I Saw It! My Girl Has a Belly!

“I think Yara’s in love.” Megan said to me as I rubbed an exposed white-and-gray GSD belly after we had completed our training regimen for the day. Yara really is very adorable when she’s not bouncing off the walls or trying to drag me around. I was rather surprised when she rolled over while I was stroking her and showed that soft belly to me. She’s just been so anxious and excited, I hadn’t expected her to submit.1 Definitely a good sign.

Today was the first day we worked in harness and it was quite fun. It was also terribly cold. It got up to 28° but it felt far colder, especially when the breeze was blowing. Our first walk was okay, but definitely not amazing. Yara was very excited about everything going on and got distracted and hesitant a fair number of times. And, of course, I’m still trying to get all this stuff down and unlearn what I was taught before. I’m sure I’m hardly helping make things easier on her! She doesn’t pull out in harness with the great force Dolly used to exert, but she walks really fast! Our second walk was much, much better. She was a lot calmer and much more responsive. And after we were through and back home, Megan informed me that she hadn’t bothered to clip her leash on along with me.2

Meaning, we had our first independent route! I’m very proud of us both. Megan said we did “very well” and was quick to point out that we did our first halts all on our own. Go us!

Back inside my far warmer house, Megan and I went over things I can improve on. Fidelco’s positioning and even some command executions are very different than what I learned from Guiding Eyes for the Blind, so I need to work on that a bit. Then we went over some more obedience. We worked a bit more with targeting as well as sits and downs. And then we did some “go lay down” exercises, which seemed to make Yara quite happy as it involved her bed.

A very productive day, I must say! I think Yara would agree, but as she fell asleep while I typed this she’s unable to say so specifically.

  1. Being a Labrador retriever, Dolly all but throws her belly at you. She’s always been very passive and incredibly submissive.
  2. Guide dog training usually starts with the instructor slowly handing over control of the dog to the handler and one specific technique is to keep their leash on the collar along with the handler’s.


  1. Maddie’s belly is white & pink… :) and if you just look at her, with your hands on your hips, she will just show you her tummy for some rubbin’. she’s silly that way.

  2. Yara’s mostly gray as you can see in the photo I took yesterday. She’s got lots of black mixed and on her belly she’s gray with white mixed in. She’s also got this white splotch right in the middle of her chest.

    And yeah, Dolly’s the same way about belly rubs. I mean she’s just a very submissive dog, but she shows her belly to everyone just for some rubbin’s!

    Yara’s much more assertive in her personality, though, so I just was very shocked when she exposed that belly since it’s just so hugely submissive. She was so adorable, she just snuggled right into me as I stroked her.

  3. that’s what i missed the most when Maddie slept in our bed… i so do not miss the flying fur, but now that it’s cold, i miss my bed warmer! lol

  4. Yeah, I’m too allergic to have her sharing my bed. Plus, if she’s anything like Dolly, she’ll just take over the whole bed on me! Heck, even my little 10 lb terrier mutt, Augi, would steal all the bed if given a chance (or at least the best part, where the pillows are). Dogs are so greedy!

  5. when Maddie slept in our bed (a king-sized bed, mind you), i’d only get like 1/8th of it (the left edge) and Tom would get the other 1/8th of it (the right edge)… and Ms. Queen of the bed would take up the entire middle section… her head would be up against Tom’s back, and her feet would against my back… how nice to be woken up with a kick to my face.

  6. oh, speaking of the best part… where the pillows are… when it was really cold, Maddie slept on top of my head. yeah, a 60lb. headwarmer.

  7. LOL! Sounds like Dolly. She’d steal all the covers too. And I say this in past tense like she doesn’t do the same thing at my dad’s!

    She takes up the WHOLE sofa too if she is there alone. She’s such a silly girl. But at least she moves over if you ask her to.

  8. mine won’t move if you ask… nicely! you have to move that huge furry lump yourself if you want to share the couch with her… and it’s nice and warm when you get to! :)

  9. Dolly learned long ago to move out of the way because blind people will not generally know you’re there. She’s been stepped on, tripped over, and sat on a fair number of times. I’ve stepped on Yara a bunch already, too, but I don’t feel bad because she trod over my feet all the time and it’s painful!

  10. Long comment follows. . . .

    daysies — Yeah, I thought I was used to it with Dolly. But Yara’s feet are HUGE and she pretty much claws me whenever she lands on my foot.

    And yeah, it drives me crazy, too, when I see “shepherd” misspelled.

    (You should get out of the “blurker” shell, I miss you!)

    Wendy &#8212 Actually that photo makes her look a bit darker than she really is in person, but I took it with my cell phone so what can you do? I’m going to be getting a new (and most definitely better) camera at Christmas, though! But yeah she’s a nice dark gray and on her back she’s got lots of black on her. Her belly’s all gray and has some white through it. And she has this cute little white splotch in the middle of her chest.

    And thank you!

  11. oh, yes, heavy dog feet hurt like yeeooow! :) i’ve gotten stepped on by Maddie, too, and have a bunch of small purple bruises to prove it.

    btw, this is O/T… but i’m happy to see Shepherd spelled properly. i’ve seen it spelled Sheperd too many times and it’s like nails on a chalkboard!

    (and thanks for making me come out of my blurker shell.)

  12. Awwww Cyndy, Yara is gorgeous! Really mch darker in colour than I had imagined she was going to be.

    Good luck with your training :o)

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