PUPPY UNIVERSITY

I signed my beautiful puppy up for puppy school. I think she’s laughing at me 🐾

I forget sometimes how much harder things are when you’re disabled. I signed Avia Rose up for puppy training. Imagine this, me, a rambunctious, 6 month old, puppy with major puppy ADD, several other dogs & their humans, a new environment & my limited strength & mobility, all in one confined indoor space. It’s ok to laugh at the vision. I laugh at myself every week, after I recover from the nights training session.

I decided to sign Avi up for training because I want to be able to handle her no matter how weak or immobile I may be, on any given day & she’s smart. I swear she’s so smart. You wouldn’t know it at the training sessions. Have mercy, I bragged beforehand about how smart she is, the trainer must question my sensibilities at this point! Avi is a rescue, mix and we do not know how large she will get. Right now she’s pushing 40lbs and it looks like she’s stopped growing. We will find out at her weigh in when she goes to get spayed in a few weeks. We really can’t be sure how big she’ll get, since we don’t know her mix. She’s not a terrible size for me to handle, but it’s difficult to do certain things.

The leash is our biggest struggle. She is a puppy, she gets distracted easily, she gets tangled in my cane, bangs into my legs & pulls randomly. Sometimes she just lays there being stubborn. She does not like the leash. She can be stubborn about coming when called & she has entered the chew everything stage.

Before training began she was fully potty trained, we never had to train her, she just “was”. She learned quickly to sit, stay, shake hands, lay down, she was a great puppy. She loves to snuggle and & she’s one of the best huggers!!

Poor Avi, hates the car. She gets car sick. We got a medicine the vet suggested & it helps her. But she’s not convinced yet. She gets all excited when she knows I’m leaving & really wants to go. But as we get closer to the car, she changes her mind. Eventually with a mountain of patience & some coaxing, she’ll get in. Usually because my husband lifts her into the car. She’s getting better at getting in the car since the medicine. Which is great! Because I can not lift her.

When we arrive to the first night of training, all the treats in the world wouldn’t get her out of the car. All the smells & sounds, she wasn’t having it. Oh, & I failed to mention, she’s afraid of the dark. I’m really gentle and compassionate about this. She was rescued after being abandoned on the side of the road, in Texas. I’m assuming it was in some kind of a closed container and I’m certain it was dark & scary. Then she had to trek the long road trip to the rescue here in Maine. I bet this was scary and we know she gets car sick. It must’ve been awful for her. I don’t coddle her, I try to just be patient & let her work out doing whatever command I’m giving despite how scary it is, she’s getting braver every day!

When I finally get her out of the car at the training facility, I’m practically dragging her inside. She doesn’t want to go. But I’m following the advice given & making the rules. She has to go where I’m leading her. She’s not the alpha!

I manage to get her to the door, she is skiddish and won’t walk through the door. Shocking, right?!! The trainer comes over and manages to coax her through the door. I sit down and realize I’m exhausted & we only went from the house to the car, then from the car to inside the training facility. We haven’t even begun and I’m so done.

I suck it up and go through the training. Let’s just say she’s not at the top of her class. She’s frightened and curious. It’s hard for me to do things because I’m tired, my strength is gone & my damn cane gets in the way. I try & try again with the cane, without the cane, it’s a full workout. One I will pay for, for days to come.

I learn a lot and I bring the new skills home. My husband & I implement the new training tools in our home with both of our dogs. They both are doing great! But Avi in class is not the same dog as she is at home.

I am committed to having a peaceful home for us and our pups. So I will push through and do whatever it takes to successfully complete the training. I just hadn’t figured on it being this physically demanding. I really didn’t count on needing a recovery period after each class. You’d think I’d know better by now. But nope, it’s always a surprise when you’re reminded of the fact that you can’t always do things that an able bodied person can. Well you can, but it takes a hell of a lot more ingenuity & effort! But my baby is worth it. 🐾

We were blessed to adopt Avia Rose from the Grammy Rose Dog Rescue & Sanctuary in Acton, Maine. That’s how she got her name. She was the first rescue & adoption. They called her Rose. We added Avia (Latin for grandmother), because our granddaughter has Rose in her name. We didn’t want the new pup to get confused. So we paid tribute to the rescue by naming her Avia (Grammy) Rose. I would encourage you to check out their website. If you have ever thought about adopting, volunteering, or financially supporting a rescue, this is an amazing choice!

Click now and see how you can help an amazing dog rescue!

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