Makiko is literally the BEST. She does amazing work and is the sweetest thing ever. However, as much as I would like to call her perfect, she is a dog and she does have mess-ups. Lately we are having a little hitch and that is dog distractions. There are two dogs who she CAN play with a little bit, my boyfriend’s dog, Harley, and my cousin’s dog, Stitch. These dogs live(d) with us depending on where I was, and therefore I had little choice and they were both great dogs. Makiko would sniff them and then most of the time go away. She is far more interested in people than she is in dogs. However, recently she has started to drift towards dogs when we are working. She did it pretty strongly this weekend when I was heeling her, but she was still in harness, and we were walking through a huge crowd and I was holding onto my boyfriend. She went towards an emotional support service dog and another guide dog. However what is interesting is that if I know there is a dog there, which I usually don’t, I can say “forward, forward, forward” until we’re past it and she does just fine. If I don’t know there is a dog there right now she’ll try and sniff it and that just throws us off, not to mention being an annoyance for the other handler. We have to work on this. I know I could use Gentle Leader however I didn’t know we would have so many dogs at this event because the only ones allowed were service animals and that’s the truth in most of the situations I am in and therefore I’m a little confused at what to do. I’m calling the Support Center sometime soon to get their feedback on this because I’m sure that it will work out and we can figure out a way to fix this but I’m sure they will give us a good direct way. Makiko and I are still very much establishing that bond and what I’m okay with and what I’m not, so I really want to get this straight now.
However, I’m still always extremely proud of my baby and she gets me to so many places I wouldn’t have been able to get to before. We just have to work on this and I’m sure we’ll master it once we do! 🙂