I’ve talked before about Toby and Chaplin, the two English setters, and Toby who’s blind. Recently, we began to suspect that Toby is going deaf as well. I started using a leash cue (waggling it back and forth) as I say “step” to let him know that he needs to slow and look around for a step up and down, in the hopes that by the time he goes totally deaf and can’t hear me say “step” anymore, he’ll have recognized that waggle.
Chaplin and Toby are two of my model students, and though it pains me to say it, they don’t need me anymore! I contacted their owners and told them that Chaplin’s dog aggression is gone, neither are bolting from the car when they get out or bouncing around the inside when we drive (a serious driving risk; now Chaplin watches calmly out the window and Toby lays down for a nap!), they aren’t pulling on their leashes or peeing on things, Chaplin sits automatically when we stop and Toby sits when I cue him. They are model citizens! I suggested they switch to a dog walker, Bill Brobst of Go Lucky Paws, so we all got together and went over the last rules and tips and I introduced Bill to Chaplin and Toby.
That was last week; yesterday Bill and I got together for one final check in, and the boys are all doing great together! Bill has stuck to the rules I laid out (I knew he would; one of the reasons he’s my go-to guy!), the dogs are listening, and everything is great. I’ll miss my boys, but I know they’re in good hands!