Puppy Swap

Last week, we had to switch dogs for two weeks in our group. We are required to do this so the dogs can be away from their handler and learn how to work with another handler.  Dog swap also exposes our canines to other environments, people and distractions.  So, for this, it means that I don’t get to have Glee for two weeks 😦 Glee went with our group leader Angie. Angie’s pup went to SJ and Jordan, and SJ’s/Jordan’s pup, Beta came to me. I was supposed to get Jagger, Angie’s dog, but he is not ready for high school. I would blow his little mind!!!

Beta, is a yellow lab who is three days older than Glee. She is a very obedient dog and well trained. She is such a cute dog and a sweetheart. I was not ready to swap dogs because I was so used to Glee. I didn’t know what to think because I didn’t know what it would be like or what to expect. I was worried about how she would do at school with all the people because she wasn’t used to being around so many people.

We swapped dogs on Thursday during one of our monthly dog meetings. Beta instantly missed her handlers and I missed my Glee the moment we swapped dogs. The second we got home, she started whining, and didn’t stop. I tried to comfort her, but that didn’t help. She eventually stopped, but she started to whine off and on at times. Later that night, I found out that Beta doesn’t like going to the bathroom on the pavement. She would go on dirt, grass, or pebbles. The second I found out, I knew I had to help with this situation and try to train her to go on pavement. This was a very frustrating task for me.

The next day, Friday, people at my school thought that Glee got a haircut (because Beta’s hair is shorter than Glee’s) or thought I got another dog. The most asked question of the day “Why do you have a different dog? Did you get rid of Glee?” Which, I answered repeatedly that day. Friday was a stressful day for me because I had a different dog and I had to watch her very carefully making sure that no one messes with her. She was having a hard time adjusting because she has never been to high school before. Of course, the issue of going to the bathroom on the pavement came up. From the time I got to school until my first period I was trying to get Beta go to the bathroom. Of course, this was frustrating because she wasn’t going.  I didn’t want her to have any accidents as I am traveling to class or having one in the classroom. By the end of lunch, I had to take her on dirt. Beta needed to go and I knew she did, but she wasn’t going. I had to let her relieve herself on the dirt because there was no choice.

That Sunday, Beta spent most of her day in the kennel. I was working with her on going to the bathroom on pavement. That morning, she only went to the bathroom once, which was right when I woke up at 6. She ate her breakfast and drank plentyyy of water. Our group leader Angie, had me leave her in her kennel and take her out every 15 minutes until she went to the bathroom. Then instructed when she did go to the bathroom, to throw her a party, reward her A LOT, and give her freedom (be let out of the kennel and play around the house). Technically, I was waiting her out. It was about 6 hours until she finally went. I was sooo happy about it because we were making progress. Even though it is very small step, it still counts.

Beta is now better at going to the bathroom on the pavement. She probably didn’t enjoy being in the kennel, but it was teaching her that she needs to go to the bathroom when she is told. I’m so happy that she has gotten better with this situation and I was happy to help with it. Even though that I have gotten frustrated plenty of times, it taught me to have patience and to learn that every dog isn’t going to be like Glee.

Beta and I traveled to many places like Starbucks, Grocery Stores, and Restaurants. She did so well at each place, which I was very impressed and happy about. Beta experience her first swim meet at my school. She was around people, the echoing of water, and water splashing of water. Beta did AHHHMAZING!!!! She didn’t really care that much, she slept most of the time.

I was happy to handle and train Beta for these two weeks. She is such an obedient dog and listens very well. I’m super impressed on how she adjusted and what she has accomplished while being with me.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s blog!

~Rowan

 

 

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