Saturday, December 04, 2010

Puppies Puppies Everywhere

Grace didn't settle in as nicely into our household as Chloe did. I think it's partly because Grace is always with the same foster parent every weekend, and Chloe moves around. J tries to get the dogs to move around in order to get them used to being in new environments and to get them as many experiences as possible, but Grace seems to have landed herself a permanent foster mom. She did not sleep well and therefore, neither did I. I'm hoping tonight will be a bit better as she is used to us now and realizes I am not letting her out of her kennel at night just because she fusses. Other than that, she is a very sweet girl. She is another small, yellow lab female.
To keep her occupied today, my friend and I took all of my dogs and her Bull Mastiff for a nice leisurely walk through a city park. The sun was shining and there were ducks everywhere. The dogs did great. I worked Glacier and his guiding was outstanding. He didn't pull me once towards the squawking, splashing, flapping ducks. There were a lot of people walking along and kids playing noisily too and he ignored them. Even his dog distraction work was good. Sometimes, if there was a dog coming towards us, I would stop and put Grace in a "sit stay" to do some basic obedience with her. Glacier was expected to stand alert at my side and not stray over to the passer by. He passed these little tests with flying colours. Grace did very well too. She has an "alert barking" issue, and I am proud to say, that she didn't get one bark off when other people or dogs approached us. She thought about it once and started huffing, but I asked her to sit instead and then do "touch" and she stopped immediately; too intent on the new task set in front of her. She did wear her gentle leader, as I am more comfortable working with Glacier and walking another dog that way. It just gives me more control and is a safety net just in case either dog, or both for that matter, decide to take off running. Grace may be small, but she could definitely take me for a ride if she got it into her head to chase something.
Another set of dogs I was proud of were Aria and Balloo. At first, I wasn't sure they would be able to make the distance and speed we were walking. They are still puppies and very small as they are miniatures. We started off with Aria walking and Balloo in his carrying bag slung over my shoulder. Aria was doing fantastic and wasn't showing any signs of slowing down, so we left Balloo in the bag. The swinging of the bag on my shoulder must have been a bit too much for him and he ended up throwing up. lol I made my poor puppy motion sick. After that, it was game over-he was expected to walk like a big boy since he puked in the bag and I didn't want him sitting in it. He accepted his challenge like a champ. He was always pulling out front and running to try to keep up to me. My friend was walking the two little ones and her Dog, Isis, and all three seemed to keep a better forward momentum if I was in front with Glacier and Grace. Needless to say, after a mile walk, my little guys were worn out. Isis was sleepy too as she is only seven months old and a bit of a couch potato. I think Glacier and Grace could have kept going, and I could have as well, but we called it a day and headed back to my friend's house to decorate her tree.
The dogs were all really good while we decorated. We blocked them in the living room with us and they just milled around, watching us put the decorations on. Aria spotted a low hanging silver ball and stood on her back paws and began whacking it with her front paws. The ornaments are plastic, so we weren't too worried. She finally managed to knock the ball free and chased it around the living room. There was a little silver trail everywhere she went from the sparkles flying off of the ball. I managed to get all of the dogs, one at a time, in front of or beside the tree and take a few cell phone shots. I could tell the dogs were getting tired and hungry, so we headed home. Now that they have eaten supper and been out, they are all passed out, snoring away. :) I think that was a day well spent.

PS: I saw Kyo yesterday when I picked Grace up. He was so happy to see me, but he did not bark or jump up. I am so proud of him. He had just been to the vet for an eye exam and Miss A said he did great. She just sat on the floor with him and the vet dialated his eyes and checked them. Kyo didn't budge. He's always been good about that kind of thing. I also noticed that he was wearing PAALS tags and he was wearing his very own seatbelt! All of the PAALS dogs have to wear seatbelts in the car and up until this point, I had not seen Kyo wear one. So, now that he has passed the eye exam, I guess everything is good to move ahead. Miss A said that the volunteer trainer that is training him right now, had a salad spinner out and Kyo was very worked up about this apparatus until she put it on the floor and he was able to check it out. It's funny to think of the things the dogs have never encountered and may encounter some day. I was so happy to see him and to know that he is doing great. He is very loved by the PAALS family-volunteers and trainers alike. Yay Moose.

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