It’s quite often that people seeing me out and about with my guide dogs probe me with questions in an attempt to determine whether we’re a working team. However, the typical “is my dog in training” question never ceases to throw me because I’m of a mind that you never really stop training a dog. Even commonplace things such as obedience require constant reinforcement if you want the skills to be solid, especially in difficult or unexpected circumstances. Dogs really thrive on feeling that they are doing the right thing, too, so it’s nice to give them tasks that they will excel at and build from there.
Learning opportunities can present themselves anytime and without any warning. Take last night for instance, I was playing fetch with Uschi when the game took an unexpected turn, as it sometimes does when a blind person is tossing toys. The ball bounced off the floor and landed squarely on Uschi’s head. I took the moment as a prime one for a photograph, but Uschi seemed to be more of a mind that we were playing fetch wrong. Either way, we got a bit of down-stay practice and I got me a fun photo to share.
Lest you be worried over her downtrodden expression, I let her out of the stay right after taking this photo and she immediately went to work at trying to rupture my eardrums. Obviously, she’s no worse for the impromptu obedience lesson.
In completely other news, my post on achromatopsia from earlier this week was selected for WP.com’s Freshly Pressed feature. I’m still pretty blown away to be chosen. Honestly, I never expected it would happen, but if there was a post I could have picked to drive traffic to that would most certainly be the one. :-)