Step by Step

Lady and Kat

Lady’s training has been moving ahead step by step.  She has some sessions when she is distracted, but on those days, we keep it short and simple or try again later. When we have a “do-over” session later that day, she seems to do great.

Training sessions include only medically necessary behaviors. We are primarily focusing on Lady presenting her feet for footwork, as that is the most urgent need. To mix things up, we are also working on lean ins, general touching and her presenting her ears (for blood draws). This way, we aren’t always asking for her feet.

At the beginning of her front foot training, Lady seemed more comfortable presenting her feet when we used the target pole as opposed to our hands. We think this is due to the uncertainty of what will happen if we touch them, so using the pole made her feel safe (the target pole just looks like a giant q-tip and presents a “target” for her to touch.) Now we are in the process of switching to hands, which is a step she seems ready for. During her last session, she allowed us to touch all over her front feet for the first time.

Lady has been presenting all of her feet fairly regularly. She’s recently started allowing us to spray the underside of her feet while she lifts them, which is fantastic. We’ve started using an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory spritz under her front feet when she lifts them, which we hope improves their condition. This behavior also allows us to rinse off her feet using the hose, which we are now introducing as part of her morning treatment.

Presenting her back feet is also going well. When she lifts them in the stall (while leaned in), we can rub the pads of her feet, put our fingers in the grooves and touch her toenails for a few seconds. Those touches are identical to what we will do with tools once we begin trimming. After she is fully accustomed to us doing it with our fingers, we will introduce her foot care tools. Initially, we begin touching the tools to her feet – we won’t use them the first few times we touch them to her feet. We just want her to get used to everything one step at a time, so we don’t step backward. It is a journey, and we are happy to be well on our way.

Pictured: Lady with Kat having a training session (FYI, Karissa returned home to the US last week ? )

March 23, 2020


  1. REPLY
    Muriel Servaege says

    Lady seems to trust you more and more and understands what is expected of her without any problem..

  2. REPLY
    Rand Cooley says

    It’s called Systematic Desensitization originally used by Dr Wolfe in helping folks with flying fears spiders etc. Thing I noticed about her is how intelligent she is and with a sense of humor. Some of her antics are directed toward fooling you folks. She is an amazing soul & I’m so glad you rescued her

  3. REPLY
    Kelejan says

    Every little step takes her closer and she will feel better and better as you all make progress.

  4. REPLY
    JoAnn Merriman Eaton says

    So happy this intelligent Lady is learning to trust. Truly amazing since her whole life has been full of mistreatment from humans, where she had no choice, no freedom. This is wonderful because it will allow much needed treatment not only for her feet, but other necessary treatments. Thank you GSE for your wisdom and kindness toward this wise, deserving soul.

    • REPLY
      Patricia says

      As usual, my heart sings when I see these interactions. It also sings that Lady is getting her much needed treatments. To paraphrase Dr Doolittle, Kat and Scott, you are better than the best people. Thank you for sending such goodness into our benighted world! ???

  5. REPLY
    Barb says

    Goodness this is good news! Thank you for updates which are written beautifully and with an obvious expression of love.

  6. REPLY
    Sherry says

    Lady is very smart! I love her!

  7. REPLY
    Heidi says

    So proud of you Lady!!!!!

  8. REPLY
    Carol Anderson says

    Thanks for her close up Mr. DeMille. I hope you are old enough to get the comment.

  9. REPLY
    Rosie P says

    We learn more and more about Lady’s character. She really is a gem, intelligent with a sense of fun coming through at times. You have shown her what love, compassion and empathy can do….with a lot of patience thrown in. ….and she is responding to that. Love that photo, bless her big beautiful heart….and Kat’s!!!

Post a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.