Lisa took Monte to the farm yesterday. She selected her pre-picked fresh vegetables and bagged them; Monte remained in a DOWN STAY. There was a large number of shoppers at this time and he was stationary. Until the pigs started making some noise. Surprisingly, he did not walk over to visit the pigs, but instead found Lisa amongst the hoard of shoppers.
After the easy shopping was done, it was time to go out to the U-pick garden to gather some additional cilantro, basil, and peppers. Again due to the number of people and her need to use both hands, Monte was placed in a DOWN STAY near the planted rows. This time he remained perfectly still, because he had found a diversion - something to chew on. Thinking it was a stick, Lisa asked him to drop it and he did. Not a stick, it was a half eaten jalapeno pepper. Later he picked one off a plant. He must have acquired a taste for spicy food as a puppy in Beloit :-)
We thought today was going to be a big day. Our new trainer was coming out to the house to evaluate Monte, provide feedback, and possibly make a decision as to his future. Well none of that happened. However, it was still a big day because today was Monte's first day of "guide dog" training. Deanne, our trainer, took him and left for a half hour walk around the neighborhood. for . It wasn't formal harness training, just a "test drive"; Monte hasn't had his hip and elbow x-rays.
The situation is different than in the past. Instead of leaving to stay full-time with the trainer, Monte will temporarily retain Oregon as his residence. The trainer will be traveling to the four candidates' homes to conduct their training sessions, once or twice a day. Louie, Linus, and Wilbur have also started training.