Hello everybody! Wow it's been awhile sense my last update!!
We have worked more and more on public access training; mostly not begging for treats and standing still.
We have visited Aldis, where she had to walk through a room with three sides of it being sliding glass doors; and she didn't care at all! She looked longingly at the carrots that were on the shelves when I grabbed a few bags, and sniffed towards the basket of the cart where they were, but didn't actually move to try nabbing anything. Pretty impressive for a baby!
Afterwards I had her go potty outside on command, as she was starting to signal to me during checkout that she had to go. I am super proud of her for that! It really shows she comprehends not pottying indoors; even in large busy places.
The only issue we had was right after we put our cart away. A woman swung into the parking spot super close up to us and the van, then hopped out of the car and started grabbing towards Sodapop over and over again trying to reach her face and lead rope to pull her closer to pet; even as I was telling her not to and that she was working. What bothered me most was that she went "Oh okay, so I can't pet her?" Then instantly tried to again.
It really upset me; because that's just plain dangerous. Between whipping a car around inches from a horse and a person, then grabbing at an animal you don't know, and above all a service animal. I'm extremely thankful that Sodapop just knew to back up with me (the lady just kept following us back, almost the entire length of the van), and didn't miss any alerts. Sodapop seemed unfazed, but I was shaken up and annoyed, still kind of am!!
Last night she showed off a bit of a training, even if she was slightly mistaken. I was bouncing around dancing and singing, which I haven't done in a few months. Sodapop came running in from the other room when I started, looked at me, then started trying to interrupt my dancing like she does when she interrupts my harmful stimming/arm flapping when I'm stressed out! She started nudging, pawing, offering tricks, and giving lots of kisses and sniffing my face all over. It took a couple minuets before she realized I was okay and let me go back to my dancing! We've been joking that in reality she was just telling me my moves need work, they're so concerning.
Training-wise we've been focusing on standing still, pooping on command on grass (she's finally figured this one out, and is doing it very quickly now!), ignoring grass on walks by voice alone which she is getting better and better at, and more alerts. She now does Fainting alert, Anxiety alert, and Panic attack alerts! She is working on scent training for panic attacks, but has shown amazing natural abilities at scenting stress hormones. She prefers when I am sitting down; she likes to put her nose right by my mouth to sniff it, but we're working on building more and more distance. We've also been working on pairing together finding my mom with the words 'Find Grandma' at home and when we're out and about.
Today we went to Walmart again! She wore my service dogs old pajamas that are too big for him, as it was pretty chilly! She luckily was only outside for less than two minuets going in and going back out. Over all she did really well. She is doing great at positioning herself in front of me when I stop walking; something I have her do to avoid people sneaking up and touching her without permission. She moves automatically in front of me every time we stop now when I don't have my walker. Luckily today I felt pretty good and with how flat stores are I was able to leave the walker at home; it gave me both hands to help lure her into positions to make it harder for people who were trying to inch in for pets. I am very excited for when her wording gets done for her cape! Maybe it will lead to less people trying to pester her.
She caught a few anxiety alerts, including a scratching episode. We had a man following us around talking about how Walmart was a barn, and how he was just waiting for her to kick someone and poop all over the store. I was tempted to turn around and point out that she's probably better potty trained than his kids were, and that I was more likely to kick someone than she ever would be, but I refrained LOL. Also had the typical questions of how to get a 'certified' Miniature service horse, and explained to a few people that there are NO legal certifications, registries, or ID makers. They're all just scams.
I think the biggest area she needs improvement on is waiting calmly while standing still. She assumes the moment she gets into position and gets a treat/praise, she can wander around again. So working on standing still and not turning around and trying to re-position(aka, switch from 'front' to 'heel', then back to 'front' looking for more treats LOL).