Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wheelbarrows and Chainsaws

While preparing for a snowstorm the other night I had a great opportunity to work with both pups. My husband, Roy, had the chainsaw out cutting some fallen trees so we would have a good stack of firewood if the power were to go out. I took one pup at a time outside. At this age they are still programmed to be glued to my side and were more afraid to leave me than of the chainsaw. Perfect opportunity to show them that loud scary noises were no threat. We gradually worked our way closer and closer to the scary noisy chainsaw. The pups did it on their own by following me and weren't forced with a leash. They could move away or closer as they felt more comfortable. They each followed my lead as if I was their mom trusting that I wasn't leading them into danger even though they were very afraid of the noise.

The chainsaw that was very scary at first became just another noise by the time we finished the exercise. Within minutes the pups were confidently sniffing around, ignoring the noise. My pup even went up to it while it was off and cautiously sniffed it. Wish I had photos of everything but it is hard to take pictures and haul wood. The cutest thing was when my pup, who was watching me carefully picking up wood and stacking it picked up a small stick and brought it over to the stack.

They also got exposed to the wheelbarrow and both got several rides in it when we went to refill it. Pretty scary at first but they adapted quickly and were soon riding in it like they had been doing it forever. They learned another lesson from the wheelbarrow and that was to pay attention to where they were walking. They had to pay attention to me and the big wheelbarrow. I only had to stop a couple of times to keep from running one over. They quickly learned to follow instead of trying to get out in front. Riding in wheelbarrows is not something they will need for their life in the future but but each time they conquer something they develop confidence in themselves and trust in the human who kept the safe in a slightly scary situation.

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