'Not only is punishment risky, but it also fails to teach the dog an acceptable alternate behaviour. The dog does not learn what to do the next time he is in the same situation. He only learns to fear the situation.' Emma Parsons, Click to Calm p73

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Blues Fest weekend: Friday & Saturday.

Lola has done very well so far.

Yesterday we walked past a screaming child, about two or three metres away, and Lola glanced at it and then promptly held my gaze for a reward. We also headed through the vaguely busy campsite, and although Lola huffed her lips out at a couple of bouncing, running spaniels, she was quiet and she didn't stare too much at people. She was clearly baffled by the sudden influx of tents and caravans to the rugby fields, though.

Today was slightly different. We went to the funfair/carnival thing, which is where we'll be going for the rest of the weekend. The alternative is finding drunken people outside of the music halls and hoping they don't scare Lola. The funfair is 12pm-8pm today, tomorrow and Monday, so plenty of time to wander.

We went three times to the funfair. The first time, Lola was startled by a 'suddenly appearing' (in her dumb terrier tunnel-vision eyes) dog which was "tied" to a caravan, and barked at him two or three times before I managed to get her to shush. The dog was very sweet looking, and was mostly laid panting (with no water) in the sun/shade. We practiced BAT with him for about twenty minutes, with the start being her looking very suspiciously at the dog, and the end result being laid down about two metres away from him without much fuss. Since there was no owner in sight, I didn't want to risk introducing them, and I didn't want the owner to decide to return to see me stood right next to their dog. That would be awkward.

What followed was even more awkward though. As Lola was doing really well with the BAT (no vocalisations after the first few barks, no piloerection at all, and only mild levels of intense staring which soon reduced), I moved into the adjacent football area to play fetch for a couple of minutes. I intended to return... but in that time, apparently the dog managed to slip the end of his leash off of the spike on the caravan. The dog headed straight into the thick of the funfair, and since I had Lola I couldn't follow.

I quickly returned home to put Lola in her crate, and then grabbed a bottle of water and our spare metal dog dish. I went back, couldn't find the dog, and was having horrible thoughts of him being run over when I saw him, next to one of the parked lorries. He was tied to a post there--and securely tied, this time--so I can only assume his owner saw him and tied him up. I left him with a bowl of water, noticing that he still had no water or food despite the fairly strong heat, and went back home.

A few hours later, I went out a second time with Lola, and we went straight to where the dog had been tied up before. He was thrilled to see me. I had Lola in a 'wait' a few metres away, and she was silently watching until I stroked him, whereupon she barked at me. The little madam! I ignored her until she was quiet again, and then she got food. After that she just laid a few metres away for the most part, occasionally being showered with food, whilst I gave him a quick fuss and added to the bowl of water (which he'd already drunk quite a lot of).

We went back to the football area and spent most of  the time then playing fetch in the very loud, very strange environment. Lola didn't react to anything whilst we were playing, but on the way back she seemed to take serious offence to an elderly couple walking down the street toward us; although I manouevered her into someone's front garden before she reacted, she was staring at the wall between her and them and growled very quietly for a moment, then recovered. When they actually walked past, she calmly looked between them and me. I think she just spooked.

At around seven, we went back to the funfair for the final time. Dog was still there, and Lola again waited--without barking at all!--a few metres away while I gave him some attention. I now have nice claw marks on one arm from him jumping up to get love. Since the funfair closes at 8 and his owners obviously aren't that responsible, I took the mostly drunk bowl of water away, so that if he's there tomorrow I can give him some more water. After I was satisfied he was well (just extremely bored, the poor boy) me and Lola sat on the curb and played LAT. She did so well - not a single bark, even when a girl ran back and forth past, a dozen or so feet away (she stared, but eventually looked at me the first time, and the second time immediately looked at me). We went home without fuss, and after mum came back home at around half 9, I quickly ran around to the funfair to make sure the dog wasn't still tied up, alone. He wasn't--and the caravan he was originally "tied" to was lit, so I'm hoping/assuming he was and is in there.

One downside of today is that Lola didn't get enough exercise. She had to sleep between trips, and since I had a lazy morning, this meant she only got maybe an hour or so of running. I don't know how I ever used to deal with her when she had that amount of exercise... she was needy, bossy and constantly demanding. She's so much more relaxed with more exercise, urgh.

My plan for tomorrow is to take her on a long (hour and a half to two hours) walk tomorrow morning, before the funfair even opens, and then do another three or four trips to the fair tomorrow, and give her another hour's walk when it all closes. I'm really hoping that I don't see that poor, lovely dog again - I really hope his owners keep him inside where he's safe. Nobody seemed to notice me hanging around him; someone with ill intent could quite easily unhook his leash and take him away.

In closing, a photo of Lola and the funfair (well, from a distance) and the boy dog in question.

She's not panting from stress here - it was genuinely hot!

What a good boy.


Bailey Be Good! said...

I think Lola is doing really well! It's so sad that people leave doggies tied up alone! Sad!

Hope you have an awesome weekend! :)

Woofs & hugs, <3

~Bailey (Yep, I'm a girl!)

K-Koira said...

Hey, I wanted to let you know I am passing on the 7 Posts challenge to you. I recently posted mine, and you can check on that to see what the rules are!

Sara said...

Lola did great!

You are so sweet for befriending the dog. Amazing how people take on the responsibility of a dog, when it seems as though they don't really care about his well being.

Diana said...

Lola did wonderful!!!

You are just a very nice person. To go back several times is above and beyond what most people would do.