This day there was a beautiful sky with just the right amount of warmth to make it a good day for zooming around the yard.
We haven't seen Sage for awhile. She's been out of town and is only back for a few days. She arrived early and greeted Lady May with such a sweet wiggle. She's 2 years old now and seems to be developing a calmer manner with loads more self control. What a sweet girl she's turning into.
|Sage - "Hi Lady May did you miss me?" I missed you"|
Sage seemed to know something was up and sat looking out the window even before they arrived. Im pretty sure she was watching for her mom but as luck would have it, she was still watching when Bentley and Oskar arrived.
|Sage - "Hey? Do I get a new playmate today?"|
7 month old Oskar hasn't had many opportunities yet and is still learning appropriate greeting behaviour. I knew this meeting would require time and patience.
|Sir Bentley - "I don't get it. Why am I behind a gate? "|
"You're keeping Oskar calm buddy. You're a very good influence on him."
Bentley- "Hmm oh ok."
|Sage - "Hey let us out I wanna meet the new boy!"|
Soon little girl, soon. Let's try a hello through the gate and see how it goes.
|Sage - "Okay buddy, that's close enough. Why do you have curly lips?"|
Sage displayed all the appropriate behaviours to let Oskar know she wasn't comfortable yet. Good girl Sage. We stayed separate for a while longer. Until both seemed more comfortable with each other's presence in the house and Oskar was ignoring Sage behind the gate.
I decided to let Bentley in with Sage first for a happy reunion. They were both delighted to see each other again and eager to head outdoors.
|Sir Bentley - "Hey let's go outside and chase balls!"|
|Sage - "I hope you can read my body language."|
Oskar - "Ya, I hear you. I'm not gonna touch you."
So out we went and as I expected Sage made a beeline to the pool with Oskar close behind.
The ball game continued and soon I opened up one more area for some extra play space. Lady May and Bentley were playing contently with their balls and all were enjoying fun play.
Before long Oskar went into his instinctive herding mode again and as quick as a wink he lunged after Sage and nipped her back end. This time a bit rougher. Ut oh, not good Oskar. He was verbally reprimanded and quickly separated into the gated off yard. The game abruptly ended, right now!
His look was one of, "Wait a minute. What just happened. We cant I play that game? Why not?"
|"Hey? When can I come back out there?"|
After that moment Sage and Oskar were kept separate for the couple of hours that Oskar and Bentley remained. I alternated between Bentley and Lady May with both Sage and Oskar taking turns.
|Sage - "I feel safer with just Sir Bentley."|
I know little girl and we'll try another together time another day. For now you and Oskar can play with a divider gate between you.
|Oskar - "Hey, where's the little girl dawg? Look I got more toys to chase her with" |
|Oskar - "I dunno why everyone's sleeping its not nap time yet!"|
|Oskar - "Why is there a fence between me and the little girl dawg?"|
|Sage - "It's up so I can sleep with out being disturbed or herded"|
|"Hurry say EAT so I can get that kibble before my brother does!"|
We also spent a great deal of time doing some desensitizing with the vacuum. I had placed my vacuum in an obvious area the last time Oskar was here and replaced it there again this day. As I expected, there was no reaction to it as it stood quietly. I began by slowly moving it silently around the room. Both Bentley and Oskar were on point but made no move towards it. They received lots of positive praise and cookie tidbits for such wonderful behaviour. Step by step we progressed to the stage that is depicted in the following video. Great job boys! You are awesome!
Why is this a part of my complimentary 4 hour practice daycare day?
I use the vacuum so regularly and I can not always predict which day will be a vacuuming day or who will be present. It's important to me that all visitors can remain at a low level of comfort if I have to pull out the vacuum. I want to avoid as many negative associations while they are in my care.
Does it always work? No, not always. There are visitors who I k now are driven out of an area by the sight/sound of the vacuum. I can promise the vacuum is not used on those days.
For these two, I'm proud to say we're on the road to fearless vacuum days.
I'm looking forward to our next visit boys. I may even take a look at the lawn mower next.
|Oskar - "I better get some sleep if there's yet another scary monster challenge."|