kender tethered and with Shelby to watch. Kender and A’Kos walk around really, really well, even up and down stairs. I did get an important tip as to when A’Kos might need to go potty, so we can avoid more accidents in the future. Then we practiced several short tracks through the racks at JC Penney. For indoor tracks, or really anytime when we’re indoors or away from our other tracking equipment, we leave the guide harness on and just move the leash from the gentle leader to the tethering ring. It would be pretty unwieldy to try and track inside a department store with a 15-foot lead! A’Kos continued to do well.
We stopped at the pet store to get grooming supplies, then came back to the hotel for the night. I am beat!