Before we started working with trainer number four, a little more than a year ago, we kept very detailed daily notes on Liezel’s behavior. While documenting each day’s frustrations was difficult and disheartening at the time, I’m thankful to be able to look back and see the progress we’ve made.
Here is an example of one such disheartening entry:
3.31.15 Going into agility was a disaster! She started barking and lunging and jumping at the people coming out of class before us. I tried working with her at a distance from them and was able to get her in a down only after they were gone. We headed toward the door and she started all over with the people in our class. I took her to the other side of the car where she couldn’t see people and made her down. I was very angry and frustrated.
The entry goes on to discuss the difficulty of entering class and her lunging at class mates once in the building. I can feel the stress and anxiety of that night as I sit here typing this now.
Liezel and I took a walk this morning. It was completely uneventful. I know she is a nervous dog with the ability to be reactive, however the progress we have made has given all of us a new outlook and hope. Uneventful walks, classes, and outings is all I want.
Excellent work, Liezel! I’m proud of you.