From our trainer Catherine, in Virginia, who is training with Joyce and her SDIT, Willa! Joyce suffers from severe PTSD.
“I met with Joyce today and she was honest with me and told me she had not been doing her homework and practicing with Willa in public. Which, of course I could see when we went to Petsmart. But, she explained to me why and I talked to her a bit about how important it was and that I could understand as a fellow PTSD sufferer how difficult it is, but that it is critical to the training process.
After our talk, Joyce seemed much more confident and determined to grit her teeth and get out in public – so I am confident that next time I see them they’ll be much improved!! We also worked on some heeling, because Joyce has a habit of hunching her shoulders and looking down as she walks and Willa doesn’t view her as “the boss”. So I told her to pretend she was the Queen of England and Willa was one of her followers and to look up and straight ahead and Willa would follow. Once we practiced this in the parking lot, Willa was SO much more attentive to Joyce and was walking at a perfect heel even with the cart! So we went back into Petsmart and voila! Beautiful! They’re going to be much improved by our next session, I can feel it :-)”