As I mentioned previously, we have been working to improve Cura's performance while around other dogs. Yes, this happens to some extent at her weekly group classes, but that is on neutral ground and we are now working on situations where Cura may be visiting others on their turf. Specifically, we were preparing for an upcoming party that I was going to attend. After the time spent preparing for the gathering, I was fairly confident that all would go smoothly -- little did I know HOW smoothly!
Yes, this is going to be another 'my dog is awsome' story. I try very hard to notice all of Cura's little successes which is very important for the training process. But this time it is not just a little success that I am sharing -- this one is significant! Sure, she and the other dogs did wonderfully togther as anticipated which is always a good thing. On top of that, the party was outside under a covered area and, at one point, Mother Nature decided to up the ante and throw in a short period of rain, lightening, and thunder. For about 30 minutes we had a lovely summer storm. Some of you will remember that lightening and thunder are particular challenges for Cura. She had shown improvement over the last 15 months, but they still bother her. (Though now, instead of heading for the bathroom to cower in a corner, she usually just stays by my side, panting and shaking for awhile until she calms down.) However, this night she was AMAZING!
She had already spent quite some time laying quietly at my side, dozing. When the first lightening flash happened, her head came up, shes stood up, turned around in a circle, and then resettled. Within a couple of minutes, her head was back down and she was dozing again -- that was the extent of her reaction to the storm. On top of that, there were some guests that, after arriving and socializing for 10-15 minutes actually asked me where Cura was. When I showed them that she was laying at my side, they were quite surprised because they had not noticed her until I pointed her out.
So, all in all, it was a VERY successful evening. Many previous efforts came together and contributed to my having a wonderful evening out -- a truly relaxing, enjoyable evening! Thank you, Cura! You're a STAR!