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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday's Training TIP: BACK TO SCHOOL

The end of August.  Hot, muggy days and listless nights.  There is more than one reason this month is referred to as the "dog days" of summer.

Less than two weeks now until FLD Mike returns to Leader Dogs for the Blind to continue with his formal training.  I am glad that we've taken puppy classes at Leader Dogs; Mike is familiar with the facility and is always happy to go there.

Our van bumper sticker.

5 tips to help your child get ready to go back to school after a fun summer of late bed times and sleeping in.
  1. Start now to gradually change to an earlier bed time.
  2. Begin to wake your child up earlier and earlier every day.
  3. Try on last year's clothes and shop for replacements for those that don't fit.  Let your child help choose.
  4. Talk to your child about his or her concerns.
  5. Plan healthy lunches.

5 things I'm doing to ease FLD Mike's transition back to the Leader Dogs for the Blind school.
  1. Weaned off his evening meal so he eats his daily quota in one meal in the morning.
  2. Morning feeding is at 7:30 a.m.  This has been his usual schedule.
  3. Mike spends a few hours every day in his crate, whether I am home or away.  This will help him adjust to the kennel environment.
  4. Of course, Mike has always stayed in his crate at night.  He enters it willingly and is content to be there.
  5. Mike still struggles to stay calm when we approach an unknown dog, so I've been spending extra time working him with dog distractions.

5 things I'm doing for ME to get ready to hand FLD Mike off for the next step in his journey to an "exceptional life."
  1. Scheduled a pick-up time for a new Future Leader Dog puppy!  (September 18...yippee!)
  2. Reviewing what I've learned working with Mike, and what I want to concentrate on with the "new" puppy.
  3. Taking FLD Mike to our favorite places "one last time."
  4. Letting my nieces say good-bye.
  5. Reminding myself that everything I've done is to help Mike reach his potential to become a special companion to another human being.

FLD Mike.  You are ready.

I think I am too.

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