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Team Training: End of Day 2


Well, we've made it through two days of intense, technical team training. Meaning we're working on our timing, using the proper commands, and stringing several steps together to perform a task (like going down the stairs). We've both been pretty tired at the end of the day. Leslie is very pleased with our work together and our progress. She's upping the challenge for us tomorrow to harder tasks in more distracting, busy places. I don't even know what else to tell you other than it's all going very well.

Here's a picture from this morning at the hotel, where he's hanging out on his ad hoc bed:

And here he is playing with a new friend during free time a bit later in the day:

Finally, a stunning pic of a happy dog from the same free time session:

More next time!

Leo and Mal
Team Training Starts Tomorrow (Today)!!!

I'm here, I've settled in, I've read his book, and I'm as ready as I'm going to be.

The journey begins in just over 12 hours (noon PDT Monday, June 25th).

Wish me, wish us luck!

It's Official: Team Training in 2 Weeks!!!!

Yes, you read that right. Team Training for Leo and I will start June 25th. SQUEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! And our Primary Support Person, Kami, will be there with us almost the whole time!!! (I didn't even think I'd have a Primary Support Person, which is why I've never mentioned it.) I'm SO excited, can you tell??? I don't even know what else to say other than I'm ready, Leo's almost ready, and the logistics of travel, accommodations, rental car, and ground transportation are all in place. I'm sooooooooo grateful to each and every one of you who helped to make all this possible. Seriously, couldn't have done it without you.

Here's a recent video clip of Leo in his fancy, custom-fitted, custom-made harness practicing his new skills with Leslie:
Here Leo and I are doing Harness Training: curbs and street crossings. I repeated the approach at the far curb, when Leo placed a rear foot on the curb. He quickly learned that we only continue on our way when he "marks" the curb with his front feet only. He also does an excellent job waiting at the down curbs until I step down first - providing resistence to my forward and downward momentum.
Notice that she's no longer using the clicker and there are no treats in her pockets. The former is because he's graduated in his learning to a level where he no longer needs the clicker as a marker for desired behavior. The latter is because Leslie discovered that he's not food (or toy) motivated. His treat of highest reward is a hug, followed by "scritches" — pats, scratches, strokes, caresses — and verbal praise. How awesome is that?!? His highest reward is being loved on. I flove that about him — we are such a perfect match, lol.

I cannot WAIT to see him again. Soon. So very, very soon.

More for y'all then, too!

Much love and many hugs,

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