Hawk's Schedule

8/4 Lake Mills
8/12 CCSDA Training

January 31, 2008

Dog Whisperer

Buddy is taking it easy for a few days.

While Buddy is relaxing and watching the Dog Whisperer, you can check out Cesar Millan's web site Cesar Millan or the Dog Whisperer site.

Tip from the web site:

One of the most important things I want to get across is that dogs are dogs—not humans!

Find a canine solution. Often, the solution we would use for a human is totally wrong for solving a dog’s issues. For example, when a human sees a scared or nervous dog, s/he will first offer comfort and consolation. This would never happen in the animal world and can make the problem worse instead of better, because it reinforces unstable behavior.

Speak the animal language. When dogs come into our homes, they meet emotional energy for the first time. We shower them with affection and babble at them in high-pitched baby-talk, so they see us as excited energy. This is why many dogs don’t listen to their human caretakers. Their mothers never acted this way; where did that calm-assertive leadership go?

Treat your dog like a dog. We often develop a different agenda for our dogs. We want to make puppies our babies. From day one, many humans forget to fulfill and understand their dog's needs and instead project their own needs and desires on the animal.

Be the pack leader! In the absence of a clear leader, a dog, even a submissive one, will seek to fill what they see as the vacant leadership role. The dog will ignore the owner, act out, and can lead to serious behavior issues.
Imagine if your significant other mistook your needs for the needs of a chimpanzee; where would that leave you? Confused and disoriented. It’s the same for dogs. But their confusion and disorientation manifest in bad behavior such as tearing up the couch or incessant barking. If we don’t fulfill them as a species, our dogs won’t live a balanced, centered life.

Understanding and projecting a pack leader’s calm-assertive energy will create a positive and lasting connection with your dog.

January 30, 2008

January 29, 2008

Operation FIX

Dropped Buddy off this morning at the veterinarian to get "fixed". He was intrigued by all the other dogs in the holding cells. He will definitely not be lonely.

Buddy came barreling out of the surgery center seeming none the worse for wear--could not wait to get outside for a potty break. He's still feeling the effects of anesthesia, so sleeping on his nice soft bed will be the extent of his evening, until the highlight of any day for him--dinnertime!

Wish we had our television upstairs - we wouldn't have to carry Buddy up and down the stairs. He likes to be with people and we like him around, even if he's just curled up by our feet.

"No matter how little money and how few possesions you own, having a dog makes you rich." - Louis Sabin

January 28, 2008

Preparation for Surgery

Challenge of the Day: DOWN STAY during vacuuming

Since Buddy will be relaxing/recovering for the next few days. Exercise was our goal for the day. Long morning walk to meet up with his friends, play time at lunch, and more exercise before dinner.

We also stopped at the library to get Buddy some entertainment for his recovery. We picked up a dvd (season 1 of the Dog Whisperer) for him. He likes to listen to the other dogs and it helps desensitize him to barking and growling dogs. We think he finds it as entertaining as we do and hopfully we all learn something too.

Walked over to the village hall to pay taxes. We also checked on getting Buddy a license. We assumed it would be free since he is a guide dog in training. The clerk was not sure so she did some checking. We did bring a copy of the law that stated this and the definition of a guide dog which includes dogs in training.

The clerk seemed to accept the fact of their being no fee for the license. However, after reviewing the rabies certificate, she questioned whether Buddy should be licensed in Oregon or Madison, since the actual owner, OccuPaws, is located in Madison. More checking needed to be done, so she will send the license later or redirect us to Madison. It shouldn't make a difference because the license is issued by Dane County.

"Money will buy you a pretty good dog, but it won't buy the wag of his tail.." - Henry Wheeler Shaw

January 27, 2008

Free Reign

Due to miscommunication last night, we did not lock Buddy in his crate. He had free reign all night. He was so tired from yesterday that he woke up late. Lisa was awakened at 9:15 by a wet nose, for his morning potty break. Since he had been sick on Friday and Saturday, we lucked out that we didn't find any surprises.

After all the travelling, we tried to get back into a routine with a long morning walk. Followed by some play time in the snow. He loves to chase snowballs.

A long grocery shopping trip before his dinner where Buddy especially enjoyed the smells from the deli and meat sections. Otherwise, the walking up and down the aisles bores him. No issues with Buddy, however, one little boy did not want to leave him alone. He was so excited to have a dog in the store. Finally his sister had to drag him away from the "working" dog.

BTW, Buddy has not gotten sick since Saturday morning. All seems well.

"A house without either a cat or a dog is the house of a scoundrel." - Portuguese Proverb

January 26, 2008

Busy Day

Early to rise because the little ones don't sleep much past 7:00.

1. Short morning walk.

2. Travel to Tomah to watch pee wee hockey. Meet people, get pats on head and compliments.

3. Stop at the house with three dogs for the kids to take a nap.

4. Back to the resort, check with the front desk and meet interested strangers. More pats on head.

5. Take the elevator. Walk back to the villa and still no time to nap.

6. Walk back to the front desk to watch manicures and massages.

7. Meet some more nice people and discuss fostering guide puppies. Pats on head and belly rubs.

8. Walk back to the villa. Humans went to the water park. Finally nap time.

9. Drive back to the Kohl Center for a Badger hockey game. More compliments. Note: Buddy does not like to DOWN STAY when the floor is wet - he sat up during most of the hockey game.

10. Stop for a late bite to eat at a restaurant.

11. Buddy returns home to FINALLY eat his dinner. And sleep.

"To err is human, to forgive, canine." - Unknown

January 25, 2008


Buddy finally got to visit a water park. After much wrangling Buddy finaly received the approval to visit the villa and waterpark in Warrens. Eventually we received approval from a manager at the resort after a brief legal discussion.

We rode a shuttle from the villa to the waterpark. The shuttle driver obviously noticed Buddy and must have reported us to the hotel management and security. A security officer shortly thereafter showed up and wanted to validate our documentation.

Plenty of distractions at the waterpark. Little kids screeching and screaming and they run past or splash in the water. Buddy was working on his down stay and interactions with new people. It's so difficult for a black lab to meet people calmly. He feels that everyone must love him. It's even harder to resist playing with his pack mates. At leasst that's how he currently views little kids. Overall he did well with the training opportunities.

He has gotten sick a number of times over the weekend. Hopefully it's not serious. Buddy wasn't happy though because we didn't bring along any extra food. It was probably better to keep an empty stomach and let him recover.

"I think we are drawn to dogs because they are the uninhibited creatures we might be if we weren't certain we knew better." - George Bird Evans


Good News: Bella has fully recovered and is back to her happy, friendly self.

January 24, 2008

Fixed Soon

Too cold outside for man or beast.
We stayed inside trying to keep warm.

Today's News: Buddy has an appointment to get "fixed" next Tuesday

When I Got My New Dog

I asked for strength that I might rear her perfectly;
I was given weakness that I might feed her more treats.

I asked for good health that I might rest easy;
I was given a "special needs" dog that I might know nurturing.

I asked for an obedient dog that I might feel proud;
I was given stubbornness that I might feel humble.

I asked for compliance that I might feel masterful;
I was given a clown that I might laugh.

I asked for a companion that I might not feel lonely;
I was given a best friend that I would feel loved.

I got nothing I asked for,
But everything that I needed.


January 23, 2008

Water Park 2

We were planning to make up for last week. Another opportunity to take Buddy to a water park and we were going to give him the complete experience. Since the park is two hours away with no backup plan available, we contacted the resort to confirm that it would be okay for a guide dog in-training to spend the weekend and partake in the activities

After a few phone conversation to explain our situation, the Three Bears Lodge in Warrens, Wisconsin will not let Buddy accompany us to the villa or water park. We do not require his assistance, so they will deny him access. And if he is spotted in the villa, there is a big penalty.

Based on their decision, we informed them that we would not be patronizing their resort this weekend or anytime in the future. We also sent the definition of guide dog and a link to the Wisconsin statute.

"Service animal" means a guide dog, signal dog, or other animal that is individually trained or is being trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, including the work or task of guiding a person with impaired vision, alerting a person with impaired hearing to intruders or sound, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items.
After spending time with the puppies and knowing how well behaved they are, the best leverage that we have is to take our business and go elsewhere. Therefore, if you need a water park in Wisconsin, we recommend the Polynesian in Wisconsin Dells. They were very accommodating to our four legged friend.

This is not the first time that we have had to explain our situation. Once businesses understand, they are usually willing to accomodate. It is the second time that our request for access has been denied after discussing the situation. The first was my employer CUNA Mutual in Madison.

Maybe they will reconsider.

Attention OccuPaws Puppies!

Are you looking for a group outting idea? On Saturday, the Janesville Beloit Kennel Club is hosing a fun match and Rally trial at the Rock County Fair Grounds in Janesville. I am going to be there competing in Rally with my Border Collie. We thought that this would be a great place to take the pups. Tons of people, other dogs and crazy things going on. I would love to see all the babies too! I know Weily will be there. Will you? Shoot me an email if you can make it, or just surprise me. Come cheer me and Ruby the Border Collie on!

January 22, 2008

Good News / Bad News

Good News: When I ride the bike in the basement, Buddy finds a comfortanle spot and lies down. He wants to be near us when we are exercising, but he has learned to leave us alone.

Bad News: Buddy has started to eat the tree in our front yard. When he is let out on his chain, we will walk directly to the tree and start to nibble off the bark like a rabbit would. Maybe the rabbit droppings have affected his brain or he's really hungry, or he is reverting back to his first home eating wood chips.

More Bad News: Buddy has started to notice the opposite sex. Last night at the park he made advances toward a seven year old golden lab. She wasn't interested. Buddy may have another visit to the veterinarian in his near future.

"Any Member introducing or causing to be introduced a dog into the Society's premises shall be liable to a fine of £5 inflicted by the Treasurer. Any animal leading a blind person shall be deemed to be a cat. Any animal entering on Police business shall be deemed to be a wombat. Rule 51 Oxford Union Society

January 21, 2008

Work or Play

Work or Play? The plan was to work a little and then have play time at puppy class. However, because of the four inches of snow and more snow forecast, we decided to stay home.

Work or Play? It was above ten degrees, so either way we have to get outside and work off some of that pent up energy. Buddy really needed a heavy dose of exercise.

Work or Play? We walked over to the park planning on a very long walk. On the way to the park we met a friend, JoJo, and exchanged pleasantries. Then when we arrived at the park, he met up with some more doggie pals, so PLAY time began. We walked with them for about fifteen minutes and they left for home. Buddy was just getting started so we walked through the snow another fifteen minutes to the creek and back. We walked home and then Buddy's favorite time of day. Dinner, followed by a nap.

"I used to look at [my dog] Smokey and think, 'If you were a little smarter you could tell me what you were thinking,' and he'd look at me like he was saying, 'If you were a little smarter, I wouldn't have to.'" - Fred Jungclaus

January 17, 2008

Water Park

Buddy went to Wisconsin Dells this weekend, but he never made it to the water park. We planned to take him inside because it would have been good experience. Wanting to interact with the rug rats and keep an eye on them, he was relegated to the hotel room during our playtime.

Instead of being tested with a multitude of distractons, he was tested with accepting a new situation and being alone in a foreign environment. He did get to circunavigate the hotel on many occasions, meeting new people and being exposed to new sights and smells

The frigid temperatures (-22, this morning) have reduced his walks to five minute potty breaks. So he is getting a little stir crazy. We did walk him around the hotel where his greatest temptation was the food left on the floor by the hotel guests.

We have also supplemented the short walks with some extended play time in the house this evening, but it's just not the same. Looking forward to playtime at the training class tomorrow.

"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion." - Unknown

Pay Attention

After short visits to the grocery and drug store, we braved the elements for an evening walk. Through bitter cold and blowing snow, we were able to get some exercise and work on walking. The objective this evening was to get Buddy to focus on me when walking.

When out in the neighborhood, he will usually walk a little in front and be looking around. Out in public places, he is good about staying by my side. So tonight I would intermittently stop to see if he was paying attention. If not, he felt a little pinch. He eventually figured out the game and would either observe me stopping and stop or he would not be paying attention, feel the pinch and return to my side. Good progress for 40 minutes. More work needed.

We will also work on the exercise equipment later. Buddy is learning to stay away from us when we exercise on the treadmill or bike. Nothing painful yet and we are trying to keep it that way for his benefit and ours.

"No Matter how little money and how few possessions, you own, having a dog makes you rich." - Louis Sabin

January 16, 2008


We all went to a steak house this evening for a work celebration. Other than the butcher can there be a bigger challenge than a steakhouse? The dinner lasted in excess of two hours and Buddy behaved well throughout. No Barking :-) He didn't sit still, but only modest movement under the table. About one and a half hours in he worked his way to the opposite side of the table.

Only one transgression during the meal. Then after the meal, Buddy maintained his composure until the other dinner guests wanted to meet him up close. So Buddy got a couple minutes of wiggle and kiss time. He made the rounds to make friends. Upon leaving he received more attention and high praise for his manners.

"The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog. . . .He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer; he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with the roughness of the world. . . .When all other friends desert, he remains." - George G Vest

January 15, 2008

Puppy Still Sick

Bella is still not feeling well. The puppy raiser, president, and puppy coordinator are working with the vet to resolve her condition. She had an x-ray which didn't show anything in her stomach and no blockage. Her spleen was enlarged, which usually means some kind of irritation. Hopefully, she only has an irritation caused by eating something she shouldn't have. She has already lost 6 pounds, but the last report sounded positive. Keep your fingers and toes crossed.

Who knows what a dog might eat. The other night we noticed that two of Buddy's toys were missing parts: hedgehog was missing a Santa hat and another was missing strings. He had already eaten dinner. We are hoping that they are misplaced, but think that they were one of his snacks. One way or another they should show up soon.

"You may have a dog that won't sit up, roll over or even cook breakfast, not because she's too stupid to learn how but because she's too smart to bother." - Rick Horowitz, Chicago Tribune

January 13, 2008


In addition to the restaurant incident where Buddy was apparently barking at some noise and wouldn't stop, he has been barking at other "strange" things. The strange objects have included a parked taxi cab, a construction sign, something outside our hotel window (21st floor), snowplow, and a pine tree. Hopefully it is just a phase.

This evening Buddy received a treat. We went for our evening walk a little earlier today and instead of walking downtown we walked over to the park. It has been about three weeks since he has participated in play time at the park. He got his chance tonight.

He was absolutely euphoric. Running from dog to dog saying "Hello". Chasing a dog that had a stick. Being chased for no apparent reason. Bounding over snow piles. He was enjoying just running by himself, happy to be alive. So I couldn't take him home until all the other dogs had gone home. Buddy was tired and is again resting comfortably, but not in our suitcase :-)

"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace." - Milan Kundera

January 12, 2008

L or EL

After a quick breakfast at the hotel, we returned to CoCo's house for dinner. Unfortunately Buddy and CoCo don't get along so they never officially met this weekend. They spoke, but didn't meet nose to nose. CoCo was banished to her bedroom for the entirety of Buddy's visit - sorry.

We walked to the elevated train station (EL) and road the EL to Chinatown. Buddy wasn't phased as the train rumbled past us and stopped for loading. At each stop, he would sit up and ready himself to exit the train. Only to settle back down as the train continued to the next stop.

He was very attentive to all the new sights and smells of the EL. As usual Buddy was making friends with everyone that paid him any attention. On the EL this meant all kinds of people. Buddy is a wonderful ambassador. He breaks down barriers and we get to talk to a lot more people.

For the most part he was well behaved. However, before dinner was served at the restaurant, Buddy was barking. Not clear what it was, but he persisted as we tried to persuade him to stop. So we placed the comfort muzzle on him - more to adjust his attitude than to keep him quiet. He became passive, calmed down, and rested during dinner.

We took the El back at CoCo's house, Buddy was exhausted. CoCo however, really wanted to see Buddy up close and personal. After a long day, Buddy was more interested in catching up on his missed rest. So he settled into CoCo's spare bed and caught a few winks as the Packers took care of the Seahawks.

Buddy is comfortably back home


Buddy went to his first NHL hockey game last night at the United Center in Chicago. He drew the usual double takes and attention from the other fans. Peering over the boards, he also drew a double take from at least one of the Blackhawks. As Seabook skated by during warm-ups, he looked twice when he saw a furry black head watching him.

Thanks to Jim Koehler we were seated in the front row. It would have been easy to cheer for the Blackhawks, being in Chicago and having four UW players on the roster (Skille & Dowell called up due to injuries). However, We had to support the Wild in a hostile environment.

Our aisle was the main entrance to the scorer's table and on ice activities, so Buddy didn't settle in until the game started. He began the period watching the action but eventually settled in and rested during the first period. Buddy warmed the hearts of the Chicago fans, so we didn't suffer any verbal abuse as the Blackhawks took the lead.

We moved up to the second row for the next period to give friends a front row seat. Luckily or unluckily we missed a big check right in front of us. It was violent enough from the second row. The row was a little more croweded and Buddy spent the last 20 seconds of the period in my lap. He sat the whole period because he couldn't get comfortable in the confined conditions. He was panicky and we couldn't get him to settle down and he eventually jumped in my lap.

On the way to our "smoking" break he was fine. After the break, we returned to our front row seats to watch the final period. Buddy seemed happier after getting a rawhide bone halfway through the period. After the final horn sounded, we made our way through the crowd and then back to the hotel for a late serving of kibble.

The Minnesota Wild defeated the Blackhawks (5 - 2).

January 10, 2008

Behaved, Not Perfect

We often write about how well behaved Buddy is during outings. However, he has plenty of opportunities for improvement. We just don't want to really bore you with every little detail.

For example:
1. Attempts to eat anything that resembles food on the floor (we know it's not food if he's willing to "drop it")
2. Breaks from a "Stay" if he can't see me
3. We mentioned the door bell the other day
4. Highly distracted by other dogs
5. Mounting his toys
6. Crying in the park, looking for other dogs
7. Overly friendly greetings
8. Beginning to mark his territory
9. Crying to get me out of bed in the morning
10. Not attentive while walking
11. Sitting in his crate when he wants/expects food
12. Now mid January, he believes he can only potty on top of the largest snow bank he can find.
13. Seems to think he has special powers--if he looks hard enough at his rawhide, then at us, then his rawhide, it may magically come to him (we're very stingey with the rawhide).


At times it seems that Bella's favorite thing to do is torment our family pet, a three year old lab named Stormy. Stormy is the exact opposite of Bella. Stormy is sleek and trim; Bella is baggy and stocky. Stormy is dainty and lady-like; Bella is sloppy and clumsy. Stormy barks at anything outside that moves; Bella could give a hoot. They love to chew on each other, even groom each other. The tease each other with their toys.

Bella's next scheduled outing, assuming she is feeling better, will be a wrestling meet this evening. She has been to quite a few and it's great training for her. She would love so much to join those young men and wrestle with them, but knows she has to just sit and watch.

January 9, 2008

Sick Puppy

This week we are dealing with Bella's first sickness. Hate to be gross, but she had been vomiting since Friday. Nothing much, but about two or three times a day. On Monday we took her to the vet. Luckily the vet didn't see any signs of poison and does not suspect anything sharp in her belly, my two concerns.

He thinks it's just an upset tummy, gave her a shot, and has put her on a special bland dog food for a couple of days. It has now been over 24 hours since she has gotten sick, so we think it's blown over. Poor Bella, she even tries to make it out her doggie door when the urge to get sick happens.

Later ....

We thought Bella was doing better, but she "lost it" last night. So, she is now fasting for 24 hours (only ice chips) and then introduce the special canned food. Poor Bella, she looks so embarrassed after she gets sick. If this does not clear up by Saturday another trip to the vet.

January 8, 2008

Ding Dong

More door bell training this evening. Tried it by surprise the first time and he barked. "NO" Second time, he barked. "NO" Third time, he barked. "NO". Fourth time, he didn't bark. Success? No, just a smart dog. I paused between the third and fourth to put the pinch collar on. He knew not to bark then. :-)

We had one success later - Buddy was lying in his crate and I rang the doorbell. Nothing!! Not a sound. He did hear it because he came walking to the door. Much praise was provided. Keep your fingers crossed.

Buddy is also learning to stay away from us when we exercise on the treadmill or bicycle. Nothing painful yet and we are trying to keep it that way for his benefit and ours.

Alice Cooper

Bella goes just about everywhere that we go. In her 8 months with us she has just about seen and done it all. Bella has gone to school plays and concerts, wrestling meets and even gone to school with our daughter. Bella has been in all kinds of stores, restaurants, in parades, county fairs, a funeral, even an Alice Cooper concert! Mini-golfing, boating, you name it. She takes it as it comes.

Of course, nobody is perfect. Bella's biggest training challenge is to greet people calmly, with dignity. We have been working on that by applying pressure to her pinch collar and reminding her firmly for a calm greeting. We are seeing success in this. And, she loves to lay on peoples feet which can really get in the way.

I'd love to hear from others raising puppies for any kind of service work.

January 7, 2008

Visitors Today?

Buddy had some visitors today. And they rang the doorbell. He proceeded to bark and push to greet them. So, we skipped the first session of a new puppy class to work on desensitizing Buddy to the doorbell and getting him to ignore exercise equipment.

We rang the bell, Buddy barked, we told him "No" and offered praise when he did not bark. Repeated this with some success. Then we put the pinch collar on and rang the bell, Buddy barked and we corrected him or offered praise. This was more effective. Then, we continued to ring the bell using correction and the best positive reinforcement, kibble. We conducted two additional sessions - he needs more work.

We don't want to repeat Pavlov's experiment, so we stopped the food. He was drooling when we were using the food as reinforcement, we don't want him drooling every time the door bell rings or he hears a bell on television.

Meet Bella

I'd like to introduce you to Bella!

Bella is a black Labrador Retriever, almost 10 months old. Bella is with OccuPaws and in the process of becoming a guide dog for the blind. Bella is Buddy's brother and I know you have gotten to know Buddy through the other posts. Bella lives with the Ploegerts, in the country right on the Rock River in Janesville.

We have always had labs in the family and training puppies is such a joy for our family. This is our first time puppy-raising a future guide dog and we have enjoyed it so much and consider it a blessing.

Bella is a fun dog, the class clown. Underneath her goofy behavior, her thick slobbers, her bulldozing through anything, is a smart, eager to please girl. Bella loves to meet people, she is well behaved in public, and just about every thing we have trained her to do she has done. In October she received her Canine Good Citizen Award.

Our favorite quality of Bella is how loving she is. She shows it in a rather boisterous way, but it's there! She loves to be in the same room with us and will follow us wherever we go.

January 6, 2008

Attack Dogs

This morning on our walk, Buddy was "attacked" by a chocolate cocker spaniel and his shih tzu pal. The spanial was the ring leader. Both were off leash at the park and they were not happy to see Buddy on their path. They made sure to let him know by growling and nipping at him. I was trying to get him to remain calm and stay seated as the dogs antogonized him. He couldn't figure out what they were doing. "Dogs aren't supposed to act that way." He was more bewildered and shocked than fearful.

No harm, he's taking his morning nap now.

Happy Birthday Mom - Buddy took mom out for dinner and finished his nap.

January 5, 2008

Hard Walk

Buddy went for a long walk this morning, to get exercise and in preparation for the days activities. A tired dog is a well behaved dog. We walked for about 40 minutes and again used the jerky treats to reinforce recalls. The "hard" part of the walk wasn't the distance, it was seeing his dog friends for the first time in a week and not being able to play. I wanted to give his knee some extra rest before hard running and I wanted to work on his level of distraction around other dogs. Being overly friendly is not a good trait for a guide dog.

Busy day: library, stores, pet store, restaurant, hockey, ...

Rather uneventful day which means Buddy behaved well. Lots of riding and walking around so he missed his naps during the day which left him exhausted at the hockey game. People in the restaurant and hockey game didn't know he was there until we got up to leave. He rested during the action and then took a "smoking" break outside and walked around the halls some more during intermissions. He does very good walking in the crowd and is patient walking down steps in a crowd. His preference would be to run down.

Another "hard" walk in the afternoon. Maybe some fun tomorrow.

January 4, 2008

Back to Work

A couple longer walks today to test his knee. Nothing seems out of the ordinary, so I think he is 100 percent. First outing today was to work to see Wendy. After seven months he finally met his dog food wholesale connection. Thanks Wendy. Lisa forgot to bring his pinch collar, so he was somewhat excitable and undisciplined. It was a good test to see how well he behaves with minimal correction. He did much better after he settled down a little

The other day I wrote about reintroducing the pinch collar. The collar is not used often to pinch, however without it we had a difficult time getting his attention. Once you get his attention he will remain attentive. Corrections are much more difficult using the flat collar.

There was a spare choke collar in the puppy bag. The choke collar doesn't work as well because it slides down his neck to a less effective location. However, it seemed to get his attention during the following two shopping trips and dinner out. He listened well, but wasn't tired enough to remain down during the entire dinner. He was a little fidgety

Buddy is officially back to work.

January 3, 2008


How do you entertain a housebound dog? Well, you could fill up the bird feeder.

Yesterday, we decided to fill up the bird feeder to provide Buddy with a little entertainment. He had a bird's eye view of the action at the fully stocked bird feeder and bird skating rink (pun intended). Food during this cold stretch brought out a menagerie of animals. The blue jay was the first followed by a tree full of finches and then a mourning dove. All drew Buddy's attention. But his favorite was the squirrel.

Upon seeing the squirrel for the first time, Buddy let out a loud bark to either warn the squirrel or ask him to play. After our reprimand, the barking ceased and he watched the squirrel, rather impatiently, for about fifteen minutes as he jumped from tree to feeder to ground, raced up and around trees, and for some reason buried him head in the snow. We were all entertained.

Buddy seems fully healed and definitely well rested, so we took a twenty minute walk this evening. After eating dinner, he still had more energy and played fetch for another ten minutes followed by cradling and nail trimming.

January 2, 2008

Back on his Feet

The last few days we have focused on puppy care and basics. We started and will continue daily ear cleaning. During this rest period we gave him frequent nail clippings to get him used to it, once every couple weeks doesn't provide enough repetition. As we carried things up/downstairs, we had him sit and stay until we could return to carry him. And of course lots of cradling and brushing.
I slept in a little later today because Buddy had to potty this morning, at 4:00 (not sure if its the new food or lack of routine) and he got stuck. I had to brave the frigid temperature and then couldn't get back to sleep. Lisa let him outside when she got up for work, and then when he comes back in he usually sleeps. Today he sat by the bed and cried. He wanted something - I was not happy. After I got up he went to his crate and laid down, all comfy cozy.

Buddy appears to be back to normal and apparently ready to get back to his routine of walking every morning. So I did take him for a very short walk this morning. He is walking without a limp and does not favor his leg while standing. We will give him one more day of rest before starting his rehab, ramping up to his normal exercise schedule with additional outings whenever possible.

Buddy has gained five pounds since being injured, 62 pounds. Not bad since he was a little on the lean side.