Loki spent a whole day at school today, and he did fantastically. In the morning he greeted all the children and was swamped with pats and excited kids. Then he slept until recess when he came out very briefly for a toilet break, then back to bed. At about midday, I took him outside and did a little bit of shaping with some things I found around the place (little square cushion and a tree to circle), he did some business and then went back in his crate for more sleeps. At lunchtime, he came out and was again swarmed by children – and the whole time, he was wiggling, happy and excited about the attention. He just adores being loved by the kids. Back for more naps, a little walk around before coming out at 3.30 for the end of school rush, meeting lots of little siblings and some parents.
I love that I’m lucky enough at my school to be able to bring him in for this kind of socialisation. As I looked around during the afternoon rush, he had a toddler patting his tail, a kid ran off crying, a big kid was bouncing a basketball, there were prams and bikes and kids running, adults with glasses on, and holding babies. It was loud and chaotic and apart from a couple of little yawns, he was eager and happy and wanting more. It’s so amazing because I know some border collies can sometimes be a bit sensitive about that kind of environment, but hopefully he’ll grow up to be ‘bomb proof’.
Speaking of which, after school, I took him down to the oval of the local primary school, where a busy road runs alongside, but it’s all fenced off. He did some log-walking (totally fearless), walked over some grates (what grates?!), went through a kid-sized plastic tunnel (yay!), did recalls and playing with lots of traffic noise, shaped some circling around a goal-post, climbed on some more logs, did some chasing and playing, and a bit of retrieves (we’re getting pretty good retrieves in the hallway now, and about halfway out on the oval, with JPs for bringing it further). Overall, the little man has had a wonderful socialisation day. Oh! And, we’re doing very well with cats- all calm behaviour is rewarded and he tends to be calm and just curious most of the time – unless he’s in his play-pen in the kitchen and they run past. Then we get a lot of yelling.
Also, the other morning I took him down to a park where I know there are a LOT of kangaroos, and we worked on just walking around. Whenever attention was turned back to me, or at least away from the roos, he got clicked and treats. I figure if he gets plenty of practise doing this, then roos will = just keep walking, nothing to see here.