Yesterday Ike and I headed over to Katrin's to play agility for a bit. I knew Carol and Asa would be there but wasn't sure if Cat and Tess would be able to swing it with school starting up, etc. Well, they were. Yay! Cat brings a different perspective to our little training sessions as she has more experience training agility and working with different trainers than either Carol or I have.
Ike and I are going to *try* the channel method at home to see if it speeds up his performance at all. He has such slow, perfect weaves! I am also very excited to have three lessons scheduled with Erin Schaefer. Yippee~
After practice Ike, John, and I had an appointment with Aileen D'Angelo, an animal communicator.
Katrin had a session with Aileen a few months ago when Monty first came home and Niche was stressed out. I was impressed by Aileen's reading of the dynamics of Katrin's dogs and some of her observations which appeared to be unprompted.
As those of you who I see regularly and read my blog know, I have become concerned that Ike might not be enjoying the rehab visits we do. I thought speaking with an animal communicator might be one way I could ascertain if we should continue doing them.
I spoke with Aileen briefly last week and she asked me to talk with Ike and tell him that we would be speaking with Aileen, that I would like him to be honest, and that he has the right to refuse to speak with her.
Yesterday I called Aileen at 7:30 with Ike and John in the room (as well as the birds). Aileen asked for silence as she attempted to make a connection with Ike. The first thing she did was laugh and say that Ike had a sense of humor and then asked if we had done this before. I said yes, when Ike was a puppy we did a 15 minute session with an animal communicator/psychic at Polka Dog Bakery and then a couple of years ago my mother and I took our dogs to a 15-20 minute session with a Reiki healer and animal communicator. Aileen said that dogs are typically either really excited to connect with her or somewhat uneasy. She said that Ike acted like it was "old hat" to him. She said he has a very dry, British sense of humor. Hmmmm, interesting.
The first thing I asked was whether Ike enjoys going to the rehab. Aileen immediately said yes he enjoys it, but the smell bothers him. I explained that I am afraid it stresses Ike out. Aileen said that Ike thinks of it as his job, and he likes that it makes me proud of him. When she said this, she said she gets a very puffed up feeling from Ike, like he is proud that I am proud of him.
Aileen said that Ike has an incredible work ethic and he views visiting the Rehab/nursing home as his work.
As icky as Ike thinks some people are, it is true that he has ALWAYS been incredible at the Rehab/Nursing home. John and I have always figured that somehow he knows these people need something from him.
I then asked about whether or not Ike enjoys agility. Aileen said that Ike likes agility, he thinks it is fun, but he is not as competitive as I am. She said he thinks of it as a way to blow off steam. She said Ike knows sometimes I get frustrated with him because I know he can do things but he chooses not to! Hmm.... She reiterated a few times that Ike likes agility for fun, but doesn't feel the need to push himself at it. She said he wouldn't mind if I got another dog to compete with as long as he still had his work to do.
Which brought me to my third question. What would Ike think about us adding a puppy to the household. Aileen said Ike was fine with that as long as he still had his work to do. I asked if Ike has a preference. Aileen said yes, a female. Ike wants to be the "guy" in the house. He doesn't want to have to compete with another dog for that.
I thought this was interesting because I REALLY wanted to get another male puppy, but lately I have been thinking about it and wondering if a female might be a better fit for Ike. I mentioned this to Aileen and she said I might have been picking up on Ike's thoughts or as John said, it might be common sense.
I also asked about Ike's reaction to the birds. When I first brought Larry Joe home Ike went and hid in his crate. It took about two weeks for him to adjust to Larry and the same story with the g-pigs. Aileen said Ike is a little bit afraid of the birds. He said due to their movements, he isn't sure what they are even! And as a result he doesn't know how to interact with them.
Then I asked if Ike would mind if I did an agility class with Carmen. Ike immediately told Aileen that would be a good idea; that Carmen is out of control. Ike thinks a class might help Carmen calm down. huh! Well, compared to Ike I suppose Carmen is out of control.
Then I asked John if he had any questions or thoughts. Aileen said Ike said, "He gets me." I'll admit they are kindred souls - they are both capable of doing nothing and that is something I find VERY hard to do.
Then Aileen said that Ike was saying something about food, that he liked his food a lot or had we changed it? I said I have been adding some raw and I am researching switching completely. She said Ike likes it A LOT. I told her that I had been giving him Nature's Variety Chicken and Venison. She said he prefers the chicken, Ike then piped up and said he likes the venison too, not to confuse me. She said he would like something with a bolder taste (for lack of a better word) and recommended I try the lamb.
All in all it was a very interesting session. I am still a little unsure about the Rehab/Nursing Home. Aileen stressed what a work ethic Ike has and that he feels like visiting the Rehab is his work. Well, if he thinks it is his work obviously he wouldn't want to stop. I have to think about it more....
It does appear that I will be getting a female puppy though.
And I was blown away by the Carmen, John, and food comments. I also noticed during the session that Ike was breathing extremely deeply and towards the end of the session he started to pant. Aileen said she was doing distance Reiki on him to help him relax.
4 days ago