But one thing that means so much to me that I've noticed is a huge amount of increased confidence in Psyche. She's always been a little bit of a scaredy dog. If a pop can was opened, and you were even looking at her, she'd cower and run away. Simple things in life would cause her to go from "Oh yeah, I'm the best thing since sliced bread" to "Oh my god, the world wants to EAT me!" I mean, it didn't really effect how we were living, but going out into a city and having her be comfortable? Yeah right. Tugging in a new place? If you're lucky, you'll get a light pull, but if you countered at all, she'd let go and shut down. She was a scaredy dog; I knew this. It was okay with me, because I learned how to handle it.
Then last week, on the 29th, I spent the day with Erin and her boy Mach, and honestly, I noticed some big differences. We went into a pet store before going to Erin's, and she was a little bit sniffy and stuff, but over all, a lot more comfortable there than she has been. Instead of stress sniffing, she was being a snoop. We went to the agility field after that and worked some. She was zoomin' and working so well for me, besides how hot it was, and she was tugging really hard. I was a little shocked, but just put it off to her being comfortable.
We went and picked Erin and Mach up after that, and went to the lake for a swim, because it was really hot. Psyche at first was pulling me, of course, like she always does, and then we got into the water and she started to go towards the kids (just wanting to play) but I grabbed her and we went looking for somewhere not so close to such a huge temptation for Psych. So down the lake we went, playing in the water, having a grand ol' time, and then we hear the kids coming, and they promptly get in the water, a little ways over. I managed to call her off of the kids every time she started going over to them, and I was quite proud of that. She really LOVES kids. It's so hard for her not to go see them, but she did. A few dogs walked past, too, and she didn't do her usual kind of "lock up" where she's just like "I don't know what to do -- do I go see them? do I stay here?" Instead she didn't pay any attention to them, really.
And then we went to Erin's and hung out, but then did some agility. Psyche was doing great. Really working for me... but the thing that finally made me realize just how GREAT she was being, was how HARD she was tugging. Like, seriously. She meant it, and it was so great. I don't need her to tug, but I like for her to like her toys, and since her toy is a hole-ee roller with a rubber chicken ball stuffed inside, and a fleece tug braided onto it, it's good for tugging. But I was just so pleased with how she was tugging. She's usually not that confident in new places enough to tug like that.
So we started to get my mom and sister and head home from our day out, and while I was waiting, I decided to take her out and work her some. We were in a city parking garage while we waited and it was really empty, so there was plenty of space. We did some obedience and stuff, then when cars started to leave from the other levels, we decided we'd tug some, with the distraction of cars. She never once let go of that tug unless I asked her to. Good girl! And so then I was curious to see if she'd get up on the barrier/wall thing, and of course, she did, so we started to walk along it, and BAM, out of the rafters comes two pigeons. Scared the CRAP out of me, but did Psyche even flinch? Not at all.
I honestly blame all of this confidence on Crash. He's encouraged her a lot in the tugging thing, mostly, because if she doesn't hold on, Crash gets it, and that's no fun. As for the rest of it? Well, maybe it's just luck, and maybe it's got a lot to do with having to be the grown up twin, because the other one's a nut case.