Wednesday, November 03, 2010

And There Were Three

Today has been a very quiet day around this house. Well, as quiet as it get siwth two labs and one miniature long haired dauxhund (sorry dont' know how to spell that lol). Now, you would think that meant that it wasn't very quiet, but it was quieter than normal because we are minus one 80 pound lab great dane cross. Kyo went to PAALS yesterday.
I dropped him off yesterday morning at 9 and stayed until about 5:30. It was my day to volunteer, which made it very convenient for me to bring Kyo with me and stay for his first day. He seemed to settle in very nicely J was very patient with him.
From our arrival up until about lunch time, we hung out in the kitchen, gated off from the rest of the house. Glacier layed on a dog bed in his harness while I folded and packed poop bags into ziplock bags for the PAALS clients. Kyo was given free range of the kitchen. He spent some time sniffing around and listening to the other dogs who were out in the gigantic kennel area. He chewed on a few bones and tried some counter surfing, which I warned them about, but other than that he was pretty well behaved. He did chase the household cat once, but J said it would be something they would work on and that if the cat swatted him, he'd learn not to do it anymore. I agree. :)
Two dogs of the dogs-Chloe and Sparks-went out on an outing to the grocery to get peanutbutter so we could make treats and I got to "dress Chloe. It's kind of cute. You say, "Let's get dressed" and she sits in front of you and waits for you to put her working collar, coat and seatbelt on.
After J returned with the peanutbutter, we started smearing it into kongs, PCV pipes and other dog toys to be frozen. At that point, she gated Kyo off in another little area and let each PAALS dog in training in one at a time to meet him. He did very well. He tried to mount one their dogs named Grace, but J said it was because she oozes alpha dog. Funny thing is that Grace is the smallest dog they have. Sparks wasn't quite sure she liked him, but after a few minutes they settled down and she didn't seem to mind.
After all introductions were done-that took about an hour-we moved inot the living roomand Kyo was placed in a crate to have some calm down time. We got each dog out individually and groomed him/her. We brushed teeth, combed coats, wiped paws/faces/eyes with wipes and cleaned out ears. Kyo made a bit of a racket for the first fifteen minutes or so, but eventually settled down. J brought him back into her office with her and practised "down stay" while we continued grooming.
After grooming we moved upstairs to the "training room" while Kyo was put back in his crate with a peanutbutter Kong. I watched some of the training they do and was so impressed. Grace and Spirit went through their practice training opening dryers, retriving fallen items, presing emergency 911 buttons on the phone and a bunch of other things. A few other dogs went through basic obedience practice and Kyo got to go out and play with Akira.
After training, Kyo got to come upstairs and I showed J and her intern C what he knows. She was very excited, but he kept trying to put his paws on the counter and climb up the shelving unit. She laughed and said that if they get that behavior under control, it would actually be helpful. She also trained him to open a dryer in about two minutes. It was sort of by chance, but he did it over and over and was having fun.
There is a piece of material hanging from the dryer door. It is so that the dogs can pull it open. He was investigating it and she asked me if he had a "tug" command. I said he sort of knew "pull" so she told him to "pull." At first, he wasn't sure if he should, but with some encouragement from J, he pulled the door open. It was incredible. She got him to repeat the behavior a few more times and he did it without treat rewards. I was very impressed.
After that session which also consisted of J massaging him and cuddling with him on the floor to get him more comfortable with her, we headed downstairs and J, C and J's husband took all eight dogs out to the back to play off leash in a giant fenced area. They all ran for about fifteen minutes and when they got back, J said he did very well.
I was waiting for my ride by this point and all of the dogs were being shephereded back in for supper. I was a little worried about leaving with Kyo watching, but another volunteer showed up to walk dogs. So, J sent Kyo out for a walk. The volunteer sounded a bit nervous because he was so big. In fact, when J told her that I had donated a new dog, she thought it was Glacier. I told her she couldn't have that one. lol She agreed to take Kyo and his gentle leader was put on and off they went. He never knew I left.
He was supposed to spend the rest of the evening with J's husband while she went out to do a presentation. J's husband plays the guitar and practises every night, so Kyo was going to go hang out with him in the guitar room.
I feel so much better about Kyo being with them now. He is going to get the exercise and attention he needs. I wish him all the luck and will post updates whenever I get them.


L^2 said...

How cool that you got to be there for his first day! Sounds like it was a good one. Best of luck to Kyo with his training!

Jess and Glacier said...

Thanks. It was really neat to see what he will be doing. I'll be back in on Thursday and see how he is doing. :)

Brooke & Cessna said...

Very cool to hear what he'll be learning, maybe I'll teach Canyon some of those skills lol! It's really fun to have a dog who's young and wanting to learn all he can - baby steps though of course :)