>Trixie Brags and Other Random Stuff

>It’s time to babble about random stuff again.

I can’t believe how fast time is flying. It’s going to be Christmas before I know it. But wanna know what’s cool? If all goes well today, I should be completely done my Christmas shopping! Well, that’s not quite true. I have to wait two weeks to get what I want to get Trixie’s raiser. but other than that, I will be completely finito! Um, how often does that happen? Let’s rewind to last year. Was I done this soon? That would be a resounding nooo! It was crazy. This year, the ideas fell out of the sky, and even hunting down rare things for people wasn’t too painful. For the first time in years, I’m actually sort of in a christmas mood! I’m heading to the mall today, and I’m not dreading it.

Maybe what’s making me happy isn’t Christmas, it’s Trixie becoming not just a good guide dog, but a supre guide dog. There was a time back through September and October when she was really super putting me to the test. She decided to be even more sniffy, embarrassingly so. I was wondering if I was misunderstanding her signals, if I wasn’t giving her enough praise, was the food not filling her up enough, what was it? For a while, I was afraid to put the gental leader on her because she had this horrible way of grinding her face on me, and no amount of that’s enough! along with a yank behind the ears would stop it. Once, she almost knocked me down some stairs trying to rub it off. With the sniffing on the rise, I decided we had to give ye old gental leader another go. So I slapped it on after her first sniff. I was a nazi. If she sniffed a post and a correction wouldn’t bring her back to focus, on went the gental leader. Amazingly, the sniffing slowed immensely! She tried to rub it off on me, and when she did, I would detach the gental leader from the leash and then give her a high-collar. Then I’d put the gental leader back on. She soon learned that rubbing meant more bad things, and it didn’t give her a greater chance of having the gental leader come off, so the rubbing decreased drastically! We even got to go on walks when she didn’t need the gental leader! Yea! Even cooler, we walked around a busy farmer’s market, with the gental leader on, but oh well, and she was friggin awesome. She would pick her way through crowds, and if the people got too close, she would nudge them as if to say, “excuse me, excuse me. Comin’ through.” It was cute.

Even better, when the snow and ice came, she remembered some of the things it took forever to teach her last year. things like slow down on ice! She still has some trouble realizing ice is there when there’s snow over the ice, but she seems to understand why I’m insistent that she slow down. The other day, we were going down a steep hill, and she slowed down to the pace of an old grandmother to keep me from falling. That’s my girl!

I’m so happy I don’t have to go through the trial and error of finding the right stuff for her feet. I’ve started on the Mushers’, and although she’s not fond of the extra two minutes she has to wait before feeding, it’s already doing good things. Man I love that stuff. Love love love it. It’s the miracle stuff. It’s amazing. I was going through a drawer of her stuff, and stumbled across those boots, and the attaching thingamabobber, and the sense of dread filled my belly. I think I felt it for myself and on behalf of the poor pooch!

And here’s another cool thing I’ve noticed! Her fur coat seems to be thickening up! I haven’t had to put her coat on yet! I’m pretty sure that when we hit these temperatures last year, she was wearing it. I could be dreaming, but I think her coat is thicker. I guess we’ll see.

The other day, I realized something. I’ve officially had Trixi for longer than anyone else. She spent a couple months in the puppy kennel, then she was with her raiser for maybe 16 months, then she was in doggy college for four or five months, then I got her! I’ve officially had her the longest! Woo! I wondered if the last bit of testing was a bit of rebellion. maybe her doggy clock was wondering if she was going to change hands ssoon. Or maybe I’m high and it was just another random testing phase. Trix would be the only one who knos, and I can’t speak dog that well.

It’s funny. Even after over 18 months of having her, my mom still doesnt’ understand some of the intricacies of the harness being on and off. I took Trixie out back to do her business once, and somehow got a little turned around. Since she was on the leash, our body positioning was a bit different. In harness, she gets slightly in front of me, with me walking somewhere between her shoulders and hips. But since she was just on leash since we just basically stepped out the door and a dog is never supposed to do her business in harness, she was at heel. So she couldn’t really lead me. It was me who was deciding the direction totally and completely. We were standing there so I could get a clue and start us moving. Mom was like “why didn’t you get her to find the door?” She’s not working, mom, and in this position, it’s hard for her to lead me anywhere. Oh well, without working with dogs all the time, I guess it’s a little weird to try and understand.

I guess that’s it. Hopefully everyone’s having about as much luck Christmas shopping. It’s a good feeling!

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