SUMMARY: Comparing 2002 to now.
I've saved emails about my life with my dogs since 1994, and occasionally I go back and post them to this blog, dated as they actually occurred (you can do that in Blogger; very cool) and flagged with "Backfill" and the date I really posted it.
Just posted a couple from the first few weeks I had Tika.
Here's a good one for comparison from February 2002.
How are things 7 years later? Tika definitely does NOT sit quietly and wait for her leash to be put on before going out for a walk. She leaps, shouts, runs in circles, jumps, shrieks...
I used the gentle leader with her for a long time but started getting worried about how much pressure it was putting on her neck every time she pulled on it--which was often--so a year or two back (after I had spent the $$$ to get one for Boost, too) I just stopped using them. Tika now has a nonpull harness that works very well. It's not perfect but I think it works better than the gentle leader (AKA haltie)--made by the same company.
And we have NOT fixed the screeching and barking and leaping and yanking when on leash and she sees other dogs. We have times where I think I'm making progress, and times when I realize that I'll never fix it.
And as for those "Down" commands--which we taught the dogs in two different ways to put their front ends down first because it makes for a faster, more direct down? I've noticed that, recently, Tika is always sitting first before going down. I never taught that or encouraged that; never! Funny.
Tricks--she Shakes just fine, with either paw, and does a high 5, too. Never continued teaching her the Crawl. And she can catch treats tossed to her fairly well; her main failing here is that she always leaps and snaps at it in a frenzy and often it just bounces off her nose or teeth and ricochets into some odd place where we have to hunt for it.
And, of course, I gave up within a year on the idea of having her sleep on the floor and only the old dogs sleep on the bed. Tried it with Boost, too, but noooo--all dogs sleep on the bed with mom. Sigh. Dog hair central.
And that was then, and this is now.