Friday, July 18, 2014

Human-y Issues

Today was a big breakthrough day for me as well as Ice, but mainly me.  As some of you might remember, Ice became afraid of the meat section at a grocery store when he was a couple months old.  We are pretty sure it was during a fear period since it progressed from the meat section to the vegetable section to the entire grocery store.  He then started associating all refrigerated sections with being fearful.  It broke my heart to see this awesome dog being so unhappy with going to a place that most people frequent.  Well someone please slap me for getting so emotional about this and not thinking like a dog.

Since moving to Florida, Ice has being going out to places like Walmart where there are refrigerated sections but other things too.  We have been taking him out with other dogs so that he can get confidence from them. (and having other people there to help me, gave me more confidence too).  That worked wonderfully and he got more confident but I still wasn't sure about the actual grocery store part, especially the meat section.  Again, someone please slap me.  Dogs don't live in the past, they live in the now.  I was dwelling on what had happened in the past and I am sure giving off fear smells and vibes to Ice.  Of course he is going to be afraid of the grocery store if I am going to be a blubbering idiot.

Now mind you, I didn't realize this over night.  I had a feeling I was causing at least part of this issue and we decided that Ice should work with someone else in a grocery store and see what he did.  On a trip to Walmart, Titus and I took two of MAWP's advanced dogs, Gator and Gracie, and Ice.  Gator and Gracie are two lovable goldadors whom are super calm about grocery stores.  I worked Gator and Gracie while Titus worked Ice.  We be-bopped around Walmart and then walked into the meat section.  I instantly felt myself tense up even though I wasn't working Ice, just because he was in the meat section and might be afraid.  That is when it finally hit me to get my head out of my ass and stop being a stupid human.  Gator and Gracie were wonderful and ignored my short comings.  Ice did drop his tail a little bit and slightly change but Titus pretended like nothing was going on and kept going.  After a couple loops around the store, Ice was back to his normal self and going through the meat section like a pro.

Gracie and Gator working down-stays at Walmart

That brings us to today.  Ice and I were out running errands and I needed to stop by the grocery store for some deodorant (running out during a Florida summer is never a good thing but I regress).  I pulled into the parking lot and made sure I got all the crappy thoughts out of my head, gave Ice a big kiss and said "Let's Go."  Walking up to the store I spent more time focusing on me, than on what Ice was doing since I am the problem.  We walked into the store and Ice was still fine.  We walked into the deodorant aisle and he is hoping I will let him get something off the shelf (wanting to work is a sign that Ice is not afraid).  We walked back to the cash register past the refrigerated section and into line.  He was perfect.  No change in body behavior.  He even was super insistent on carrying my bag out to the car for me.  Amazing what happens with dogs when humans stop being so human-y and get with the program. Thank you Ice for never ceasing to teach me something.  Today was a great day.  

Ice carrying his bag out of the grocery store

1 comment:

  1. Great job Sarah. It is sometimes very difficult to let those emotions go and think like the dog.


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