September 30, 2008
Our focus the last few days has been off leash manners: patience through doorways, no begging while we eat, calm crate exit, and no "houseplay". We need some visitors to work on calm greetings in the home. Of course we worked in some obedience. Echo is working on SIT, DOWN, SIT; the first two are easy, the sit from a down has been challenging, but improving. He actually did it once tonight without prompting.
Puppy hygiene tonight included our least favorite activity, nail trimming. Echo received a bath in preparation for his day at work 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
September 29, 2008
Today was another puppy training class in Janesville for Echo. Immediately after exitingthe care, Echo was timid and afraid of three large boulders lying near the walking path. We made friends with the rocks and I knew it was not going to be a good day.
Exercise was the name of the game. We walked for an hour along the river. Echo was not walking very good and receiving constant correction. We were trailing the pack and he always wanted to be with the other dogs. He did better when he was in the lead.
Echo understood the reason for the correction; he would immediately return to my side and HEEL. However, he just couldn't help himself. He wanted to be with the other dogs. He reacted much the same way as when Buddy and he are separated on our walks.
Echo also serenaded everyone. He cried and whined A LOT. Overall it was not a good day.
"If dogs could talk it would take a lot of the fun out of owning one." - Andy Rooney
Dinner at Red Robin was fun. Do you know that Red Robin serves lots of kids, so there is all sorts of food available under the table? Mom was not pleased that I kept wanting to “surf” the floor.
Today was semi-boring, even though mom says: “it is good for me”. After some obedience work, mom put me in the crate for 5 hours!! BORING! I don’t need to learn how to sleep in a crate during the day, I already do that all night long. But, mom says she needed to make sure that I would not bark or whine if I was in the crate alone for a long period of time during the day. Of course I won’t. I’m good! After a boring day, mom took me out to dinner, and JoAnn’s fabrics where once again I walked up and down the isles. That was more fun
I hope I don’t spend a lot of time in the crate tomorrow…. Boring, boring, boring.
Your friend, Slick
September 28, 2008
I think today was mostly a review to see what we knew. Sit, stay, down, heel, stepping onto and sitting nicely on a platform that could be a grooming station, and mom leaving my sight for a little while. We had picked up Nikki and her border collie before we went to class so they could practice obedience in one of the rings. After class when we dropped Nikki back home, I had a chance to meet and really greet her border collie.
She was SOOO nice - I think she likes me.
After that, mom kept me pretty busy. First we went to Walgreen’s to get a picture of me, as part of a fund-raiser for the Delta Society.
Then we met Mindy (mom’s puppy) and Dan (Mindy’s mate), Mindy’s canine children, and Mike (mom’s puppy) and Christine (his mate) at to the Capitol Brewery’s Dogtoberfest fund-raiser for the Humane Society. There were lots and lots of dogs! At first mom was not sure if I should go, but Nikki convinced her that it would be a good experience for me. And, as usual, Nikki was right.
Lots of people told mom what a good dog I was, so well behaved, AND how handsome I was. We passed out lots of Occupaws business cards too. So it was a good day for Occupaws and me.
After a little rest at home, we met mom and dad’s friends, Joe and Karen at Chili’s for supper. At dinner, at first, I was very good, but for some reason near the end of dinner I was “antsy”. I just could not stay in a “down” position. As mom and dad were done with dinner and just “talking” and “talking” and “talking” mom and dad decided to leave. I don’t know why I was antsy, I did not have to go ”potty”, but I think the position I was in next to the table was pretty small, and I felt “squished” in. It was also the end of a long day.
That’s all for today.
Your friend, Slick
September 27, 2008
Two quick visits to check up on the Grandmas. Echo was calm and relaxed watching the debate last night and touring the assisted living apartment today. He spent a little time outside this afternoon helping pick apples. He was the official taster.
The hardest part was keeping him away from the bees and vice versa.
September 26, 2008
Then, off to Menard’s, where mom and dad wandered the building looking for something….Mom left dad in one department, when she and I walked thru the pet department (making sure I don’t take any dog treats) and then to the garage door area.
Mom lost her opener, so we had to buy another. The store is so large that mom could not find her way out, so she asked me to “find outside”, that was after she couldn’t find which bathroom stall to use. I am confused too about what “find outside” means, but I was better than her, as mom asked me to walk ahead of her and go first.
Then, off to Copp’s grocery store where we wandered the isles, and once again mom told me to “find outside”. Doesn’t mom know what door to go in and out of? After all, I am still a puppy. We eventually found our way out while dad was paying the check out clerk. (I don’t understand why she tapped the outside door, does that help her remember where “outside” is?
In the parking lot, mom was SO lost that she couldn’t find the car. What is a puppy to do???? I couldn’t find it either! Dad had to help. He tapped the car after we found it. That tapping a found object MUST be for mom. After a short nap, mom practiced finding the car with only our car parked in the driveway. Maybe she can find it on her own now.
Mindy is going to come over with her canine children tonight, so I should have a good time!
Echo went out to dinner last night. As we were ordering the manager came by, told us to "Get Out", and pointed toward the door. He didn't want us in the restaurant with a dog. Apparently he hadn't heard our conversation with the clerk about the guide dog in training. He asked if Echo was marked; we pointed out the cape and he grumled and walked away.
Before Echo received his dinner, we stopped for some free ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery, without incident this time. Last time we were in with Buddy, we were told to "Get Out! No Dogs Allowed!"
September 25, 2008
Mom has noticed that I am really growing! My Occupaws vest needs to be adjusted to accommodate my growing size. Mom and dad have given me more freedom to wander around the house without them watching me as much. I have been very good in the house, not chewing inappropriately, staying off of furniture, hanging around mom and dad, or sleeping in my crate when I am bored.
Tonight was my final Puppy II class. We played some “recall” games, and did the usual, sit, down, stay, and leave it. Last night was graduation night at my puppy II class. One time they had everyone not eat food that got dropped on the floor. The other puppies must have been very hungry - they kept trying to steal the food as soon as their Mom looked away. Don't they know if you pretend to not be interested, their human will give them a better treat for not eating it!!
I start my CGC class Saturday. I wonder whom I will meet?
(Yawn) off to bed!
On our nighttime walk, we were all jolted with a loud boom. An electric transformer blew out. It was about 100 yards from where we were walking. Echo was startled, as was I, but everyone calmed down without barking. Then I stopped to talk to some of the neighbors that lost power and Echo remained in a DOWN STAY.
To add to the experience, we extended our walk around the block. Echo walked past more people and the emergency vehicles with their sirens blaring and lights flashing. He was not bothered by the sights and sounds, but there were a few strange shadows created that caused some mild concern.
September 24, 2008
I should have known that something was up when he walked away from his bone. This is only the third time, but he should know better. It has always been in the exact same spot. Hopefully he got the message.
This afternoon we walked over to the library. On the way we met Kane and Sable walking through the park, so Echo was allowed to interact with the older dogs. At the library, I read this week's paper while Echo remained in a DOWN STAY at my feet.
On the way home, we walked downtown past the roaring backhoe, earth mover, and dump trucks. Echo couldn't have cared less. Then we stopped to "play" on the playground equipment: tunnel, surface work, ramps, beams, and stairs.
As we approached home, Buddy and I changed our route. Lisa was left with a crying, whining puppy that did not want to behave. He wanted to follow Buddy, and Buddy kept looking back for Echo. Lisa offered correction and waited for Echo to settle down before continuing her walk home - ten minutes later.
September 23, 2008
After the nursing home, she let me play in the backyard with my canine housemates, followed by a brief nap. Then, off to a house that has broken walls inside where all mom, Mindy and dad did was: talk, talk, talk, and take “measurements”. We went to Home Depot after that. A few times ago (when I was a lot younger) I pooped on the floor in Home Depot (it is a concrete floor, so it was not so bad), so mom made SURE that I was “good to go” when we went inside. More standing around, talking and walking up and down isles….boring..boring…
Mom and dad are finished running around, so they are going to let me rest, play with my friends, and “do my thing” for the rest of the day
Your lazy friend, Slick
Yesterday I met some other Occupaws puppies and Marlene at the UW Vet school to see if anyone of us needed glasses. We all checked out OK. (Whew!)
I did not want to wear dorky horn rimmed glasses when I walk around town!
In the afternoon, Mindy brought over her canine kids to play in our backyard while we went to Costco. Costco was fun, as usual, but mom says that I want to sniff the floor too much. Mom is not fair! All the “tidbits” on the floor look really interesting! What is a puppy to do? Ignore everything? Some of the things on the floor taste good! Spiders - yummmeee!
I spent the evening alone, as mom and dad took my canine housemates to the Monona Library for the R.E.A.D. program. When they returned I was sooooo happy! I am not used to being left behind. Mom says she is going to leave me behind more, so I’d better get used to it. She says it is part of my “learning experience”.
But, guess what I did last night? Dad thought that I was well behaved enough to be loose in the bedroom while everybody was sleeping. (I usually sleep in the crate.) Mom was not to sure, and reminded dad that any “accidents” would have to be cleaned up by him. SO I thought that if I slept very quietly ALL night that I could be “free” again tonight. Mom was really surprised this morning because I was still close to dad’s side of the bed when she woke up “accident free”. What woke mom up was when I started to play with my housemate, Stitch. I guess I will have to learn to play quieter.
Your puppy friend, Slick
September 22, 2008
According to the Puppy Coordinator they all behaved superbly during the visit. She walked into the office with three puppies in tow. No pulling and they sat "on command" to the amazement of the other pet owners.
At training class, we started indoors. Suprisingly, none of the dogs reacted to the doorbell or knocking on the door or windows. Outside they were tested with STAY commands and a plethora of distractions. Echo did good on STAY and recalls, of course he needs more practice. His name fits him well, as he will repeat the action of the other dogs.
Back inside for the highlight of the evening. The puppies were let loose to observe their in house / off leash behavior. If not for Buddy's high energy, the puppies probably would have done better. To help Echo, we need to improve Buddy's manners.
September 21, 2008
He has been so tired that we were worried that he might have picked up a bug yesterday. However, his five month old digestive system seems to be working perfectly.
After we said our good-byes, Echo took us to Menards to walk the aisles and see the scary stairs that Slick mentions. As we were packing up some items, he saw a person down the aisle and barked at him a few times. He didn't stop with voice commands, so corrections were required. Just as he was settled a person in the store starting pretend barking which caused Echo to respond.
Tonight was buddy's favorite hygiene event, ear cleaning. In the past he would smell the bottle and run away. We have been working on this and he is a little better now. Echo doesn't mind it.
I had to share one more picture from PoochFest. Check out the brown dog in back.
Yesterday, in Cross Plains, there was an antique car and steam engine show! The steam engines blew their horns, chugged away made steam, Model A’s and Model T’s chugged and honked, and there were pet dogs on pulling on their leashes. Did I care about the noise and other dogs? Not a bit. I just walked alongside mom and dad and took in all the sights.
When the steam engine whistles blared, I looked and listened, when the cars putted by, I watched. When dogs pulled toward me, mom said “leave it”, even though it was VERY hard, and I wanted to say “hi” to other dogs, I did not pull toward the other dogs….(I just looked REALLY hard at them.)
There were lots of kids and adults to meet. And, as usual, I was an ambassador for Occupaws, as people would ask mom and dad, “What was I training for?”, “Is training hard?”, “Can I pet him?”, etc. Of course mom and dad are so proud of me that they were glad to talk about me.
While in Cross Plains, Evan, my favorite little person, played in the park. I just watched to make sure he did not fall off the slide. Then, I took a nap by the playground.
Yesterday afternoon, mom, dad and I, went over to Mindy’s house to have dinner and play with my canine cousins, and, of course, Evan. What fun! We all get along so great. Mom does not let me play in the house, so we play on the deck that is attached to the back of the house (no vest, of course).
I surprised dad, when mom told him that almost all of my teeth are “big dog teeth”. Mom knew that I had lost most of my “baby teeth”. But when dad was reading Echo’s blog he asked mom about my big dog teeth. She said that sure, most of my teeth are big, and very white (because they are new). It was a very busy day so I had to go to my kennel all by myself and put my little ole body to bed. zzzzzzz......
I went to breakfast with mom, dad and some friends of mom’s this morning. I had to fit under a table in a very small spot. But, I squeezed under the table, and was very quiet, and slept. Dad put up a poster about Barktoberfest at the restaurant. I am a tired puppy today, and, so far, it is not a very nice day for walking (it is very foggy this morning) so maybe mom will let me sleep under her quilting table while she sews.
September 20, 2008
With little time to spare, we took a short drive to Madison International Speedway for the Juvenile Diabetes walk. Echo wasn't the least bit fazed as the Harleys roared by or as a balloon popped right behind him. He barely noticed Bucky Badger, McGruff, Ronald McDonald, or the dozen other mascots as they raced by.
Echo really knows how to work the crowd. Plenty of calm meet and greets with people of all ages. He loves children and attention.
We jumped in our car and raced to Janesville for PoochFest where Echo played and splashed with a few friends, Dually and Ozzie, and a hundred strangers. He was somewhat timid at first, but Heidi helped him adjust to the new situation.
He thoroughly enjoyed himself for two hours. However, Echo forgot the cardinal rule of swimming: Don't Pee in the Pool. Oh well, he wasn't the only one.
Echo returned home completely exhausted, after additional stops at the pet store, the farm, and the grocery store. He has been sleeping since we returned home.
September 19, 2008
Echo was quite a it at the hospital. All the nurses on staff had to stop by and say hello. The greetings went well until he met the social worker (owner of a labrador), who proceeded to get down on the floor and hug Echo. Lisa told him that he wasn't helping the training.
Lisa and Echo had many meeting with medical staff and care providers. On one occasion the conversation was paused due to a snoring puppy.
Echo and eight month old Troy, got to play a little after the meetings. Our licking machine, Echo, is getting better, but Troy is at the perfect height. Puppy kisses on the face were not appreciated as Troy tried to fend off the puppy love with his hands. He found that by putting his head down Echo would lick the top of his head which made Troy laugh.
You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us." - Robert Louis Stevenson
Today, I had a very fun day!
My favorite little person (Evan) came over. He is so much fun. Evan gives me dog bones that I can chew, and I keep him company by the sandbox outside. Then, I went to lunch with mom, Mindy and a friend of mom’s at Quaker Steak and Lube.
You can’t tell by the picture, but I am putting my head thru a big hole in a sign that is outside the restaurant.
I was SOOOO good that nobody knew that I was under the table.
Mindy brought over her canine “children”. I was able to play with one of her older border collies, Sparky. Mom did not want me to play too hard because my toe still hurts from having caught it on the kennel. Sparky plays very gently as he is an older dog.
Tonight, mom and dad went out to the Nitty Gritty in Middleton to celebrate a birthday for a friend of theirs. Once again, I was SOOOOOO very good when I went under the table. The waitress even forgot I was there!
I think I am done for today, so off to bed!
September 18, 2008
Lately he has been getting into the bathroom garbage to steal an empty bottle to play with. He is not very smart (or doesn't know what he is doing is wrong), because he will bring the bottle or candy wrappers and show Lisa.
We used our evening walk to the library as a training class tonight. We encountered many diversions: dogs, kids, loud trucks, loudspeakers, and squirrels. The most challenging was kids practicing soccer. Echo's high prey drive was apparent as he focused in on the rolling soccer balls.
Echo greets other dogs and humans calmly and will SIT and DOWN, usually without correction. Last week we worked on STAY, but tonight we focused on HEEL. He can FIND HEEL which means he will return to my side when I ask him to, but he doesn't stay HEELed.
“We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It’s the best deal man has ever made.” - M.Facklam
After I looked at some of the equipment on the indoor training facility floor, I took a nap, as the conversation was BORING - talk - talk - talk!!! Do humans ever learn "quiet"?
Last night I hurt one of my toes somehow when I was getting into (or out of) my crate. It bled a little. Today it is a little tender, but mom says that I will “live”. She said that tonight in Puppy II class, she won’t let me play because it might hurt my little “toesy”.
September 16, 2008
About half way through our walk, Echo started looking back toward Buddy and me. He was not walking very good. Just like in the grocery store a couple weeks ago where he seemed fixated on me.
Trying to give Lisa some one-on-one time and an easier time walking, Buddy and I turned the corner and went down a different street. Echo was alone with Lisa, but he really wanted to follow Buddy and me. A block away we heard Echo whining, crying out, and squeaking. He eventually settled down, until he saw us at the next street and the process was repeated.
It appears that Echo has bonded too well with either Buddy or myself ...
UPDATE: Based on our experiment this evening - It's Buddy
September 15, 2008
Echo had an unfriendly encounter with a buzzing bee. After a loud yelp, he was barking at it, and couldn't get back inside the house quick enough. We incorrectly thought that he would learn a lesson. However, at training class he still tried to catch insects as they flew by.
There was a good showing of OccuPaws puppies at the training class: Lilly, Archie, Deegan, Moby, Oliver, Reggie, and Echo. Bella, an alum, even stopped by for a refresher. We concentrated on STAY and STAND. Echo did relatively well on the STAY since we have been working hard on that command. This was our first attempt at STAND - needs work. This was a good session to compare Echo's progress and identify areas of improvement.
Marlene also stressed the importance of our puppy's "in house" behavior. Echo needs to behave as well in the house as he does on outings. The highlight of the evening was either puppy play time (a dozen puppies and visitors frolicking around the yard) or the slide show of Moby's two week trip to Boston.
Mom walked me thru the food court, where I was supposed to ignore the wonderful smells, and the little bits of food on the ground (leave it). She put me on a “down/stay” in the middle of the entrance to the food court so that she could take a picture…(Aren’t I handsome?)
September 14, 2008
Today, I had Sunday breakfast with Evan, Mike and Christine at Shelton’s, in Cross Plains. Many of my “regular” friends were there as well, saying “Hi”. I am very good at “under”.
Then, we went to Joann’s Fabrics where I tried to pick out my mask for Halloween.
Mom could not find any that would fit a dog…but I had fun looking. I also looked in my Trick or Treat goodie bucket for treats. But alas...nothing there! I guess I will have to wait a couple of weeks. I was so disappointed! I thought I would find SOMETHING!
While we were at Joann’s, mom worked on a long “stay” when people who were shopping walked back and forth. Modestly speaking, I was superb.
Mom has been working on “back”, and “stand” especially lately. I understand “stand” about ½ the time now, and sorta understand “back”. But I have a long way to go. Maybe soon she'll figure out where she wants me...she just can't make up her mind - sit-down-stand-back-down-sit-stand. Hellooo, I was standing before you went crazy!! Oh well, humans and their little quirks...sigh
September 13, 2008
About half way through we had Echo do a DOWN STAY. He maintained his position with balls bouncing, puppies running by, and a few puppies licking him. Everyone else was so impressed, we could not have been prouder.
Echo found a few mates to chase and wrestle with, Kona and Bella. As usual at happy hour, the puppies returned home bloody; Bella lost a tooth and Echo lost two of his own.
September 12, 2008
We went for a shorter walk today because Echo was going to the CSA farm and grocery. Zoe, the farm dog, was extremely happy/excited to see us or she may have picked up Echo's smell. Either way it was a great opportunity to work Echo with an unleashed energetic dog jumping around. Echo behaved himself while we picked up our weekly supply of vegetables, so on the way back to the car I pulled his cape and let him play a little.
At the grocery store, one of the clerks said that Echo must have gained five pounds since last week, which is probably not too far from the truth. He was well behaved (bored and lethargic) in the store until the meat section. Then we pranced down the frozen food aisle to checkout.
On the way to the store we noticed that one of his teeth was very loose. I couldn't bring myself to pull it. It didn't make it past dinner. On a positive note, Echo's adult canine is starting to poke through. The tooth that split when playing with Buddy is finally being replaced, his smile will soon be intact :-)
Then tonight I went out to dinner with mom and dad’s best friends. They are so nice and they didn't step on my tail at all.
September 11, 2008
Tonight, I had my Puppy II obedience class. We practiced “leave it”, “recall”, “waiting at the door politely”, and while the other puppies were practicing “watch”, I practiced “back”, and “stand”. I am so good in class, even the instructors think I am terrific.
Oh, I also went to the beauty shop and had my hair died blond! :-)
Just kidding....this is my playbud, Ian.
We have made a point for the last week to walk Echo at night. He occasionally gets spooked by the shadows and nighttime sounds. Last week he was spooked by something at the neighbor's house and he would not leave the front porch. I couldn't determine what the problem was, so we couldn't "make friends". We cautiously walked over to the area which seemed to make it better.
Last night, we walked down some moderately busy streets with car lights creating moving shadows and unexpected noises. Echo was tentative, but not scared. He appeared to handle it well, but more practice is definitely required.
September 10, 2008
September 9, 2008
At night, we went to the WAGs facility, where I met my WAGs friend Ian. Ian is a 10 month old Golden Retriever. Ian does not live with any other canine friends, so we were teaching him how much fun it is to play with others.
Mom was very tired when we got home, so we just hung around in the living room, then went to bed. (I was tired too, but I did not want to tell her.)
September 8, 2008
The puppies olfactory senses were tested in Bed Bath & Body Works. Everyone rode the elevator and calmly greeted the many well wishers. Echo has an issue maintaining a calm demeanor when the greeter is overly excited with a high pitched voice.
The trio of Yellow Mall Walkers and Slick only experienced one "minor" potty malfunction - no one was harmed. However, all the Puppy Raiser are now packing Bed Bath & Body Works fragrance spray, not to be confused with Mace.
I found a great big bear, so mom thought it would be fun to take a picture next to it.
After a great nap, mom and dad took me to Janesville to visit with my Occupaws friends.
At the Janesville mall, I practiced trying to ignore the other puppies (that is sure hard), not sniffing on the floor, polite greetings, “find the elevator”, getting on and off the elevator, sitting quietly under a table in the food court, “find the stall”, and looking at objects that were in the middle of the floor, or that I had to avoid.
One of the other puppies made a "Mr. Stinky” so everybody had to help clean up. Dad offered to take the offending pup outside, but he went down a “dead end” corridor, so “the offending pup made a trail of more “stinkies” as he made a hasty U-Turn. The staff at the mall was very nice, and helped us clean up. I think mom and dad are going to get a small bottle of cleaner to carry along, or some sanitizing wipes, just in case I make a mess next time.
Sigh, puppies will be puppies.
Well off to bed!