Some days it just seems like the universe has it in for you.
The day started out great and we decided to go to a place where the dogs could run and play and we could go for a nice long walk after that. They were happy, playful, ate some deer poop and played nicely. Then when we were heading off to just walk, we soon saw a deer close by that hopped away. It was so visible because of the open landscape. I got Kaktus to jog after me and he had full focus on that and not the deer. He was of course exited but he had his head where it was supposed to be. Once he looked back to check on the deer. We then went up a tractor road about a minute later and they both got very exited about a fresh scent in he field. I again got Kaktus to focus and got him away easily, but he hadn’t completely calmed after seeing the deer and now he was a bit too exited. I walked just some meters away so we could do some treat searches, run a little and refocus, but of course we hit another scent and he got further aroused. We just got out of there and finally I got him to calm down. We took a break, relaxed and when we walked on he had wonderful smooth and relaxed movements. Checked in and was back to being himself. I know that after so many triggers, he has been trigger stacked and even though he is calm in the moment I know his threshold is greatly lowered. We headed out of the fields and out on the gravel road where he usually loves to walk and just go sniff. But pretty far off in the distance he saw a dog and his world collapsed. He cried, he was unable to focus and he obsessed about the dog walking away in the distance. I really had no way of getting him to refocus and the only option was to just get back to the car. He did calm down more after a while and he chose to do some focused walking to distract himself.
When we finally reached the car he settled down a lot more and once home he got his Kong Wishbone filled with yummy food and fell alseep. Now we have to take a real break and not risk any more stress. This morning I think both of them were too tired to be out so they just went for a pee and just hopped back in the car and we went home. The next 3-4 days we will take short walks and just stay much in the same place doing some training and mental stimulation. And we will do more things inside. Kaktus loves a new thing we have started training, he stands with his front paws on a book and he moves his back feet as I move.
I feel so bad for him when days like yesterday come along. We can’t predict wildlife as they are basically everywhere here and the last month we have seen a deer almost on every walk. He can handle that and has been improving but when he then gets more triggers soon after on the same walk it’s too much for him. We were incredibly unlucky yesterday. On the bright side he had no trouble relaxing once we got home. A walk like this a few months back would have made him stress when we got home. He is a lot better at finding his off switch but if I am not careful in the days ahead I will ruin that switch for him.
I got some nice pictures of them playing and hanging out on our walk yesterday before the lemons rained from the sky.
And some pictures from previous walks that I just haven’t posted yet. And they show the sunny side that is our normal days 🙂
This picture is from last week and right behind the little hill in the background is where we saw the deer yesterday.