Tuesday, January 25, 2011


This weekend I actually was able to get some training in with Emmy.  It went really well!  I'm so pleased.  I think I had mentioned before that the last time we left off with training around the holidays I was able to sit in my dark garage for 10 minutes before going back in the house.  The routine was:  fill Kong with peanut butter, put on shoes, give her Kong, get keys out, put on purse, open door, look to see if she is still eating, open garage door, close back door, lock door, make stomping noises like I was going down the stairs, close garage door, sit on top step for ten minutes waiting, quietly stand up and open garage door, make stomping noises like I was going up the stairs, unlock back door, say hello, lock door, put down purse, put away keys, take off shoes, pick up Kong, refill, start over.  It seems a lot more tedious when it's all written down.  I did this five times on Sunday, each time I would wait a little longer.  I waited in the car this time because it was nice and warm in there and I have a garage door opener so the timing was more realistic.  By the last round I was able to sit with a book for thirty minutes.  Woopie!  When I came back in she was excited and seemed a tad bit stressed, but there were no little stress poop nuggets and nothing was destroyed, though she generally doesn't destroy much when she's alone.  I used to give her cardboard boxes in her crate for her to tear up to keep herself occupied, but in the house I don't because it spreads all over the place and is a pain to clean up.  In total she was alone for about an hour with all the time added up.  Not bad at all.

Next time I'm going to set up my camera and put it on video so that I can see what she does while I'm gone.  She is no longer allowed on our couch since we got the new one so I brushed down the cushions to make them nice and smooth to see if she would get up on there while she was waiting.  She didn't.  I think she might have been laying on the floor in front of the door waiting for me to come back.  I purchased a second Kong for when we really do start leaving her alone.  I'm planning on filling it and then putting it upstairs and then putting one downstairs so that she has stuff to do.  I'm also considering buying a third one so that I can put it elsewhere.  The way I figure it is, she'll see me filling them and where I put them.  The last one goes in her bed downstairs where she can eat it while we're leaving.  Then after she finishs that and realizes that we're gone, she will go get the other ones.  Hopefully this will work.  When I have time by myself I'm going to start training her like that too.

One thing I learned this weekend is that Emmy is not the only one with Separation Anxiety.  I have it too!  I was sitting in the car reading and checking the time every couple of minutes.  I was worrying that she was inside freaking out and leaving me little stress poops.  I call them stress poops because they're tiny little nuggets the size of rasins.  She knows she's not supposed to go in the house, but when she's freaking out it just seems to happen against her will.  Her fear of being left behind literally scares the *beep* out of her.  I think she did better alone than I did.  If I would have gone out and done something maybe I wouldn't have felt so anxious, but sitting in the car waiting was like torture.  Now I know how she feels when she's waiting for us to come home!

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