Monday, December 21, 2015

Viva and I work on putting on a sweater - Part 4

In case you missed them, here are the first three posts in this series:
The jury is still out in terms of Viva wearing a sweater. While she will move around in it, she has yet to want to lay down while wearing it. Which means she's not totally comfortable in the sweater.  So, we'll keep at this for a bit longer and if we don't see more visible comfort from Viva then we will stop this sweater work.  Here was our most recent sessions.

We head out into the hallway as we often run up and down the hallway and stairs.  I do this so Viva feels the sweater moving on her body. 
D'light wandered out and it was perfect timing for a photo shoot! 
"Do you have any treats?"

"Who wants a treat?"

"We do!"

Both were given diced up turkey for a great photo shoot!

 So was all this work a waste of time?  Absolutely not!  All this work helps me with my own training skills and it gives me a good amount of information about how to adjust and continue forward with Viva.  Throughout all of this work Viva and I continued to strengthen the foundation of trust.  And at the end of the day, that's what is most important for Viva - trust of a human to be there for her, helping her to move forward.  That's something that she clearly has missed out on in her life.
Some of what was also going on while we did this work was the two of us being in pretty close proximity, me touching her as the sweater was going on and off, touching her legs and all of those things have caused her to worry while she's been in our care.  Since we broke this work down in so many small steps and over a period of time, we worked through some of those "touch" concerns for her.  She has choice throughout the whole process to engage or not engage in what I'm offering.  Choice is such a powerful tool and we often forget that - by giving choice we also build trust and deepen our relationship with the dog in our care.

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