2018 was quite the year! As I begin writing this, I am realizing how much has happened in the past year- for me personally and professionally, and in relation to my pets (which is also why it’s been a while since my last post!) Here are the highlights:
- Traveling to Costa Rica and getting engaged (!) to my boyfriend of four and a half years, and then beginning to plan a wedding for next August.
- Traveling to Los Angeles and spending a week having fun sightseeing.
- Adopting a new kitten! We adopted 12-week-old Miles as a companion for our cat Hammy, and they are quite the pair. They love to wrestle and snuggle, and Miles even plays with his big sister Sasha! (Follow my tips on introducing dogs and cats here.)
- Becoming extremely busy in my career, acquiring more clients and moving closer to training dogs full-time.
As for Sasha, she is doing fantastic. At 2-and-a-half years old she has calmed down in many ways- though she still is her same playful self, she now is extremely good at settling herself down. Her reactivity is reduced thanks to management and setups with helper dogs, and there are many dogs that she does not react to on walks. Although she of course still reacts in certain situations, she recovers very quickly from the reactions and moves on without it affecting the rest of the walk. Her threshold has increased and she can be much closer to dogs without reacting than she used to be. Continually working on the challenge of reactivity has helped to (1) put in perspective how training is a long journey, measured in months and years, and (2) make me appreciate the progress that we do make, while our bond continues to grow.
We have also taken some time off from reactivity training, focusing on fun things like hiking, agility, and trick training! Some of her new tricks include:
- Hold (an adorable trick that consists of her holding an object gently in her mouth until given the cue to drop)
- Weave through my legs
- Peekaboo (circling and sitting between my legs)
- T-Rex (standing on two legs)
- Dance (twirling in a circle on two legs)
I would love to hear what you and your dogs have been up to! Let’s make it a great new year full of growth, both for humans and pets alike.