Hawk's Schedule

8/4 Lake Mills
8/12 CCSDA Training

July 28, 2013

Bus Tour

The afternoon began with a farm visit.  The evening training class involved a bus ride.  We met up with Buck and took the free Madison Metro bus to the Memorial Union.  Well, that was the plan, but due to construction we were dropped off a few blocks away and walked through campus - practice walking nicely on a loose leash. 

Once at the Union, Hobey was presented with a crowd atmosphere. In addition to the people, he faced many animal and food distractions.  After greeting a few folks, we made our way to State Street and then back to the bus stop, which was the biggest challenge for the puppy - remaining in one spot with activity passing by.  At this age it is too much to expect a puppy to remain stationary.

Hobey has not seen our neighbor, who he regularly visits, for a couple weeks.  He suffered a broken femur and is rehabbing in Evansville Manor.  So we decided that a visit would be nice and it would provide good exposure to a new environment.  After his initial excitement, Hobey settled down and was not alarmed by any of the new sights/sounds.

We continued Hobey's socialization at the weekly play group.  In preparation, we all went for a walk before to burn some energy. Again we started out with the older dogs where he met up with his old friend Parker.  At "halftime" we took a potty break and moved over to the younger dogs.  No issues this week and one milestone.  Hobey lost his first tooth.  We only noticed it after seeing the blood on the head of his playmate.

Hobey was exhausted and rested while we drove North for a birthday party.  After meeting hundreds of dogs, we met one that Hobey did not get along with:  Deja, a St Bernard puppy.  She is one week younger than Hobey.  He resisted her advances, but eventually could not tolerate them and offered an overzealous correction.  Not the time or place, I decided to avoid the situation and Hobey spent most of the day crated, which was good training, too.

At times we have noticed a strong friendship between Hobey and Monte, which is good.  However, like most things there is a balance.  Sometimes he seems to dependent on Monte, so I walked them separately today.  This was needed because Hobey was constantly looking for his pal as we left on our walk.  After ten minutes, he figured out that he was alone and enjoyed our time.  He met up with a couple dogs and had friendly encounters.  This was a relief after the incident yesterday.

Hobey is doing well with the WAIT command that we started to introduce the OUT command.  Eventually he will learn to get out and stay out of the kitchen.

July 22, 2013

Chicago Part Two

Hobey's weekend began with his usual Saturday activity.  It started with outdoor play time with a few of his canine friends at The Dog Den.  After an hour, we moved inside for his last Puppy Socialization Class; he successfully graduated.  Then we "raced" home to finish packing for race weekend at Chicagoland.

Already tired, he slept through the three hour car ride to Joliet.  He was awakened briefly as we stopped at our hotel to drop off luggage.  As we walked to our room, he displayed a potential issue.  Walking past a couple rooms, he would start barking.  Not sure if his superior hearing noticed something that we did not.  Fortunately this behavior was not repeated throughout the rest of our visit.

At the race track, there was not much on track activity, but we did manage to test out his new Mutt Muffs.  They appeared to work.  We observed a practice session from the front row and his slumber wasn't disturbed by the noise.  The primary activity was a trackside party where Hobey was able to meet fellow spectators.  Our planning could have been improved with some puppy boots to protect Hobey's paws from the hot blacktop.  He didn't seem to mind, but it would have offered another level of protection.

Sunday, race day, was another long, hot day.  First, Hobey bordered a bus which took us to the infield.  We toured the pit area and visited victory lane.  While there qualifying began with cars loudly traveling around the track at 174 mph , we brought out the Mutt Muffs and used them as we walked around.

Hobey added to his meet/greet totals as we walked around the sponsor areas gathering as many freebies as we could before the race.  He met a few of the horses that were being used by security staff; he barked upon initially seeing them.

Although warm, the race presented an opportunity for our puppy to catch up on his nap time.  With 43 cars racing around the track, the sound is louder, so we actually put ear plugs in his ears before positioning the Mutt Muffs.

July 18, 2013


Hobey did not enjoy being outside when the temperatures were in the 80s.  He became a great search dog, looking for shady spots.  Being chocolate our Labrador melts in the heat.  So the last four days under a Heat Advisory with the heat index near 100 degrees have been intolerable.  Outside time and outings have been scaled back.

Although we have not modified our plans, Hobey has not accompanied us.  This kept him in the cool house and provided daily crate time.  During the day, trips outside have been quick.  "Go Potty", then back in the house, which has helped solidify the command.  Our walks to the park occur in the morning (5am) or late (11pm) and our two canines come home exhausted with tongues hanging out.  Hobey usually ends up lying on/near a register with cool air.

With not much else to do, we ramped up our work on the WAIT command.  Hobey is eager to please and seems to have caught on quickly.  He waits to be released before going outside and before attacking his food bowl.

July 14, 2013

Learning WAIT

Friday:  After two late nights, the humans in the house needed a rest day.  We all enjoyed a lazy day.

Saturday:  Our day began with a walk to the park.  This was in preparation for puppy play group.  Although most people view this as exercise time, I have found that Hobey, and others, enjoy better interactions with less energy.  He also played with the teenagers prior to moving over to the younger/smaller group.

After a week off, our training class resumed. We started with puppy push-ups and then worked on walking nicely, on and off leash.  The last test was a blind recall; we hid behind a wall and asked Hobey to COME.  After brief confusion he determined where our voices were coming from and quickly found our hideout.  At home we are beginning to work on WAIT/STAY.

Sunday:  Today was a fun day.  We took the dogs up North to a secluded/secure location and met some canine friends.  The dogs wrestled each other, waded in the pool, chased balls, dug in the dirt, and followed us as we picked blueberries.  They was non-stop activity for four hours.

At home, the dogs needed a quick bath and then enjoyed some additional water playtime.  As you can see in the photo, Monte has joined us in teaching Hobey to WAIT.

July 11, 2013


Another long day for Hobey followed by another late dinner.  He attended the annual Lights and Sirens event in Watertown.  It is a great outing to greet people, add fifty to his total, and get exposure to the sirens of emergency vehicles in a controlled environment.  We approached from a distance which uncreased the volume while we looked for any signs of discomfort or uneasiness. Eventually the sirens just became background noise and we hardly noticed it.

Hobey did spend some time in police custody.  Lisa spoke with the officer who explained that he was under arrest for excessive cuteness.  Guilty as charged, but sentenced to time served then released.

After the event we all, including Hobey, went to a restaurant for dinner.  We brought along two cups of kibble; he appreciated not having to wait until we returned home.

July 10, 2013

Second City Concert

Hobey's visit to Chicago began with a ride on the "L".  Initially he readied himself to disembark every time the train stopped.  By the tenth stop, he had figured out that we were not going anyplace and he settled down for a short rest.  Arriving at our destination, he bounded up the three flights of stairs which took us to the surface in the Windy City.

The half mile walk to Grant Park provided multiple opportunities to master the sidewalk grates, some of which Lisa even avoided.  Our fearless puppy handled all the obstacles getting to the park like a champ.  He amazes us each and every day with his confidence.

After selecting our location, our true test began - keeping our charge cool and hydrated.  This was our biggest concern when preparing for the day's outing.  So we had packed three large water bottles and his favorite bowl.  One thing that we should have packed was an umbrella to shield him from the sun.  We used the backpacks and our bodies to create shade.

After the concert, the crowd's exit was slow  and we decided to wait until the hoard was reduced to minimize the risk of getting Hobey stepped on.   Many others took the same approach and this was the perfect arrangement for greeting people.  Once again Hobey met over 100 different people of many different races.  It took us an hour to exit the concert and walk the half mile back to the train because we were repeated stopped by greeter. Every time we stopped a small group would form.

Tired and educated about the train, Hobey rested the whole ride back - about 20 stops.

July 7, 2013

Dog Days of Summer

Summer has finally come to Wisconsin.  Hobey is not a big fan of the hot weather.  He is our cold seeking missile; he is always looking for cool shady ground to lie down.  Therefore I knew that our trip to the Farmers Market would be a hard day, especially after an hour of playtime.

We met his pal Lebi at the corner and walked with the crowd for half a block before we moved to the grass to find shade.  Hobey and I planned to take the shortcut around the square following the others.  Soon Lebi joined us and we ended up spending more time socializing with children and adults.   One new friend, Brian Adams, was a photographer who shared this photo.

Hobey then napped on the cool floor in the restaurant before returning home for his lunch and a longer nap in his bed.

Sunday was another warm day.  In the afternoon, we took Hobey to Sun Prairie for a visit with his mom, Caia and her family.  They played and romped before settling down when Caia was able to provide some much needed motherly advice/correction.  Mom was able to secure and maintain possession of the Frisbee.

July 6, 2013

Fair Day

Our annual visit to the Stoughton Fair.  It's a chance to meet and greet  a lot of people as we walked the midway.  We were stopped numerous times for a petting frenzy.  Hobey is still mouthing, so kids tend to keep there distance.  We continue to work on this.

The highlight of the outing is always roaming around the barns and introducing Hobey to cows, horses, sheep, goals, pigs, ..  He handled it better than any other dog that we have taken there. 

July 5, 2013


We could hear the screaming and popping of fireworks starting at dusk. As darkness blanketed the neighborhood, we began our walk in search of the source of the noise.  Knowing that Monte is completely comfortable with the sights and sounds, we used Monte as a role model.  Walking through the smoke which worked as mosquito repellent, we knew that we were getting closer.  The booms were louder, but Hobey didn't show any reaction until a housed dog started barking at us. 

The only issue on the journey was that Hobey was stopping every few minutes to potty.  It appeared like the beginnings of a possible UTI (urinary tract infection), most likely caused by eating rabbit droppings.  Not a big deal, very common, we just needed to start a cranberry regimen, which we always have on hand for our puppies. Oops, we were out of cranberry and it was 9:50.  Walgreens closes at 10 pm, so Lisa raced to the store just before closing time, upsetting the workers. 

Cranberry was secured and everything looking good this morning.

July 2, 2013

Will Work for Food

Thankfully we have ended up with another typical Labrador.  Training is relatively easy once you determine what motivates the trainee and for Hobey we have found that anything edible works.  He will stand on his head if he knows that you are carrying (a pocket full of kibble).

We continued working on DOWN, COME, and FOLLOW.  There are times that I question whether he is listening to my commands or if his stomach fuels an auto pilot. When I call him to me, he will immediately sit down and if I am slow to supply a treat, he lies down.  Good response, we can fine tune it during the next nine months.

Yes, he turned three months old today.  In approximately nine months, he will be placed with a family that has a child with autism. All signs point to success as Hobey appears to be a quick learner; he has not gone under our bed since he got stuck.

July 1, 2013

Hand Feeding

The first of the month is flea and tick medication day.  This involves administering a poisonous substance to the dog's coat to kill and repel fleas/ticks.  Therefore, we do not plan to take Hobey anyplace and no playing or snuggling.  What can we do at home all day?  Maybe some focused training.

At training on Saturday, we were reminded that dog food bowls are for perfect dogs.  Since we do not have a perfect dog, we are hand feeding our trainee.  We worked on his two trouble areas: DOWN and COME.  He has been reluctant to lie down and rarely responded when asked to Come when out in the yard. Not surprising, Hobey caught on very quickly that I had food in my pocket and he eagerly complied with every DOWN command and he enthusiastically sprinted when I called him.