It finally came-Velvet’s Inauguration and “First Day on the Job”. As with all the other elected officials being sworn in now, Velvet got her first taste of real work. She had on her ‘Hearing Ear’ vest and we were ready to go. We went to Joann’s Fabric Store on an off-day.
After getting a short talk, we got in the store only to have her put her ‘brakes’ on. That is, holding her feet firm, not walking, and saying,” I won’t go, I won’t”.
Oh! Gee… So I go around the aisle and sit in the walker seat and tell her, “Velvet, I know this is all new and it’s not easy. But after a few times, you’ll feel better.” Then a training treat. It worked. We slowly walked around and to where I wanted the items on the other side of the store.
In the process, Velvet felt more at ease. I say to her while walking, when I want to look at something, “Stop”, and she does. Then when I’m am ready to walk, I tell her,” Walk”, and she does that. We practiced outside here around the gardens and Velvet did well. Amazingly, we made it all through to the check out.
Now, the hardest thing to train for is ‘Hear Cars’ and that is the most important. It’s difficult and worse in parking lots than crossing a single street. It takes a long time. We get to the curb and I talk to Velvet again having her on my left and looking left, then having her on my right and looking to the right.
I have to first tell define a car as best as I can, then show her when it is clear to walk across. For the first time, Velvet did very well. Getting to the car, I tell her to stop working and she gets in.
“Velvet, thank you for working” and gave her a treat. (They work for food!) I always thanked Emily and I mean it with all of my heart. The service that they do is amazing to me. I took her to McDonald’s Drive-up and she had a couple of spoonfuls of vanilla frozen yogurt.
Velvet loves riding in the car and lays right down after she is hooked in to the seatbelt. When we get home, the other 2 corgis crowded around her and wanted to know where she went as they sniffed her all over. I took her picture with the cell phone, which was difficult because of the commotion.
We ate dinner and shortly after both of us took a long nap. Velvet was exhausted and so was I after just 2 hours out. It’s very stressful for us to train and be trained! Nevertheless, Velvet did surprisingly well for the first time out. Now we need to do that 2-3 times a week.
Velvet needs to come and be with me everywhere I go. The only real way is with ‘Paws-on’ experience. I’m very proud of her!