Together again

It's now May, and the last five months have been the worst EVER. Moved my 90+ parents out of their house and into a senior's apartment, got a bad flu for Christmas, then the concussion, and then the new shoulder. There was nerve damage in my shoulder before the replacement, so rehab is not going brilliantly. Those in the know say it's a matter of maintaining range of motion (which is good) and hoping the nerve comes back in the next 6 months. As it is I can lift my arm up to horizontal - which is more than I need for tossing bumpers and dumbbells, so if that's as far as we get, I can live with it.

I can't begin to say how grateful I am to my friend Dawn for telling me to send Serra out for board-and-train until I was up again, and to my friend Barbara (dogsden.ca) for the job she did with him while she had him. While he was with her, she was running him loose on our farm several times a week with her dogs, and taking him to her class for other people to work with.

Several days ago Serra and I started working on Nosework using wintergreen, which is the Novice scent in the trial I've entered him in next month. He made the transition from tea to wintergreen with no trouble at all and yesterday I started introducing him to the idea of resting his head on the container when he found the scent. So far so good, but Giants are always happy to rest their huge heads on something!

Today we went to the parking lot of Lowe's and worked on looking at people walking by. What a perfect trip! He came out of the car on a loose leash and kept it loose for half an hour as people went by carrying various large parcels and pushing carts. A couple went by pushing flatbed carts with plywood sheets flopping back and forth, and a car drove over a balloon with a loud bang. I imagine the driver was startled by the noise, but the only thing that bothered Serra was a family of three giggling kids walking by pointing and screeching cheerfully about the pretty puppy. I had to touch him on the side to get his attention as he was prepared to enter into the whole giggling, screeching party with joy. He didn't lose it completely, just went forward and started to tighten the leash, and when I touched him he came back willingly for a treat. We walked up and down between the cars and did some work on you-must-walk-on-MY-side-of-posts (which he was pretty good at).

I'm in love.

Also I caught my husband last night - he of "we really don't need another Giant Schnauzer, do we?" and "Gosh, he's very large!" - with his arm around Bonehead pointing at the TV and talking to him about the finer points of being a hockey goalie. "Yeah, buddy, that's what a boy and a dad do together, they watch hockey!"