The last two days have been very hot. We are all getting really tired and the hotel room seems to be closing in a few inches every day. Last night we took a night to just sit by the pool for a few hours and relax with some of the other families. We are now coming to the end of this whole session and I feel like the pressure to get through our test and graduation on Friday is ticking up a notch. This morning we tracked and Truman was awesome! I think we are getting a little better too. We have also been having success with Truman sitting by Sophia’s feet while she eats. He is supposed to help her stay at the table longer. So far so good!
By afternoon, we headed to the mall again. I spent some time walking with Truman and Jeremy, the head trainer. Things went okay. Sophia had a really tough day. She was begging to go home today. She worked herself up so much that she crashed and had a nice two hour nap by late afternoon. She could hardly wake up to go swimming.
We did two tracks in the mall and it was AWESOME! My husband did the first one and I did the second. It is a really strange feeling to have a dog pulling you that fast through the middle of a department store with clothing racks. He went back and forth looking for her scent and then found her within less than a minute. We also practice tethering. We are quite a unit coming down the mall!
Here are a few more suggestions for those coming in the future:
- Bring a cooler for lunches if you can. I think lunch is the toughest and most unpredictable factor of the whole trip. You never know the agenda. Some days you have time to go out, sometimes you can eat at the mall if you are going there and other times you might not have much time at all. If you are on a tight budget, get a small cooler and pack lunches in it. This way you can keep in right in your car and eat on the run where ever you end up during lunch time.
- Don’t buy anything at the pet store before you come down here. The few things I did buy, I need to return. The trainers will help you know what works, what doesn’t work, what is harmful and some stuff you will get from 4 paws for ability.
- If you are tethering, the dog collar version of the belt for your child is not a great option. It is so easy for them to get off. If you use it, turn it around and put through their belt loops. It does make it a bit more difficult to get off but that means it is harder to get off when they need to use the bathroom.
- Bring a video camera if you can. It can be helpful to video tape your tracks so you can watch them back and review the movements of your dog. It is not necessary but there is a lot to understand about the tracking. You will really need to learn and understand your dog.
We are coming down to the end and are all looking forward to bringing Truman home. Wish us luck on Friday!