Cinder attended an OccuPaws training class on Tuesday. The puppies ranged in age from Cinder at thirteen months to our newest puppy, Gideon, at 8 weeks old. Being the oldest dog in the program and next in line for formal harness training, Cinder needs to be a good example. Dog training is boring: SIT, DOWN STAY, LEAVE IT, repeat with corrections until she gets it right. Then repeat tomorrow in a different situation.
Cinder's obedience is progressing well. She still has a few behavioral issues: high prey drive, warning barks, and whining. She started a crash course at the park today to work on these issues before it's time to rotate to her next puppy raiser.
Gideon, the little German Shepherd, could only handle so much and then he was tired. He found a comfortable place to observe and take a siesta.
Cinder was tested on Friday night as we watched Dog Town and the Dog Whisperer. She knows that she isn't supposed to bark when she sees dogs, but she couldn't control herself - only one short bark all night though.
Saturday morning was another test at The Dog Den playtime. There was a huge group of dogs because of the fundraiser for WAAGR, so Cinder (being a service dog) was selected to move to the smaller dog area. We were a little apprehensive because on occasion she has treated a small dogs as prey. No issues today and she played really well with two Chesapeake Rescue puppies. With Cinder being over twelve months her playtime is 9 o'clock. One big advantage of a young puppy (Neva) is that play time is an hour later than older dogs.
After her eight goal (horn) game last week, Cinder was not happy about going back to the Kohl Center for her final exam. She hesitated as we climbed the stairs to our seats. Pets from other hockey fans always makes her feel better.
Much like Pavlov's dogs, Cinder has been conditioned to the sound of the fog horn. Her flight response has been replaced by the expectation of kibble. She has been very good about lying down on the floor under our seats and now she only shifts her focus, when the horn sounds. She does look tired.
Tonight, the Badgers lit the lamp (scored) seven times and the horn seemed extraordinarily long. Cinder passed her final exam although she appeared a little dazed afterwards.
After all the stress, we finally returned home for her last chicken dinner. Her digestive system even passed the raw meat test. She looks good with a few extra pounds on her frame.
After seeing my first bus with an OccuPaws ad on it last night, I decided I'd just have to carry the camera until I could get a good shot of Promise with the bus, since she rides it all the time.
On the way to a meeting this morning I saw the 1 bus go by with an ad. I tried to take another bus that usually catches up to the 1, but it was late so we missed our photoshoot.
Then, on our way home, I was at a stop on University where lots of busses go and saw the 9 with an ad. I got a lousy shot while the other passengers got on, and then explained to the driver that I wanted to take some pictures of Promise with the bus, if that was possible. So Promise and I rode to the end of the run (not far from my house) where the bus takes a break, and got a nice photoshoot. Someone waiting for another bus helped out since it's a little hard to get a good shot of a dog in front of a bus while holding the leash.
Does your dog watch television? Cinder does. She especially likes to watch the Dog Whisperer. Ever since she was a puppy the sights and sounds were mesmerizing - just like a little kid. Cinder has a habit, a bad habit, of barking when she sees other dogs. It's not continual barking, but a short burst meant to warn or notify. So as I was surfing channels last evening, the dog show was on and Cinder warned us that another dog was in the room, actually in the box across the room. Then another one popped up and another. We received Cinder's notification as each new dog enterd our domain.
This turned into a fifteen minute training exercise. We provided Cinder with QUIET commands and subtle corrections until she would quietly watch the dogs parade around our living room.
After enduring her first, and only heat cycle, Cinder returned to our home last week. So far her once inverted vulva has remained out (normal) and besides for some behavioral issues at the puppy coordinator's home, she continues on her journey to be a guide dog. Being without a dog for an entire week, after Neva left, left us to ponder why we raise dogs and to appreciate their presence. The house sure was quiet without our canine trainee. We concluded that the benefits definitely outweigh the negatives
Since we only have Cinder for a couple more weeks before she gets rotated again, we jumped right back into the process. She attended her puppy playtime and a hockey game on Saturday. The Badgers played well, scoring eight goals which meant four fog horns. We were well stocked with her dog food, so she never moved when the horn sounded - just received positive reinforcement.
On Sunday, Cinder went to Mounds and faced aisle after aisle of temptation (food, toys, dogs). Next we needed to get Lisa a Valentine's day present, a new washer and dryer. Lisa was excited; Cinder not so much. She held her down stay through the sales/purchase process and was much better behaved than the other customers' children. The last stop of the day was lunch where we met a potential puppy raiser. Cinder watched eat, but the staff felt sorry for her and gave her a dog biscuit.
The washer and dryer were delivered on Monday which was a great test for calm greeting and staying in her "place" while the delivery staff was in and out. She passed this test with flying colors and also an unexpected visit in the evening from a door-to-door salesman.
We found some of Neva's raw meat in the freezer and have been supplementing Cinder's diet. She needs to add a few pounds. No digestive issues!
Wilbur here. Was yesterday ever fun. I got to play in two puppy playtime classes and then I came with Harley to Boston Store in Madison. I got to see some old pals and some news pups I never met before. They had a nice big blanket for us dogs and the kids to sit on. But later on I got kinda hot so I stretched out on the cool tile floor. Here are the big dogs chewing each other's ears.
Harley told me all about OccuPaws newest grduate team - Sophia and Timber...wow is he a big dog! Boy oh boy, did the humans have fun talking while we got pet and played. and that big jar got filled up to the top with green paper :-)
Just when I thought I'd seen everything, my Mommy takes me to Hilldale and there was a TIGER in the lobby. I was so surprised, I let out a big "woof!" Its eyes were looking right at me! But it didn't have any smell, so I figured it was OK to sit next to it for a picture. Now it doesn't scare me anymore. I'm already 6 months old, so I have to behave myself!
Anyway, it's much more fun playing with the grandkids when they come and stay overnight. They love to play ball with me.
And I'm learning my "Place" in the kitchen when Mommy is busy cooking, so I'm not underfoot. She even gave me a "Hot Dog" to play with so I can practice for our "Puppies on Parmenter" Dog Jog in Middleton. That's coming up May 22, and you can "Have a Dog with the Dogs" at Capital Brewery after the dog jog. Hot Dog! I hope they'll have a hot dog for me, too!
Sometimes I meet Wilbur and Harley at Boston Store to promote Community Day. We saw a real cutie this week! She was just learning how to walk ~ but she has just 2 legs, and I have 4. She was so happy to pet all of us.
Wilbur and I just can't agree who should get to write about our adventures, since all of our outings seem to be together all the time. We finally decided we would write together.
Here I am with Harley visiting one of the places that will be part of a new, fun day "Puppies on Parmenter" in Middleton in May. Mom says plans are still being made, but to have everyone save May 22nd as a doggie fun day - service dogs and pets alike.
Wilbur and I have been gathering prizes for Poker for Paws and other OccuPaws events. We've been spreading the word with our pretty pieces of paper here at Mounds on the East Side. Of course I took a few minutes out to be cuddled. Dumb ole Wilbur fell asleep in the corner and missed out on the bestest petting inna world!!!
Harley and I, along with Casey, will be visiting lots of Middleton and Madison Businesses trying to get prizes. I get to go cuz I'm the Awwww dog!
After not having a dog for about a month now we got Candy back.
This was suppose to be our rotation with Neva, but then Neva got sick and went back to Marlene's, and then to Jeff to get better. We then got Candy, but then she got a bad urine infection, so she also went back to Marlene's. We only had her two days.
Candy got the all clear from the vet, so we got her back Sat.
She has had two accidents in the house, but she's doing better, Last two days were accident free.
Candy is such a sweetheart, she loves to cuddle. Here she is snuggling with Ernie.
Candy is loving the snow, here she is running and romping around.
This morning on our way to a workshop, Promise and I stopped at the Wisconsin Historical Society library to pick up a book. Promise had never been there before, but it was a great test on stairs: the stairwells between floors of the library stacks are about two feet wide, have short flights, and are made of creaky metal. Despite the groans and squeaks of the stairs, she proceeded like a champ.
Then at the workshop a student came in through an alarmed door, which caused everyone in the room to jump, except Promise, who stayed quietly in her corner. She was a little restless during the workshop and got up and turned around a few times, but no problems.
Today we had lots of the OccuPaws dogs at the pet expo in Milwaukee. They all had a great time getting loved. We saw cats, ponies, and even some reptiles. I don't have many pictures, but Wilbur and the new black lab puppy were a huge hit. The older dogs, who are getting better and conserving themselves, maintained their greeting duties while the little ones napped.
Now that we're home, Promise is zonked. We've been practicing "Place", where she patiently stayed while I made myself dinner.
Maddi went to UW Whitewater with Kathy yesterday. According to Kathy, Maddi did very well in all the classes. She didn't even snore very much. Maddi got lots of attention from other students and the professors. She was so calm that many people couldn't believe that she is only 6 months old.
Today was the annual Occupaws eye tests at the UW Vet School. Since we are growing, not all of the dogs could be accommodated today, but those not done today will be done next month. In attendance was Neva, Mama Roxie, Wil(bur), Harley, Casey, Geyser, and Birthday Girl Promise (Happy 1st Birthday P!). After dilating drops instilled, each dog was hoisted onto the table, lights out and exam by the vet and assistant quickly rolled along. This is Neva wondering what the heck is about to happen!
The fantastic news: ALL 7 dogs' eyes passed, which moves them all one step closer to the coveted harness training and guide dog status. The dogs were most happy to see each other, but it did not stop all the humans in the immediate area trying to get their attention and get in as many pets as possible. Our Occupaws dogs were quite the popular group. The UW Vet School generously does the exams free of charge and to show our appreciation, we volunteered our dogs to the student vets when they need dogs to practice physical exams on. We even tried to recruit a few puppyraisers.
After the tests, the vet wanted a picture of all the dogs to show her husband (and perhaps win him over in adopting a "career-changed" dog from us). The challenge was keeping Wilbur in place long enough for a group shot, but we did our best. Neva could not resist Wil's unusual fuzzy face and she had to get in a smooch.
Promise is back to school with me, and has performed most admirably. Today in class she started to snore (what else is new), and at break another student commented that she couldn't figure out where the snoring was coming from because everyone looked awake...and she didn't realize there was a dog in class.
I am also doing a library instruction practicum, which involves teaching and assisting in classes. Yesterday after I gave a short (10 minutes) presentation, during which Promise stayed under the table, the person sitting across from me noted that Promise "didn't make a sound" and was perfect...after that class, Promise got much admiration and petting. Today I assisted in two 50 minute sessions, during which I was wandering around the room helping students. I put Promise in a down stay in the corner of the room and didn't have to tend to her during either session. A staff member, who came in before the sessions, came back afterward, and when she saw Promise, asked "was she here the whole time?" Well, yes, she was.
So we're getting back into the swing of doing school together. Long walk in the morning and play in the afternoon when we get home. We saw Divit yesterday, which both were thrilled about. Many tail wags all around.
Promise is back with me, and in the last month, she has mellowed considerably. She's more laid back, and has less energy to burn. We went to the lake yesterday and went out on the ice briefly, which was enough activity for her for the day.
Today was her first day back to school and work with me. She spent most of the day sleeping. In class, she started to snore lightly, which was fine until she started whimpering too. Then I had to wake her up a bit so she wouldn't be a distraction. Everyone is glad to see her back and eager to get their petting in.
We came home and played a little and now she's settled down again. Unusual for the dog who used to come home and need to burn energy.
Hey ~ you aren't getting me in that cold water, no sir, even tho I'm a Lab that loves water!
The Pheasant Branch Creek in Middleton was covered in ice, and that water was plenty cold, believe me!
My Mommy wanted to walk here, but the path was all covered in ice, so we didn't get very far. There were squirrels running on the snow, but I didn't even chase them 'cause my Mommy doesn't want me to do that.