I got Ellie on Tuesday afternoon and we started training today. Things seem to be going well so far. For those of you who don't know, the training I'm doing with her is from home, mostly because taking four weeks straight out of work is really difficult to do because we have three staff members and a conference to organise.

That means my instructor and his sidekick are following me everywhere I go. Today we went to an optometrist appointment - funny because she was really able to get my relief at having a smaller dog; the last time I visited her Ashton accidentally sat on the controls for the special chair in her office which goes up and down for eye exams and I was left literally several inches from the roof before we worked out what had happened - then they followed me heading back to work. They met me for my lunch break and Ellie's toileting time in the nearby church gardens, then they followed me home.

At present there are a couple of technique and behaviour things which need to be sorted out, but at Day One that's to be expected. Ellie has a tendency to rush forward. She either pulls me to the point where I can't get control back or I tug her back rather than giving a short, sharp correction. End result? She either thinks she has control over the situation or she thinks I'm playing a game of tug with her whole body and pushes harder against the harness. *sigh* At least we've caught it early, and I think relaxing my grip on the harness and lead should help.

Tonight she's barked a couple of times. It's happened in the lounge/kitchen part of my flat while she's been on her bed out there, so I think she's just reacting to the noise of people coming and going. Until I know for sure what's up I've been turfing her back into the bedroom for time-out for a few minutes.

More positively, she's really a lovely dog. Very gentle and waggly, and today in the office she kept moving off her bed and inching over towards my chair. Every person she's met out of harness has been licked on any exposed skin, which probably just means I should keep her away from nudist colonies. She loves being brushed, and she loves the squeaky rope toy I got her. Most important of all, I already feel safe with her. She's very alert and thorough and I feel so relieved to know I can get through crowded places without bumping into people or stressing out, and that I can cross roads without worrying I'll be hit.

Tomorrow is my day off this week. Of course, because we're training it's not really a day off, it's time to visit the free run park and the local shops for familiarisation. We'll go back to both places on the weekend and add in a new route to boot.



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