Friday, February 18, 2011

Week Seven

On Saturday I discovered Bailey has an ear infection again. So I made an appointment to have it checked out. When my Saturday aide came over Bailey was still very shy and wouldn't even walk past her. Because I am still not working Bailey and I had errands to run I left Bailey home alone for twenty minutes and he did great.
   So I planned to sit outside with him on Sunday at Starbucks but then I woke up that morning with a bad migraine. So that kind of ruined my plans. Bailey was really worried about me and even brought me over his favorite toy (the tick) to make me feel better. Awwwwww!
   On Monday I was feeling back to normal so we played fetch with the ball and Bailey was amazing. Later that day I took Bailey to a park near my house. The park is completely fenced except for one opening. We played fetch while Bailey was on the long leash. He wasn't bringing it back perfectly because I just wanted him to have fun and play whichever way he preferred. There were two little boys at the park following him at times and running around near to him at other times. Bailey was great and never barked or growled once at the noisy kids.
 Tuesday was Bailey's vet appointment. We had to wait in the lobby for quite a while until the vet could see us. Every one loved Bailey and was standing around him asking me questions and talking to him. He did great even with all of the attention. He does have an ear infection and their doing a culture to find out what kind since he JUST got over the last one. He also did great with all of the dogs in the waiting room, two Akita's, a golden and a Border Collie. When Bailey got home from the vet he surrounded himself with all of his favorite toys to comfort himself after his traumatic morning. Later that day I took Bailey for a walk and a man using a walker went passed us. I thought Bailey might be confused/scared of the walker but he paid the man no attention at all. Bailey hasn't been growling at my Dad so I was a bit surprised that he growled today when my Dad came home. I have no clue why.
  On Wednesday it was raining. Bailey loooooves the rain and had to be dried off a million times that day. Since we couldn't go outside we worked on the light switch. He followed me from room to room and when I stopped at a light switch Bailey would turn it on. What a good boy!
  Yesterday I had another trainer come and evaluate Bailey's shyness and growling. He growled at her when she came over(which I was hoping she would see him growling so that she could better evaluate the problem, so this was actually beneficial). She said he definitely has a lot of fear and it is something that needs to be addressed immediately. Luckily since he is so young she feels that he can probably overcome it with the proper training. Her evaluation was encouraging and I'm going to be working with her some more in the near future. Bailey was a lot better with my Thursday aide last night. He asked her for attention(which he never does normally) and hung out with her most of the night.
   Today I kind of had a "me day". I had a doctors appointment and afterwards went out to lunch. I left Bailey home with my Mom and she said he hung out with her the entire time.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Week Six

Saturday morning Bailey played fetch with my Mom. He's a pro now- gets the ball  and brings it back. My new aide came over on Saturday and Bailey was slightly better. When he was lying down in his bed he let her pet him. That evening I was watching animal planet and discovered Bailey was reacting to the dogs on the television program. He would start barking and then run from inside to outside the house looking for the other dog that he heard. This is definitely something we need to work on.
  On Sunday my Mom and I took Bailey to the park. It was full of people and dogs. We sat on a bench and let Bailey watch everything around him. He did well. He talked to some of the other dogs but was quickly redirected. He did growl at one man who had the hood on his sweatshirt over his head. But he let another man pet him.
  On Monday my Physical Therapist came over and Bailey did really well with her. He said Hi and even licked her hand.  Later that day we played go get help. Then I wanted to do an experiment. Because my aide is always the one who says "go get help" I was afraid Bailey would always associate the word 'help" with only her. So I asked my Mom to go hide outside and say "go get help". As soon as he heard those words Bailey dashed out of the house into the backyard to find her. What a good boy! I had a haircut appointment that day and decided to go in my manual chair instead of my electric one. I always take Bailey for a walk in my manual chair. So when I left he was a bit confused but did very well while I was gone. After I came back I did take him for a walk. On our walk we encountered four different dogs and Bailey did great. The first three dogs were always on the other side of the street when Bailey saw them. But the fourth dog walked past Bailey just a few feet away. Bailey did his bark/growl noise but was quickly redirected.
   On Tuesday we had a big day! For Christmas I asked my parents to schedule a photo shoot for me and Bailey. Today was the day. Bailey got a bath in the morning  so he would be handsome for his close up. After lunch we headed to Hollywood to an area that was full of people, smells and the city hustle. Bailey did amazing! We were there for over two hours and Bailey had to sit, lay, look at the camera and pose over and over. I can't tell you how impressed I was with his performance. After our shoot we both were exhausted and Bailey crashed out.
   So on Wednesday we both needed a chill day. We worked on go get help. Here is a video from the session.

After lunch we went on a walk at the Rose Bowl. Bailey did great. At one point three little dogs on a walk with their owner came up behind him. He looked back a couple times but that was all. Because I discovered that Bailey reacts to dogs on the TV, I wanted to play clips of dogs and work on quiet. Needless to say this is going to be a sloooow process.
  On Thursday we went to the college campus again. It was lunchtime so the campus was full of lots of noisy people. Bailey did great and even said Hi to a young man reading a book. He also did great when the gardeners were working in our yard later that day. He barked once to let us know they were here and then quickly settled back down.
  Today we played fetch with a tennis ball and boy did Bailey do great! He fetched and returned the ball about ten times in a row each time dropping it near to me. When the pool guy came over he let out one bark of acknowledgement and then totally ignored him. After lunch I wanted to take Bailey to the park This was his first time there and he loved it. It's a pretty big park and we played "go find Eva". It was so cute watching him run full speed across the park to find me.
This is two weeks of "operation no growl" and I know I said I planned to give Bailey two weeks off. However he is still growling so I know he needs more time. We'll do more socializing next week.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Week Five

This has been the first full week of "Operation No Growl". On Saturday we had a chill day. My weekend aide was here and Bailey is not that comfortable around her yet so he just hung around out back and ignored her. The challenge came when it was time to take Bailey for a walk. He would not go near her and when she would try to get close to him to attach his leash he just ran away. So we made it his decision to come to her and just waited.  My aide just ignored him but kept some peanut butter in her hand and pretty soon he came up to her and she was able to put the leash on him. He was totally fine after that and enjoyed his walk. Later that day my Mom's friends came over unexpectedly. Bailey didn't do much barking or growling and even was wagging his tail quite a bit, but at times still acted timid.
   On Sunday I left Bailey in the house without me for the very first time. Because I'm giving Bailey a work break, I couldn't bring him to the market. My Dad said that he just slept the entire time. When I returned home he was super excited to see me and gave me lots of kisses. Then my Dad and I took Bailey for a walk. He growled (talked) to some dogs he saw and was unsure of a passing woman who was wearing a hat. He growled mildly but was quickly redirected.
   On Monday we had a visit from the handyman. Bailey barked when he first came to the door but was really chill after that. He even hung around out back with him, but at a comfortable distance. When my physical therapist came Bailey was great with her and said hello. That day he also had a play date with his friend Lucy. They are a perfect pair. They play really nicely together. He play-bowed for the first time.  My friend and I had two very tired dogs that night. Here's a video form their play date.

Bailey has also mastered the doggy door. He now runs through it back and forth with no hesitation.
   Tuesday we worked on fetch and speak. He did well , he is such a pro at fetch and return. I also took him to the Occidental College campus again today. We just sat by the bookstore and eating area. I figured out one of his growling triggers...keys. I think Bailey associates the sound of keys with the sound of a dogs collar tags. Whenever he hears keys he seems to be looking around for another dog. Then we took Bailey to Petco. There he said Hi to another dog and overall did well.
   Wednesday was a very interesting day. Since I figured out Bailey was reactive to keys I wanted to start working on desensitizing him to the noise. So I thought if I had my Mom jangle some keys and then my aide tell Bailey "leave it" that he would start to ignore the noise. Boy was I wrong. I had my Mom jangle the keys from  the other side of the yard and Bailey went nuts. He kept barking and running back and forth around the yard even when all was quiet. I then tried to show him that it was a set of keys making the noise but he was so amped up that he couldn't even recognize that the noise was coming from the keys. After that Bailey was on edge all day and every little noise set him off. I thought it would be good to get him out of the house (and distracted from the incident) so we went down to the Rose Bowl for a walk. Bailey was a bit shy with the first person who tried to pet him, but after that was really calm, and never growled once. One woman who was petting Bailey told him that because she had a dog too that she was his "auntie". Ummmm...Okay?
   After that I had some errands to run so I decided to leave Bailey at home with my Mom. Because of the key incident Bailey was really agitated and barked the whole time I was gone. When I got home I brought Bailey into my room and closed the door. That made Bailey calm down and he soon took a nap. What a day!
  On Thursday Bailey was back to normal. We again went to the College for a walk. It was lunch time so the campus was full of people and noise. Bailey did awesome. At one point two dogs walked by. Bailey saw them but did not growl or bark at all. Yay!!! Later that day our pool man was in the backyard and Bailey didn't know it. When he saw him come around the corner he barked quickly to let us know but settled down right away.
  Today we met up with one of my old professors from the College. Because we were meeting him in a campus building I decided to put a vest on Bailey just for a short time. Bailey was a bit shy during our visit but just settled down next to me without any growling or barking. Bailey did stand up and give out a bark a couple different times (not sure what he was barking at) but he was quick to settle down again. Later today we went on a fun walk (where we were not trying to get him to say hi just have fun). The drama of today was the discovery my Mom made...Bailey had a tick! Since this is a new occurrence for me as a dog owner, my aide and I took to the internet for advice. I'm happy to say we successfully exterminated the tick. I found this odd because I give Bailey a monthly dose of sentinel which is supposed to deter ticks from clamping on to him. The most ironic thing happened today. My family got a package of thank you gifts from a friend of ours and inside was a present for Bailey. Guess what it was a  stuft animal Tick! Haha.
  I think Operation No Growl is already starting to work. I'm excited to see how well he does next week.