Today when I went to work with Kaiden at the Children’s Therapy Center, I did not bring my own dog with me.
I had a plan to introduce one of our largest dogs to him, George.
Over the months Kaiden has met several new dogs, each a big larger and more active than the last.
The initial sighting is what startles him and causes the anxious reaction. So I thought let’s see how he does when he just “finds” a dog!
We started the session as soon as he saw me. “Where’s your dog?” he asked? He was so surprised to see me without a dog.
I asked him if we could go inside and look at some pictures and then maybe we could go “looking for a dog” together.
I showed him photos of George. What a big dog! Then we looked at tons of other photos of Kaiden working with other dogs and he remembered them all! Ginger. Boise. Benny.
After a few minutes I said “let’s go look for dogs,” and we headed outside.
I had arranged for George and his handler Tiffany to be behind the building waiting for us to “find them.”
We started walking all around and Kaiden kept saying “no dogs.”
Then we made the turn.
There was Tiffany and George at the distance.
At first Kaiden did get anxious and a bit afraid. But we talked about it and said “That’s just George.”
We slowly walked towards them as they walked slowly towards us.
As soon as they were about ten feet away we told Kaiden to ask George to Sit. And Kaiden did.
And that huge dog sat!
THAT is why solid obedience is critical for our Love Dogs!
Within minutes we had the second leash on George and Kaiden was walking this huge dog.
For the rest of the hour boy and dog bonded. Kaiden let George sniff his hand, he petted his feet and ears and belly. He sat closer and closer to George while they played the animal game. He brushed George.
At the end of the hour we put the second leash back on and Kaiden walked george to his car. This huge dog rides in the smallest car! That was something to see.
Kaiden’s reaction time is getting lesser and lesser around dogs and he is trusting us that anyone we have him meet is a good dog!
Thank you Tiffany and George for a very special day.