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this week in review

by Kyler Laird last modified 2009-02-27 03:59

New dogs are doing especially well.

date: 2009-02-21 (3524 days ago)

dogs: Anna, Buddy, GP, Marley, Misty/Maddie Bea, Sarge/Bob/Calder, T-bone/Tiburon/Tibby

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Sunday afternoon we had another pulling class. This time it was "fast wheeled vehicles" and we tried the trike scooters, recumbent trike and bicycle. I used Bob to demonstrate and also coax some other dogs around the course. There were many great photo moments but I had my hands full managing the dogs. I love watching dogs enjoy work.

Marty continues to surprise us. On Monday he started nosing me while out to play. The photos just can't express how delighted I was to have him interested in playing with me and willing to get so close. He still backs away if I make a movement toward him but the progress is promising. Marty also continues to be perfect with the other dogs. We were told that his behavior problems occurred as a result of being attacked by two large dogs but he always seems completely comfortable being in the midst of several dogs who are much larger than he is. I'm training Marty to return to his run to be fed at night. I don't always hand feed him anymore.

Wednesday Buddy and Anna had surgery. I enjoyed hanging out with them as we waited for the doctor to finish with other dogs. We collected blood for Anna on Tuesday so we wouldn't be rushed. She was such a sweetheart and was similarly tolerant as she got her initial injection before the surgery. When it was Anna's turn we dragged her on a blanket into the operating room and hoisted her onto the table. She barely fit so I pulled the table away from the wall a bit. I waited with Buddy during Anna's surgery and then tended Anna as she regained consciousness as Buddy lost it. Unfortunately I had to leave before Buddy was done but he was doing great when I retrieved him that afternoon. Anna, however, slept the rest of the day and was still soundly asleep when I came at night so I didn't disturb her.

While Marty had surgery Kitty and I took Morgan, Bob and Jarreau to meet Waynetta, Maddie Bea and a Purdue student at Mentoyne Elementary. The dogs all did well.  Bob was a handful but the student handled him well and he eventually calmed a bit. As we left the classroom we normally visit we got a request to visit another room. I love impromptu visits like this! We briefly introduced the dogs and the kids petted the dogs, told stories and asked questions. The kids seemed to especially enjoy when I asked Morgan to get on a table to catch treats. As we left a little girl even gave us a picture she had drawn of Bob. This school is well worth the long drive.

Thursday morning we headed to Carroll Elementary in Flora to meet Billie and Batman for Caring Paws presentations. Buddy, Bob, Morgan, Marley and Jarreau rode with us but we only used Morgan and Marley. After the presentation to the first graders they were doing so well that we just took them straight to the fifth grade presentation instead of swapping them. Morgan wore a sledding harness and pulled a small sled with some of our gear. He performed a couple of his tricks and was otherwise easy to manage except when we entered the fifth grade presentation; a police officer and his GSD were on their way out and Morgan was desperate for an introduction.

In the evening we had CGC class. Our two Purdue students continue to face the challenge of working with T-bone and I enjoy watching everyone's progress. Marty has been so good that I decided to work with him and he was amazing! "Sit" came quickly, "down" came without much work, and he seemed comfortable in a stay. The quality of his recalls was astounding. This dog has gone from growling and snapping at me, to darting away from me, to running into my arms when I call him in about a week. What fun! He also did well at other CGC test items like "neutral dog" and "supervised separation" so I expect him to do well in the test next month.

On Friday I took Buddy with me to Klondike Canine Academy for a session of making tug lines for the dogs in our mushing class. I tether him to my boot to keep him from jumping and he's improving daily. He is a perfect little dog; it's hard to imagine a better dog at any age but his youth (nine months) makes him especially impressive. When Buddy is not tethered to me or GP he's often off-lead, staying close to me at the clinic. He handles himself beautifully with the big dogs in the kennel and at home. His downstay at mealtimes continues to improve with little effort on my part.

After making lines I took GP and Buddy home. It's stressful to have GP in the house but the big dogs mostly give him space. After dinner I took Buddy and GP to church for the youth sleepover. I kept them close but they were both wonderful. During a movie, Buddy nuzzled with the kids on the couch while GP played the role of "big white beanbag chair," getting lots of attention on the floor. Our shift ended at 11:30 but I really didn't want to disturb the kennel dogs by returning GP so I took him home. He required management and I left him in the bathroom when I went to sleep but he woke me in the middle of the night and after everyone went outside GP remained with us. He had a minor scuffle with Morgan later that morning but they're both doing better and are more flash than bang these days.

Saturday I took GP and Buddy to Petite Pals. GP stayed tethered to me but was visited by all of the other dogs and had no problems. After class we released the kennel dogs.


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