Yesterday was my first morning shift during the week...and there were A TON of dogs for some reason. Ferguson got to stay in the pen all morning while I worked, but then I was invited to go do training for the pick-up and drop-off van (yes, just like daycare, we do that). So, at about nine, I left with another supervisor to go drive around VA picking up about five different dogs. Before I left, I told my other supervisor he could put Ferguson in a kennel if they filled to capacity, as long as he had his bed in it with him. When we got back, Ferguson wasn't no longer in the daycare pen, but was replaced by maybe even a dozen more dogs...I don't know if I've ever seen the pens that full in my life! It seemed so crowded that I think Ferguson probably appreciated some peaceful quiet to himself. When I got to him at about noon (so he'd been in there for three hours or so) he looked perfectly content, though had shoved his bed out of the way to not lay on it (?). His back was facing me and it looked as if he was having an intelligent conversation with the elder black lab kenneled next to him (I wish I could have gotten a picture). When he saw me, it was like, "Oh, hi, Mom! Did you want me to get up?"
I do find it odd that Ferguson has no trouble being kenneled and away from me while at work. I mean, I suppose the environment is similar to a track kennel, but at home I always leave the radio on, and I always drag Nile's kennel next to his so he is obviously not alone (heck, he's even been alone in the other building at work, and he's never made a peep...we can hear any faint barking from outside). I don't think it's stress induced either, because he seems 100% okay every time I see him in passing or get him out...no panting, no pacing, nothing. Often, he just lays there with his head down, and will wag his tail when he seems me (good, at least I know he cares). I suppose this is a good thing, if it's just this house he has trouble being left alone at. I wonder if that's my fault? I mean, we practiced alone time...but he is with me most of the time, where at work, he isn't for more than a few minutes at a time (SOMEONE is, or he has the company of other dogs almost constantly). So...if and when we move to a new apartment, should I leave him alone a lot, just seeing him in passing here and there? lol. Perhaps I will start it out that way.
Anyway, alone training will continue, with increased portions of kong treats and steady increases of time away, with the gentle aid of the citronella collar (though I'll try to beat the collar back before it's needed).
On the bright side, he seems to know that barking while wearing the collar is a no no, but he still pants and paces somewhat in my absence. Perhaps we should go visit the dog park or something to completely wear him out. Does that sound like a plan, Mr. Ferguson?
|"Sure...but I think it's time we get up..."|
Okay then. Looking forward to spending another great day with my best buddy :)