Uschi and I completed our training this morning with the normal formalities: contract signing and ID photo taking. Jason went over the basic things to work on, which was a short list of things that I could have spouted off myself. Nothing major, just the obvious things like keeping an eye on the dog distraction and not letting her get away with it in the least and remembering to actually use her name when giving her direction commands. Both of these are by-products of working with Yara; I never had to harshly correct her for anything because she took even the slightest correction so seriously and I’ve fallen out of habit of using her name with directions because she would lunge forward before I would get to the actual command. Tommy suggested dropping her name during a follow-up because of exactly this.

We opted not to take a last walk since (a.) it’s horrid outside and I think we’re all tired of trudging through the unpleasant weather and (b.) I honestly couldn’t think of anything we hadn’t covered that I’d be venturing through the winter weather to get to. Jason was adamant that if I needed assistance working on something when the weather was better that someone from the school would come out if I requested.1

Anyway, yesterday we had quite the busy day. We worked a bit in downtown Schenectady, which included a trip to the post office to mail my father some things for Yara. We also completed the last requirement on the training checklist: country travel. This required finding a place with no sidewalks, which took a surprisingly long time given we ended up basically around the corner from my house. Uschi did very well, though, I noted she was really speeding along. Jason joked that she probably thought we were morons and was trying to get us out of the road as quickly as possible. However, when we got to the end of the block, she flipped out crossing the street. Our best guess is that she got shocked by the electrical current under the road. There was a damaged power line pole at the corner. Given we both had boots with rubber soles on — and I hadn’t thought it necessary to put Uschi’s rubber-soled boots on her — we couldn’t really confirm this but she was fine to walk on basically any other part of the street. Later, we went back to downtown Schenectady for a “night walk,” which is exactly what it sounds like: a walk when the sun is down. Oddly, this isn’t a requirement for Fidelco’s training and I have no idea why that is.

Other than the small freak out during the country travel, Uschi did a splendid job through all three trips. She’s more sniffy than I would like, but easily focused. There’s something about snow that is utterly fascinating to her, which is proving to be a mild distraction for her and yet she only spaced out once during our walk. There was some police tape stretched across the sidewalk and she very nearly plowed me right through it, but it’s just as likely she’d have made that mistake even if she didn’t have her nose shoved in the snow. We also passed a few dogs in our travels and she was definitely aware of them, but they weren’t much of an issue. It’s definitely the one thing I intend to be very attentive to, though, so it doesn’t develop into a problem.

All things considered, I’m rather confident in this match. :-)

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  1. Oh my, about her getting shocked. I’d heard stories of it, but I didn’t realize it was a common problem during winter.

    Congrats on completing your training together!

  2. Congrats on finishing training!

  3. Congrats on the completion of training! WHOOT! Glad to hear of your excitement as a new team.

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