Dog training and psych nurse

Yesterday was a busy day. We had our first session of Intro to Rally II, which I am very excited about!

I use my wheelchair during class because I can’t stand as much as I’d need to in order to participate in class. So I rolled in and a dog there sees me and starts barking. No biggie to me, I’m used to dogs barking at my wheelchair. So I go to our ring and get set up. The ring that we’re in is open to a walkway on two sides, and I have chosen to be at the far end of one of those open sides. There’s nothing back there, and no reason for anyone to be back there unless they’re getting a drink or using the restroom.

The person with the barking dog approaches me and starts training her dog to be around my wheelchair behind my back. While I am happy for people to train their dogs to wheelchairs using my wheelchair, it makes me feel like an object when they just do it without even asking me and behind my back. A note to all non-wheelchair using dog handlers out there—dog-loving wheelchair users usually won’t mind helping you train, but just make sure it’s a good time and ask first so we feel like humans.

Eventually she did compliment me on the wings I have on my wheelchair, and then when she was almost done she said that she was just training her dog to be around my wheelchair. So she did acknowledge me a little bit. But still I felt very used. If she had asked if she could train around me, I would have asked her what I could do to help etc and tried to help her out with her training. But since she was just using me as an object, I didn’t.

Luckily she is not in my class (she was in the class before mine), so I won’t have to deal with that during class—only before it.

Class went pretty well. I’ve been super lax about training Felix lately because he was so uncomfortable before his surgery, and then recovering from surgery. So Felix was a little amped up about training and did some demand barking. But eventually he calmed down and stopped demand barking.

He did a good job during class. The thing I was most impressed with is that we worked on stays. That’s the main thing I’ve been working on around the house (when I’ve been training, which I haven’t been a lot). In the house, I work on stays while standing up. And last class session that we had, I tried doing some stays with me moving around in my wheelchair, and Felix wasn’t very good at them.

So when we started working on stays in class yesterday, I decided to just see how he responded to stays with me in my wheelchair, and then switch to standing if that was what he needed to succeed. And you know what? He did fantastically! I was able to go backwards and to the left and right as far away as my leash could let me go and he stayed beautifully! I was so proud!!!! I didn’t try going up next to him because we’ve been struggling with me walking next to Felix at home, and I didn’t want to push things in class.

We also worked on heeling in class, and Felix did a pretty good job. We did a few other little things like puppy push ups, too.

On the way home, I stopped off at Walmart to pick up my grocery order. Felix does such a good job just hanging out in the back seat while the person puts groceries in the trunk!

I was only home for a couple hours when I had to go back out again. I had a psych nurse appointment. I took Felix with me again. He walked very nicely into the place, then sat on my lap in the waiting room. Unfortunately my psych nurse always runs late. Yesterday I waiting in the waiting room for over 40 minutes after my appointment time. Felix did such a good job hanging out on my lap. It is very frustrating to wait that long for an appointment!

Then when she called me back, as soon as I walked in, I was hit with fragrance. She tried to do some small talk, and I had to interrupt her and tell her that her room was full of a fragrance, and I couldn’t stay there. All I needed from her was a med refill, and I knew if I stayed in that room for any length of time, I’d have to shower and change when I got home otherwise it’d make Brad sick. I think the fragrance was from one of the four bottles of scented lotion she had on her desk. She apologized for the fragrance, and we had the shortest appointment ever—probably 5–7 minutes. I got my meds refilled and was on my way. The next people in the waiting room after me should have thanked me, too, because I probably saved them about 15–20 minutes of waiting, too!

When I got home I was in a pretty bad state. I had done too much. Sometimes I think that I can do more than I can. Obviously leaving the house two times in the same day is something I’m just not capable of. I couldn’t figure out any way to get calmed down and feeling better. Eventually several hours later, I was feeling better, but it took me a long time. Here’s hoping I don’t have another busy day like that for a long while!

I got a photo of Felix and me in the waiting room. You can see half of his face and half of mine against a bright green wall.

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