This just happened. Like within the last hour, and I couldn’t wait to share it. Seva had her Get the Door breakthrough!
In the last post, I showed how she would use her handle if I was holding it, but suddenly couldn’t see it if it was attached to a door.
I attached a piece of fleece to the handle and she worked with that over the last few weeks. I kept shortening the fleece, until there was nothing hanging down. She would nibble at it and open the door with her teeth in the fleece, but not on the rubber handle. Not even a little bit. That will get our pantry door open, but it won’t do for out in the world. Public doors are heavy.
From time to time, I’d remove the fleece from the handle and she’d go right back to ignoring it. Suddenly Seva is deaf, dumb, and blind.
And then, tonight she opened the door with the fleece a few times. I unwrapped the fleece from her handle, showed her a cookie, put it inside the pantry, and said Get the Door.
This is a huge breakthrough! I love it when she has these moments, finally connecting a command to an action, or getting over some nebulous hurdle like the mysterious aversion to her door handle only when it’s attached to a door.
This time the cookie is not in the pantry. We’re working on actually holding a door open until she’s asked to release it. She will one day hold the door open for me while I walk through it. For now, I’m just excited she’s using the appropriate tool!
I’m so proud of her tonight!