"The camera is going to eat me"
"Are we done yet?"
"If I am not looking at you, you don't exist"
"What now? A frigging scarf? Really?"
"Lady, your life is too small"
"This is humiliating."
"And you wondered why I chewed up Mr Bear?"
"Ha! I fooled all you people! You thought it was Bonnie!"
"So I chewed up a collectors edition mohair bear. Shouldnt have left it where I could get it huh?"
*Headdesk* Serves me right for leaving it on the floor. Moving on...
The camera is a torturefest for Beth. So I try things like balancing a stuffed sheep on my head.
It is hard to take a picture with a stuffed sheep on your head.
Its all about the sheep....when the sheep falls, it is trouble in Camera City. Tug-fest ensues.
Because we know, it is ALL about the sheep. Baaaa!
When the sheep is around it is IMPOSSIBLE to take pictures. Because she barks & howls. Beth is very vocal.
She talks...and talks
She is completely focused on the sheep.
So, I put the sheep away. Sad Beth returns.
We needed to try something different. I thought about my favorite pictures of Beth. In all of them she had ears up. She was alert and happy. She is not happy when the camera comes out. We need to change that.
Over the past several days I have been on a campaign to help Beth associate the camera with good things. Treats and more treats. When she looks at the camera, click/treat. Over a couple of sessions I got her to start looking much more animated and relaxed.
Then I thought of her ears. Why not shape a behavior. Wouldn't it be cool if I could get Beth to put her ears up on command?
So I grabbed the handy dandy clicker and got to work. I started by getting Beth's attention, then sat and waited. She started offering behaviors. She sat, downed, pawed my hand, targeted my knee, my head, my feet. When she put her ears up CLICK,/TREAT. Every single time she put her ears up...CLICK/TREAT. It didnt matter if she was sitting, down, walking around - if those ears went up CLICK/TREAT. Over and over again.
It didn't take long until she started associating the ears with the CLICK/TREAT. Then slowly I added the command "ears" when she would pop the ears up.
Below is a video I did by balancing the camera on the couch of our second 'ears' session. I am sorry the focus isn't perfect, but you can get the idea. Beth will prick her ears up when I say "Ears". WOOHOO! I am now working on generalizing the behavior, doing it in different rooms, different positions, different situations and with the camera.
Makes all the difference in the world don't you think?
Happy Beth, happy Mom.