March 30, 2010
Leash corrections have been only mildly effective. He has learned that crying is not allowed and that a correction will follow, but he just can't help himself. After each short whine, he reacts to the correction before it is given. The most effective method has been to engage his brain and keep him working when other canines are visible.
As we tour the distraction laden park, we practice HEELing with an occasional emergency DOWN, SIT/DOWN/SIT or STAND/STAY. Yesterday, there were a few packs walking near us and we asked Banjo to SIT/STAY. A group of four playful dogs came up to him, circling him, and sniffing while Banjo stayed put. I could see the desire and frustration in his eyes and called him to me. Following a brief hesitation he trotted directly to me.
March 29, 2010
Road trip! I got to go Up North where we saw a Hodag! I think his nails should be clipped tho ~ just look at how long they are! I hope we don't meet up with him in the woods....
So we went looking for a Hodag, and instead we saw some funny looking trees. My mommy was not too happy....she said something like "those darned beaver."
I hope we don't meet up with them ~ their teeth must be as big as the Hodag's nails! Just look at the size of the trees they cut down!
Next we saw funny looking milk jugs hanging from the trees ~ how strange! I wonder if this tastes any good....maybe my mommy will give me a taste.
We couldn't go walking on the water, either....something about "black ice"....so I just hung out on the deck and watched the birds at the feeders.
Maybe next time I can go swimming up here.
Casey (and Marlette)
March 25, 2010
He seems to enjoy getting outside and loves his exercise. He is always attentive and readies himself as we put on our shoes and coat.
Last night as I rode the bike indoors, Banjo laid down on the treadmill and begrudgingly watched me pedal, practicing his DOWN STAY. Tonight he followed me downstairs and stood on the treadmill. Relenting to his sad eyes and curious, I turned on the treadmill and he walked for a few minutes while I watched him. I was surprised at how well he did, until Lisa mentioned that she and Banjo have been walking together indoors for the last week .
March 24, 2010
In preparation for trips to Michigan and Washington DC that Banjo is scheduled to accompany us on, we have been verifying his acceptance by airlines, hotels, and our primary destinations. During our research, we ran across this site, Service Dog Central, which lists the applicable laws and statutes that apply for every state. Banjo is excited about having an opportunity to meet Bo on his tour of the White House.
Note: Puppy Raisers may not meet the definition of trainer.
The laws offer valuable information that may apply to our puppies in training, but the laws always provide insight into whether the state/city is "service dog friendly". A link has been added under Recommended Links for future reference.
March 23, 2010
The last couple days, we have been working on the Emergency DOWN. For those not familiar with the term, it requires the dog to drop immediately to the ground on command regardless of what he is doing. While walking, I energetically command DOWN and he drops. We have also practiced it in the middle of a recall.
I have yet to think of a practical use, but it has given us something fresh to work on. Banjo has quickly learned it, so we are all feeling good. He appreciates the edible rewards used during the initial training process.
Next Week: Pivoting
March 22, 2010
March 21, 2010
Today was a graduation party for our second guide dog puppy, Deegan. He is now with his forever partner, Randy. It was a long ride there and back, but well worth it to see Deegan again and to watch him work.
Here is Randy & Deegan walking the last block to the restaurant
Here is Randy, Deegan and myself & Randall.
There are more photos here.
There were a lot of us at the party. Puppy raisers & friends & family of Randy. We all had a good time.
March 20, 2010
Did we have fun last night. All us dogs got to give training lessons to our humans. It's amazing they rule the planet cuz they just don't seem to speak dog!! We had to pretent to not know what we were doing so they had to try harder to pretend they were training us...silly humans. We stayed in a "down stay" for way too long (I thought) while the little ones did their thing.
Then we had to stay still while the little pups played. Tough!!
March 17, 2010
March 16, 2010
Upon arriving home, he pottied on leash and we left for a walk through the park to work some more. On the way we practiced SIT-DOWN-SIT and half way there we tried a STAND-STAY as we continued walking, which he completed successfully.
At the park, the first challenge were the robins hunting for worms, followed by calm greetings with some park dogs. Rolling soccer balls provided another opportunity to LEAVE IT - this needs work. The final test at the park was a SIT-STAY, where I dropped the leash and walked ahead, while a little dog walked past - no problem.
All of his good work earned him a reward. We stopped at the football field and practiced recalls from fifty yards away. We are working on getting him to slow down as he approaches for a SIT, instead of running past us. He loves to run and would have run all evening; we stopped after eight.
Next up was dinner for humans and canine. However, as we walked by the high school I saw/heard a leaf blower. Never one to pass up an opportunity, we changed our route, backtracking, to go by the leaf blower. I think that Banjo had issues as a puppy with lawn mowers, but he handled the leaf blower without issue.
Wilbur and I took a trip today to see Casey and Jacob! We went to a real wierd place with the funiest looking dogs I ever saw. We saw a big striped dog with big long claws. Then later we saw these big dogs that smelled funny and had bumps on their backs!
Then we saw a dog that was so big I don't see how it was able to even walk. We backed up a little when it walked toward us and stared. Casey and I wanted to talk to it a little, but everytime we thought about it, our collars got real tight so we kept our mouths shut. We all decided if we looked away and we couldn't see it, then it couldn't see us.
Later on when we were walking I saw lots of little dogs. They weren't too scary so I didn't have to talk to them. I could look right at them and just relax.
Then came the worst part. No, not the bear dogs, even though they smelled really bad - doesn't their Mom ever give them a bath??? It was when we got past the polar dogs and everybody said ---Oh, wouldn't they make cute polar bears??? NOT!!! No way was I going to....oops, oh no...argh
I LOOK DUMB!!!
Oh wait, Casey has to do it too?? Well alright! Smile you lucky bear :-)
Yuck Yuck Yuck,
March 14, 2010
Playtime is used to burn off some physical energy, but also to test him mentally. We periodically place him in a down stay while the other dogs, the greatest distraction, are running past him and over him.
Out of the six opportunities he only broke once after five minutes. We also checked his recall as we called him from across the room and he worked his way through the crowd to get to us as fast as possible.
In the afternoon we took a walk to the drug store. As we humans age, corrective lenses are sometimes needed for reading. Banjo stayed in a DOWN STAY while I tried the different strength and frames.
A guide dog needs to be able to see well, so our puppies had their eyes checked last week. Banjo's eyes checked out fine, no glasses for him.
Banjo had not been to a hockey game since October. It was a lot easier to get him under the seat when he was twenty pounds. It was cramped in our seats, so during intermissions he stretched out.
He was initially startled by the horn, but after a few positive experiences, treats, he enjoyed the Badger goals. As the seventh goal was scored, he looked up for his reward.
I layed quiet threw out the play. During the intermission's we went out in the hall, every one stopped to pet me and say how cute I was.
March 10, 2010
Sunday Wilbur and I got to watch a movie being made. Some UW film students are making a short movie about OccuPaws and the Children's Visual Companion Dog program. Sophia and my pal Timber are regular movie stars now. They took movies of them in the house and outside, walking and playing and stuff.
Anyhow, we finally had to rest. There are more pictures of the movie production here.
March 8, 2010
Oh, and Banjo learned a very valuable lesson, if you stay in the room where the little girls are playing long enough, you have to play dress-up too, like it or not.
Oh the humiliation!!!
That was Sunday, but Saturday was a much better day for Banjo. We went to puppy playtime at Dog Den and met Occupaws' baby Logan who brought his family Brenda and her 2 girls. Logan played like crazy with the little puppies and Banjo played with the big dogs. I assume Logan went home as tired as Banjo did.
We stopped at Mounds to spend a gift certificate, and Banjo picked out some toys. Then we went to Farm and Fleet to get him a new collar and found some dog toys half price just because they were Christmas-themed. As you can see, Banjo did not really care if they were green and red!
Tried to get a pic of him with all the toys around him, but he couldn't resist touching at least one all the time. After the photo op, of course, he only gets one at a time.
March 6, 2010
I had fun today!! I got to meet up with Maddi and Casey at the home show today in front of the Bruce Company display. Harley and I love Bruce Company trees best.
The Cinderella musical was at the high school in Beloit, and Cinder said she just had to go. (Or was it because our son plays in the pit orchestra?) Anyway, it was a fun evening.
Cinder borrowed a crown from one of the girls to pose for this picture. She stayed very quiet and calm through the whole play, even when the town crier ran through the audience to announce the ball, and the confetti shot out on the stage at the end.
March 5, 2010
I've been really busy with school this semester. I've had tons of classes, and am busy fulfilling my library duties. I've got friends all across campus and they keep tabs on me to make sure I'm doing my job. It's tough holding down the floor during all of these classes. So tough, in fact, that I sometimes have to nap.
I also just got this online profile so I can participate in an engineering professional development class that my person is helping out with. Pretty slick, if I do say so myself. I saw Louie on the job yesterday. He came by to say hi and I had to show him how to behave in public. Silly guy's just a pup, but he's learning.
Well, it's Friday night and I'm wiped. I was kept out past my bedtime with class last night and then had work this morning bright and early. Gotta stay rested to keep up my studies.
March 3, 2010
Picture of Magic, before Canine Influenza & all the nasties hit, playing with a friend's mini poodle. They look like they're sleeping together, but it's really 2 pups having a good ole' time.
Magic earned his Puppy Socialization certificate at Badger Kennel Club last Saturday, even though he was only able to attend 2 of the classes. He had private lessons at home. :)
In the last week, Magic also learned how to go in and out the doggie doors into the kennel to do his business. He still does very well going on leash, but it is helpful that he can also let himself out sometimes. The first time, he ran downstairs & I ran after him because it usually meant he wanted to go out, using a door in my daycare room. But when I got down there, he was out in the kennel taking care of business. I was so proud!!
In late January, Magic was with me at the Middleton Fire Department while I was doing my CPR refresher. He laid patiently by me for the whole hour or two while I worked & listened.
Magic has tried riding on the floor in front of me a few times. He's a very quiet rider in the car, but doesn't enjoy jumping up into the van. We need to work on that part.
We can't wait to see everyone tomorrow evening. Lynda
Banjo had to go to court Tuesday...well, OK, actually I (Lisa) had to go to court, and actually it was Oregon Municipal Court. Nothing renegade, just a parking ticket that we didn't agree with. Turns out, having a dog staring at the prosecutor creates just the right amount of guilt-induced leniency because he dismissed the ticket completely and Banjo saved us $25. Good Boy! Reminds me of a story from my Dad from years ago when our family of 7 were all kids and piled in the back of our new Ford Fairlane for a Sunday drive, when the mood was spoiled by Dad being pulled over for speeding. Since the officer probably could not hear over the chatter of 7 small kids, he took Dad back to the cruiser to talk, which made some of the kids worry Dad was being hauled off to the pokey, and we started to cry. Dad said he and "John Law" looked up to see a bunch of tiny frightened, crying faces looking out the back window, and Dad came back to the car with just a warning. I think we went to the ice cream shop after that! :) Banjo and I did not even have to go into the courtroom--one of those "plea bargains" you hear about that made the courtroom visit unnecessary. Had enough time on our hands after that so decided to get a picture of our lucky charm sitting outside the courtroom!
Also, the city of Oregon, WI, is raising funds to start a K-9 unit, and here is some information, though this event advertised here is past, it does list ways to donate: http://www.vil.oregon.wi.us/PoliceK9Fund.html
~Lisa and Banjo
Wilbur and I are getting pretty good at giving presentations. Actually all we have to do is be quiet and look cute while all the humans blah blah blah and watch some pictures of us. We were at the Lions meeting in Oregon along with Dale and Banjo on Monday Night. Then Tuesday we went to a lunch (you know who got to eat and who didn't!!!) at the East Madison Rotary for more blah blah blah.
Then today, we went to the Pancake House and they gave the humans 2 big doggie beds and some human food certificates for Poker for Paws and Puppies on Parmenter. The Ferret Rescue (whatever the heck ferrets are) gave the two doggie beds. Now that I hope my humans win!!!
All for now,
PS: to see more pictures click here.
March 2, 2010
Arriving at the Arndt homestead, Cinder had to check out every nook and cranny of this new place and tried to get Jeff's dad to throw a toy for her. He remembered our rules for Cinder play time, and Cinder had to go pout behind the couch.
Aww, life is hard!
Then she got to spend some time at Grandma's Arndt assisted living center where everyone is always happy to see whatever 4-legged friend we have accompanying us for our visits. Cinder was excellent with her greeting of Grandma and the other gentle souls who live there.
The entertainment for the afternoon was a husband and wife singing duo complete with bass guitar and keyboard. Though the humans spent the time tapping their toes and singing along, Cinder quietly fell sound asleep at Lisa's feet. Hopefully the singers did not take that as a sign of their talent. They were actually very entertaining.
March 1, 2010
I got to go to school today, and it wasn't puppy school! I visited Kromery Middle School in Middleton when my mommy gave a talk to Mrs. Festge's 7th grade class about the importance of reading. Awww...I think the kids were more interested in petting me after the class.
And most of them have a dog at home, so I think they're all going to come to our Dog Jog, Puppies on Parmenter, in May. So I'll get more petting when I see all these great kids again!
You know, Harley and I have been playing so much we keep forgetting to write our blogs! So here is our week in review! First Harley got to go to visit a school in Watertown and see Divit and Geyser and lots of kids.
Then all of us got to go to Ability Days in Janesville and see lots of kids from Kindergarten to second grade. Was I tired!
Then on the way over to Nikki's to make a movie, we saw 4 buses with my picture on them!!! Here is one of them.
Then we got to Nikki's and was it BORING!!!! Some students were making a movie about OccuPaws so Mom and Dad and Nikki kept looking into lights and blah blah blah - so much human talk I fell asleep!
Casey here ~ after a busy Saturday morning promoting OccuPaws at the Boston Store, my mommy and Amy took Promise and me to Animart for a BATH. Yup, me in the tub and Promise in the shower! My mommy was up to her elbows in soap and trying to hold me still while rinsing the soap off, so she didn't get to snap a picture. We smelled sooo good afterwards ~ back to our loveable, huggable puppy selves!
So today Promise and I got to go to the UW Women's basketball game at the Kohl Center.
We had to crawl under the seats, be quiet, and not pick up food off the floor. And then who did we see there but little wiggle-pup Louie (with Maj and Hugh). The three of us attracted quite a bit of attention, you bet! But we were too quiet ~ we shoulda done some barking during the game so the women could've won.
Last week we had a big OccuPaws training class at East Towne Mall, and I think 13 of us puppies were there.
We were all very quiet and well behaved, I think. Except for those little pups just starting their training....
'Til next time,
Casey (and Marlette)