• Chips, Anyone?

    photo-26Two days ago, I kept feeling as though I was in a fish and chips shop or was being followed by someone eating potato chips.

    Actually, I kept smelling as though I was in a chip shop.

    The culprit was the treat bag I wear around my waist whenever I’m in public with Dancer. It turns out I hadn’t fully capped the small spay bottle of vinegar and water I use when Dancer tries to lick the sunscreen off us (and for other offenses).

    The Charlee Bear Dog treats were now vinegar flavored, not liver flavored. Everything smelled like the salt and vinegar potato chips that are big hits at our house.

    The spill got me thinking about how for me, the treat bag is more like a tool bag.

    It holds the treats, which I use to reward Dancer for learning things that are hard for her. Right now I am teaching her not to interact with dogs when we’re walking and reach into my tool bag for a treat whenever a dog approaches.

    It holds the clicker I use to reinforce those rewards. I just started clicking when she follows the command “leave it” when dogs pass by.

    It holds my keys and phone and even a little cash, if necessary.

    And it holds the offending spray bottle.

    But I’m not sure how much longer the bottle will be in my tool bag. It’s not the potential of another spill that’s prompting the change, but what the spill taught me: Dancer is not deterred by the taste of vinegar. She gobbled the vinegar-infused treats as usual right after spill and the spray has yet to sway her love of licking sunscreen.

    So, as usual, Dancer is teaching me to be flexible as I work to teach her.

    What’s in the tool bag for your dogs?

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