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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Helping Husker through the Week

Ken is at a school this week and our routine is completely different from our version of "normal."  I have spent much of this week either giving Husker "leave it" cues, completely frustrated with him, or, in moments of tired weakness, yelling at him.  Husker is our almost 8-year-old Golden Retriever.  He really is a wonderful dog.  Full of life, energy, and love.  But this week he does not like that things are different -- not even a little bit.

This morning I came to the stark realization that I am not handling his stress very well and in fact, am probably adding to it.  So what to do?  Right now he is in his crate, taking his usual morning nap.  But when he wakes up and is ready to do something -- we are actually going to do something together -- instead of leaving him to his own devices and ultimately leading to a frustrating situation for both of us.  I think today we will throw a Kong a little and maybe take a walk and when it's time for another nap, I will make him a special peanut butter Kong with some treats and kibble in it.

I have been expecting a lot from both him and Daisy for a while now and I have not been very good at rewarding and reinforcing their normal, excellent behavior.  Maybe it's time to take some of my own advice...

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