Wednesday, May 25, 2011

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Sensory Overload, Part 1

By Fred,
Yesterday was Berkeley's day home with me, normally a quiet day for her. While we work on basic obedience and commands, I've also been introducing some language such as "Time to make some coffee," which causes her to lead me to the kitchen, and "Time to go to bed now" (she heads toward the bedroom and her crate) and "Time to go to work now" (she heads toward my office). She loves to lead me around, almost as much as Cheryl enjoys doing the same (though Cheryl doesn't need any verbal cues).

But yesterday was not a normal, quiet day. At 9am some contractors arrived to fix a leak that was originating from my office window. There were three contractors in all, and each one seemed to hate the others, yelling and cursing at each other from the start, and occasionally one of them would peek in through the window at me and the dogs. Willow couldn't care less, but Berkeley was not at all pleased. "In the real world," I told her, "people yell at each other. It's OK."

Then the work began, first with a circular saw screaming its way through the thick mortar wall outside, screaming like a thousands nails on a chalkboard. Then a pause, more yelling, and then more sawing.

"Time to make some coffee," I said, and Berkeley was quick to agree.

We climbed back upstairs and stopped at the top. It's a left turn to my office and a right turn to the bedroom. The screaming and yelling had picked up, and now they were pounding on the wall with a hammer. "Time to go to work now," I said with a happy voice, waiting for her to turn left. Berkeley looked up at me politely but didn't move. "Time to go to bed?" I asked. She didn't need to be asked twice.

Coincidentally, Cheryl picked yesterday as the day to take Berkeley to a Zumba class (see Part 2).

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