Thursday, October 29, 2015

Isaac at the Halloween Store

I just realized I forgot to post about our trip to the Halloween store!

I took Isaac to the Halloween store so he could experience something new and to practice working in a challenging, distracting environment.  Isaac did great!  I expected he would; if I thought he wasn't ready for something like this, we would not have gone.

When we first arrived, we paused right inside the door so Isaac could get used to the lights and sounds.  Then we slowly approached a display of large decorations.  It was set up so that when you stepped on a certain spot, which was clearly marked, a display item would turn on.  The witch would cackle, the eyes of the monster would light up, whatever.  A friend was with me, so I asked him to step on the spot to turn on the decorations while Isaac and I stood back a bit.  That way we could see what was going to happen without being too close.  That way Isaac was less likely to be startled.

I then allowed Isaac to approach the displays, gently encouraging him but not making too big a deal about it, and offering yummy treats.  Isaac did not seem concerned about the decorations or displays.  He was interested in treats, though!  One easy way to see if a dog is getting too stressed is to offer a treat.  A dog that is stressed out will not want to have a treat.

This three-headed dog or wolf or whatever it was had eyes and mouths that lit up and smoke also came out of the mouths.  Isaac wasn't worried about that at all.  He was happy to take a treat that I held right beside its foot.
This witch cackled and talked.  Isaac was happy to take a treat that I held right beside her hand.  He was very happy that I allowed him to sniff her hand.

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