Wounded Warrior Ronnie and his SDIT, Roxy

From our wonderful trainer, Kendra, who is training with Wounded Warrior Ronnie and his SDIT, Roxy!

“I met with Ronnie and SDIT Roxy today at Toys R Us. Roxy did a controlled load and unload of of the vehicle. She walked safely in the parking lot and entered in a controlled manner. We walked with a cart to practice and Roxy was not at all distracted by the cart. She does tend to move to the side to be able to see around the cart, so we will work on having her follow right next to Ronnie’s side. I told Ronnie when walking with a cart, practice walking right next to the isle so Roxy can’t veer ahead. This way she will learn where she needs to be beside the buggy in a heel.

We went to the ball isle and worked with tossing and bouncing balls, as this is Roxy’s weak point. At first, Roxy was very intent on watching me with the ball. So I moved a bit further away as Ronnie got her to sit and watch him. I bounced and threw the ball in the air and she stayed sitting and looked right back at him. So slowly I moved closer and closer until eventually I could walk past her. She then did something really awesome. As she was in the aisle and I was walking past her bouncing the ball, she scooted over to give me more room to pass! So we moved on, and I sat on a skateboard and pushed myself toward her and past her. She wasn’t bothered.

We walked through the store and Ronnie and Roxy had a meet and greet with a customer and she did it perfectly. I also put some quarters in the ride on machine at the front of the store to see what her reaction would be, and she was unsure at first, but with some reassuring she was over it in a matter of seconds. Ronnie also put her in a sit/stay and walked to the other side of the aisle and around the aisle (I was holding the leash) and she stayed. She did, however, stand up when he was back in her sight because she was so happy to see him again! Roxy does have some anxiety when Ronnie isn’t in her sight in public, but I more believe it’s because she knows he needs her – it’s just the way they interact and how she is constantly looking at him and how he interacts with her. She just lays on the floor and watches Ronnie.

Roxy’s bond with Ronnie is amazing. They are best friends and she will do anything for him. He told me that the other day there were out and a man was standing entirely too close to Ronnie, so he just tugged on Roxy’s leash and she went between Ronnie and the other man – and the man was so close that Roxy moved him away as she got in place. Roxy is a natural and Ronnie’s dedication really shows. I am so proud of both of them!

We also walked next door to the grocery store. We worked on walking through the store and practiced “leave it” with Roxy not sniffing. We will continue to work in that. We will work some more at the mall next week to see how she does at sitting down and eating and also work on Roxy’s nervousness around the bedding aisle. Ronnie taught Roxy “belly rub” and “Shake” and “hugs”!