Sunday, February 19, 2012

Day 6

Every time Omri looks at me like this, I can't help but think he's looking at my thinking, HUH?  What on EARTH are you thinking you crazy woman???
Y'know, I'd read other moms' posts about training being exhausting & think...yeah, right!  Well, it IS!  I work 4 ten hour shifts at the hospital & it is very busy there, but NOTHING is as mentally and physically exhausting as training to be a handler for a Service Dog!  These dogs are very intelligent, and that means you have to be at the top of your game every minute.  Omri just keeps giving me these looks like...really?'re the human, right?

Apparently, I'm not the only one getting worn out by training, huh?
For those who are interested, we are staying at the Ramada in Xenia.  They've been very nice, but the rooms are tiny!  I do not recommend it for anyone who has more than 2-3 people.  It's almost too small for Matthew, Omri and myself.  Jeremy gives you homework every night to practice with your Service Dog (SD), and it's really difficult to do some of them in the rooms with the beds.  There's another family here in our class & I think they feel the same way.  There is a pool outside, and they serve free breakfast every morning.  There are no laundry facilities in the hotel so you have to go to the laundromat.  It's not far...about 2 blocks, but for some people, that might not work very well.  It's ok for us, cause Matthew just brings his Nintendo DS & plays while I do laundry.  On the plus side, it's only a few blocks from 4 Paws (easily within walking distance!  0.5 miles!)
Omri is such a goofball when he is "free"!  When he's working, he's ALL business, but when he isn't, he's just a typical, goofy lab!  He is hilarious! When he lays down to rest or sleep, he lets out these little grunts (like a pig).  At first, Matthew & I looked at each other to make sure he was ok, but now we've just decided that's just something weird he does.
Moving on to what we worked on today, we worked on "special" tasks some of the dogs do like lap, touch, nuzzle, over, kisses.  These dogs are so sweet and sensitive, I find Omri doing these things with Matthew before I know Matt needs it!  After we worked on these things for a few hours, we headed to the mall to practice in public some more.  We made a "pit stop" at PetSmart to get more Potty bags, and oh, my goodness! I think I need a 5 hour energy drink before I attempt that again!  It was SOOOO hard to keep Omri's attention and Matthew's at the same time!  All the other dogs, toys, people, etc. were extremely distracting to all of us.  I know it CAN be done, I just have to figure out how to handle it better.  Once we got to the mall, Omri acted like the champ he is.  We practiced walking around with Matthew tethered to him.  When Matt would dig in his heels, Omri would just set his weight & pull until Matt gave in.  One time, Omri was pulling as hard as he could & he couldn't get Matthew loose so I reached back & gave a little tug on Matt's tether to "help" Omri.  Omri looked up at me as if to say, "Thanks, Mom!"  It was precious.
Omri and I are practicing "over".  This is used for deep pressure on kids who need it to calm down after meltdowns, seizures, etc.  Thanks, Peg for being the Photographer for this one!  :-)  He is such a happy dog!

Omri is also the designated parking spot for Matthew's trucks and cars as you can see by this picture.  He just lays there & lets Matthew do whatever he wants.  He might look to see what Matt's doing, but then he usually just puts his head on his paws & looks at me.  Tomorrow, we have more training at 4 Paws...I am seriously contemplating an "early to bed" night for all of us, whaddya think????


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