Working with Sadie has been a big learning experience for me. She and I are both learning every day, about each other, how to communicate and what we each need from the other.
Yesterday we had a big outing to Home Depot together. Given we’ve been following the shelter in place order other than some work with clients in the office, this was a big deal for us. She has not had the opportunity to be around so many people and loud, unexpected noises and other dogs. She did really well all things considered.
I am learning how and where and when to set boundaries with her. And she is doing the developmentally appropriate thing right now, which is testing every rule and boundary that I set. I can’t say that I always get it right, definitely not. But I do a good enough job and we are developing a healthy attachment together. She knows I care and it is safe to go off exploring the environment. Periodically she’ll check that I am there for reassurance.
Getting a dog to train as a therapy dog is one of the best things I have ever done. She brings so much joy to my life and my practice and my clients.