my last obstacle course

we are home, we are home, we are home!

i cannot believe this. its been so beautiful and natural and unreal to have this gorgeous little four-legged make himself right at home here in stroesslerland. he wanders around the house, loves his big backyard, eats like the lab that he is...

we're loving it.

but allow me to backtrack a bit, catch you up on the last few days of Camp.

we walked through all the cues that i had learned, giving me time to really learn this new language. and i was able to shape a new behavior with Cade. they asked me to pick anything i liked, so i figured i would go for something that would be helpful in my life. my brilliant Ginger of a sister-in-law suggested asking Cade to get a blankie for me when i need one.

i often use old blankies of joshua's to cover my skin when it is feeling extra sensie. that soft, super-overly-washed flannel makes a touchable barrier that can block air or other fabrics from touching my skin. basically telling it to shut it, i'm not interested in its opinion. :)

here's a little clippy-clip of my Cader knocking it out:

the other bit i'd love for you all to see is the last 'obstacle course' that Cade and i went through.

Lauren, Janet and Kim set up the training space with spaces to work just about every cue and behavior that Cade and i had learned during Camp. it was awesome. i loved so much the challenge of things like this during my time in VA. i knew there was no other way for Cade and i to bond up and work it than to test ourselves like this.

you'll see him walk through a gate calmly, turn and wait for me. he'll weave through some cones while ignoring piles of food on the floor-- totes not easy. he'll back up when i ask which is not a natural movement. we'll come up to a big door, and he'll grab a tug, pull it open for me and hold it, allowing me to pass through. in that sequence, you can see me ask him to regrab the tug and hold it again-- that's because he released it before i asked him to do so. totes rude.

at the end we do a big, long down stay with a release and recall to me. oh my word, i love seeing him run like that towards me.

and then Kim turns the video off.

and then Kim and i hugged and cried for a very long time.

and here's where i won't tell you that she, a bit overwhelmed with emotion, left me sitting in a chair, crying while she walked out the front of the building and down the sidewalk to get some air.

but i won't tell you that.

she's SUCH a kickass and dedicated sister, dog trainer and sister.

and sister.

here's the video:

isn't that the coolest?
(she says with humility, of course...)
there's so much depth there. so much totally life changing in that little 6 and a half minutes.
no more wearing out my legs squatting, no more getting dizzing leaning over too far, using up my stupifyingly precious energy picking things that i drop up off the ground.
totally life altering. delish.

your support is the same to me.
completely life altering.
thank you.

much loves,

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