We first took ownership of Ellie in the Summer of 2007. The days were long, and the temperature was warm. We were walking three times a day and loving every second of it. As regular as clockwork, we would be out at 09:00, 13:00, and 17:00 each day. Then came Winter, and Winter being as it is, it stole the plentiful daylight hours and replaced them with darkness, dampness, and coldness.
It became impractical to walk Ellie three times a day, and so the midday walk was abandoned. I've really missed it. I know some people see walking their dog as a chore, but I've never felt that way; I love doing it. Sure, there are times when I'm really tired and every fibre within me is telling me that I'd rather sit in front of the television, being hugged warm by the central heating. But once I get walking, I'm always glad that I fought the feeling.
I've been, almost literally, counting the extra daylight minutes over the past few weeks, and this week there has been enough to resume our three walks per day. Hoorah! In fact, today was the first day, and it was like an adrenaline injection. Ellie seemed to detect my enthusiasm and performed some really good loose-leash walking for me.
February's Challenge Progress
We're still progressing with the February "Cop-Cop" challenge, though it's a difficult one. It's easy to get Ellie to place her left paw on my left foot, and her right paw on my right foot, but it's proving next to impossible to get her to put each paw on each foot at the SAME TIME.
As far as she's concerned, she's doing great. She puts her paw on my foot and I reward. Now, if I pause and hope that she'll do the second paw, then she'll just think that she's no longer getting rewarded for the single paw and stop doing the behaviour completely.
I'm going to speak to Barby I think, and see if I can get some advice for this one. If I place her paws onto my feet, she'll walk great on my feet. It's just teaching her to mount both feet at the same time that we're struggling with.