Some time ago, I put some of the behaviors of BonnieBlue's that I wanted to improve on a sticker chart and started working with her on them. Stuff like brushing her teeth everyday, going to bed on time, eating at least some of everything on her plate, etc.
She was only 4, and I knew I had too many behaviors on the chart, but I was desperate. These were things that were driving me crazy to the point that I was being a little too unpleasant with her about them.
Here's the chart:
One night, after she brushed her teeth, I pulled out the chart and told her that every time she completed one of the items on the chart, she would get to put a sticker on the chart. Because she had just brushed her teeth, I gave her a sticker and she put it on the chart.
I then told her that after she filled the chart, I would buy her any toy she wanted.
The process went remarkabley well. I underestimated how consisted we would both be and how well she would understand the process. It only took her about a 2 and a half months to fill the chart.
About halfway through that time, we went to Target so I could re-invigorate her enthusiasm. We strolled through the aisles as I told her to pick out the toy that she wanted. I told her I would buy it for her when she filled the sticker chart.
This was what she chose:
Here's another picture with it next to a Barbie doll (for perspective).
She loves this horse.
At first, it bugged me. Not because it was a horse. I have fostered her horse fetish, as I was horse crazy when I was young. It bugged me that the horse had a mane and tail so long that they dragged on the ground. I often remarked to her that it wasn't a realistic horse, that horses in real life don't have such long hair.
A few weeks after she earned the horse, we took her to the All American Quarter Horse Congress. This is a 3-week event that is all horses all the time, held in Columbus at the Fairgrounds' Celeste Center. We watched an event and walked through the stables and shopped at the vendor fair. She was in horse heaven.
At this event, Rhett picked up a catalog for something that I cannot even remember and I saw a picture that looked a lot like this.
Well, what do you know?! There are horses like this in real life!
It's called a Gypsy Vanner. The breed has a fascinating history and has only been recognized for 16 years. If you enjoy horses, you can find the history here: http://www.gypsyvannerhorsesociety.org/ . Cool. Very cool.
If we ever get a horse, this would be it.
I also like Great Danes. Our horse and dog would match:
I dream big.