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by Kyler Laird last modified 2010-03-27 17:01

Alaskan Malamute, male

joined us: 2008-12-06 (4708 days ago)

This dog has passed the Delta Society Pet Partners evaluation and has passed the AKC Canine Good Citizen test.

2008-12-06: welcoming Bozo by Kyler Laird
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As I finalized arrangements for Fangman to finally continue his journey to IAMRA I was asked if I'd be interested in working with another dog of theirs. Bozo is a big male Mal who has been boarded for months. I was told that he's a nice guy who just needs some manners. It's just started to feel like winter here and I couldn't resist the thought of having a Mal in the stable.

Brendan and his son, Kyle, delivered Bozo to me today. The snow seemed appropriate for a new Mal but made driving difficult. I was half expecting a crazy Mal to jump from the van when they arrived but was relieved to meet Bozo. What a gorgeous guy! And he's a sweetie. Sure, he jumps a bit but it's just because he wants attention.

We all went out back and let Bozo run while we talked. Brendan has been visiting Bozo weekly and he has obviously developed a close relationship with the big guy. Bozo, however, hadn't had an opportunity to develop relationships with other dogs. That would soon change. I brought Huntley out and they immediately played like the couple of goofs they are. As we watched them I decided that he's a good guy, much better than I expected.

When we returned tonight I went for broke and brought Bozo out to meet T-bone and GP. I was more concerned about GP and handled him closely but T-bone was more growly. There were a few mildly tense moments here but that was it. GP warned Bozo when he flailed into him while playing with Huntley but that's all. I was so proud of all of them. Lilly, a friend's Great Dane, came out with the guys as she has the past few days and Bozo had little interest in her.

2008-12-07: 2008 Christmas Parade by Kyler Laird
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I considered entering the parade along with the clinic/kennel but delays pushed us beyond the deadline. Although I was disappointed I was also a little relieved. Then I got a message from a friend telling me about a parade entry open to all local rescues, organized by Patricia Wolff. I finally got in touch with her a few days ago and she was very welcoming.

I've been fretting about how to handle all of our dogs in the parade for quite awhile and it all came together today...barely. I finished modifying Grazie's old Radio Flyer last night; it has a new undercarriage and a modified steering tongue to fit a new DogWorks hitch I just received. Morgan took it for a test drive this morning and even though he hasn't pulled in ages he pulled like a pro. I spent the rest of the morning making lines for a sled, rubber sledge, and old tire. It was down to the wire when I loaded the house dogs in Kitty's vehicle and headed to the kennel.

While Kitty secured two parking places near our parade start position I let the kennel dogs out. I had almost decided not to bring Bozo but Kitty said she got some volunteers at church so I decided to load him also. The four kennel dogs (GP, T-bone, Huntley and Bozo) were a tight fit in the back of my Jeep but they got along well.

We parked and met our friends John and Sue who had offered to walk the Pyrs. They've had family Pyrs of their own and I appreciated having them available to handle GP and Dexter. My car full, however, was not easy to wrangle. I finally clipped Bozo on a tether in the car but in doing so allowed T-bone to escape. It amazed me; I've never let a dog get past me like that and this was a bad time for it to happen. Fortunately we had good help. Sue quickly got to him and almost had him in hand when a cat appeared and he was off again. Soon he ran my way. I think he was going to try to duck past me but I took no chances and dove at him for a solid tackle. He didn't seem bothered by the firm handling.

It took quite awhile to set up the wagon, sled, sledge and tire and get the dogs connected but we were blessed with fantastic help and it all just happened. Eventually we were on our way down the street. Morgan pulled the wagon with Bob and Grazie, with Rae trying to contain the riders. Huntley and T-bone, lead by Audrey, pulled the tire. Rachel walked Dobky. Sue took GP while John walked Dexter. Kitty handled Marley and Jarreau. And I hooked on to try to stabilize T-bone while guiding Bozo, who was connected to the rubber sledge which was in turn pulling a plastic sled holding a bunch of gear I brought. It was a rough start but we were starting to get the hang of it by the time we reached the starting position a couple blocks later.

The group had a truck pulling a flatbed trailer with bales of straw. Kitty quickly decided to ride along with Jarreau and Marley. Bob wasn't staying in the wagon so he went on the trailer too. Dobky went back and forth, giving Rachel a workout. Allison met us with Keowee and also handled T-bone, leaving me to guide Morgan and Bozo.

Although we arrived after the 2:00 start time we still waited another thirty minutes to move. It's good we didn't show up "on time!" Morgan was raring to pull the entire time and it was good to move. As we moved, the fire engines came in behind us. Yeow! They were very loud. Of our group, only Jarreau was bothered by it but Kitty remained in control of him. The organizers graciously switched us with a couple cabs so that we had a few yards of buffer and that made it much less painful.

Along the route everything went well. The dogs quickly settled into their roles. I was delighted to see Sue and GP working the crowd. From Sue's description, he's a natural, basking in the attention from the children. Huntley was also working the crowd but he looked a lot more awkward doing it. He certainly is enthusiastic! Bozo had quite a load to pull so he didn't cause me much of a problem and he seemed at home in the busy environment. Morgan, of course, pulled like he'd been doing it every day, weaving back and forth across the street as we waited for the slower moving traffic, with Grazie waiting patiently in the wagon.

At the end of the parade we loaded most of the dogs and gear onto the truck and trailer but I decided Bozo still had some energy so I ran back across the river to the car with him and Morgan pulling an empty wagon (except for when I rode in it a bit). They were both great on the return trip. It was a beautiful way to end a beautiful afternoon, full of wonderful weather, dogs, and people.

2008-12-15: Carroll Elementary visit by Kyler Laird

We've gone to Carroll Elementary School annually for a few years. This year there was only one other person who could go and I couldn't decide who I wanted so I took all the Pet Partner boys from the house: Morgan, Jarreau, Marley, and Bob. It was cold and icy but we got there in time for Jarreau and Marley to relax a bit while we waited in the library for the sixth grade classes. The boys were spirited and entertaining. It was a good group and I enjoyed getting to share the dogs with them Kitty graciously swapped in Morgan and then Bob. That added even more energy to the crowd but everyone handled it well.

Back home, the other boys, Dexter and Dobky, are doing well. Dexter is wonderful; he's easy to manage, he heads right into his crate whenever I need him there, he wants so much to learn, he looks deep into my eyes for silent conversations, and he comfortably curls up on the couch with Kitty and on the bed against me. Dobky is a bit more of a challenge; he still hunkers down whenever I need to quickly direct him to do anything, causing me to refine my approach to gently handling him. He's worth it though; he's almost always at my side, sitting beside me and looking for my hand on his head, lying next to me on the couch (like now), or snuggling on the bed. We have CGC testing this week and I'm thinking about testing with Dobky but his attachment to me is a bit of a problem; he does a passable job with most everything except the stay and supervised separation.

Usually Kitty goes to the kennel with me at night after we eat dinner out but tonight we just snacked a bit after a big lunch so I went on my own. The kennel is nearly empty again. It was a bit eerie to have it be quiet as I walked back to my guys. But then Bozo noticed me and started bouncing off the walls and calling to me. He's in a run with a top cover on it because he jumps so high. Although he hasn't gotten the workouts he deserves and has quite a surplus of energy he is learning to control it and rarely jumps on me anymore. He's discovered that sitting gets my attention much faster.

T-bone and Huntley aren't nearly as much in my face. They play on their own and don't seem to need my attention. I'd like to get them out on their own more but it is fun to see them play. Their energy is boundless and it feels like they would play forever if I let them. Bozo is in the mix with them now and they run around attached to each other like one big ball of fur occasionally punctuated with teeth. They all do well at playing with safely playing with each other. On Saturday we even used Huntley and Bozo to help with a playgroup evaluation of a big dog we know, Murphy. Everyone did a great job.

Finally, there's my dear sweet GP. GP is usually at my side at the kennel, wanting his back scratched. His fur has returned beautifully and tonight I brushed it a bit. Although GP and Bozo have had a brief spat or two, I now feel confident with them together. GP gets bumped by the other dogs when they're playing and hardly seems bothered at all. Kennel visits are stress-free and fun.

Oh, and our friend Lily, the Great Dane, is still at the kennel. She's really getting the routine and comes right out with the guys. Although she doesn't play with them she's much more comfortable being in the yard with them running around her and I think it's good for all of them to have her there.

2008-12-19: GP the TD by Kyler Laird
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I visited the kennel this morning to check on the dogs and discuss their medical treatments. Huntley got a lepto booster and then I let them all play for a bit. I was enjoying GP so much that I decided to take him to University Place for a quick visit. It was perfect! Everyone he met adored him. We roamed the halls, visited a room in Assisted Living, and walked through the health center to play in the courtyard awhile. We were also called into the physical therapy room as we passed. GP was such a natural everywhere but it really showed as he worked the room there. It's a joy to walk with GP as he heels nicely at my side but it's awesome to be with him as he works his magic with people who appreciate his attention. I look forward to working with GP. He's a great one.

I returned GP to the kennel and went home for some work and rest before taking everyone back for playgroups. Playgroups were canceled due to cold/ice but we had a young family interested in seeing Dexter again. I quickly mixed the house dogs with the kennel dogs and even though many of them had not yet met they all behaved well together. The dogs kept me busy with cleaning when the couple arrived to meet Dexter but Kitty got to talk a bit. Dexter was quite interested in them this time and was so sweet. We're planning to take Dexter to their house tomorrow afternoon for an intro.

After playgroups I dropped everyone but Dobky at the house. Dobky and I returned to University Place to meet Amy, Tanner, and Amy's mom. Tanner is always a sweetie on visits there and he seems to be relaxing more. He especially enjoyed playing with Dobky in the courtyard.  And Dobky is his usual - calm and deliberate, often seeking attention from the residents.  Dobky is even doing better on the elevator.

Kitty and I went to dinner with Amy and her parents. On our way home we let the kennel dogs out again. They all do such a good job and continue to do well with the client dogs boarding there who come out to mingle with us.

2008-12-20: Dexter's outing by Kyler Laird

This afternoon we took Dexter to the home of a young couple who are thinking about getting a dog. He did well there, even with the new baby, but he was a bit possessive with a rawhide bone. We left him there for a couple hours while Kitty and I had lunch/dinner. Dexter took a couple walks while we were gone and was relaxed when we returned. We all sat and talked for awhile and learned that Dexter's possessiveness with the treats continued while we were gone. That's a concern; I hadn't observed it in the absence of other dogs and did not realize it extended to humans. We'll be working on that.

We pulled a couple extra dogs from the kennels to play with our usual gang. Bizou, the Poodle mix girl, is becoming much more accustomed to our big guys. I also noticed Garbonzo, a smaller young guy who belongs to friends of ours. He was so excited to get outside but he pulled up short after bursting through the door into Bozo. Bozo really squelched Garbonzo's enthusiasm. It took at least ten minutes before Garbonzo became comfortable with everyone and seemed to understand that the big guys wouldn't hurt him. Before we returned inside Garbonzo was occasionally standing up to go eye-to-eye with Bozo.

T-bone and Huntley continue to play together constantly. Bozo joined them a little less than usual because he was clipped to me to keep him from pestering Garbonzo. Bozo is doing amazingly well on lead; even when he would leap to get to Garbonzo he'd spin around to look at me and then sit for attention. I enjoy being with Bozo and watching his progress. GP continues to do a great job with everyone and stays mellow. I let him get in front of me for a moment when he first met Garbonzo and it wasn't a problem at all. He seems to be vastly more comfortable and appropriate with new dogs and I thoroughly enjoy the big cuddly guy.

2008-12-23: Sakari stays with us by Kyler Laird
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Sakari's family is out of town for the week so Sakari returned to us this morning. I started him in the side yard and let out a couple dogs at a time to greet him but it wasn't a problem at all. He knows most of the current pack and he didn't have any conflicts with the new dogs. Soon he was cuddling with Kitty on the bed in my office while I worked. He seems to be doing well. (He's curled at my side as I type this.)

After Sakari was relaxed I headed to the kennel to take care of some business. I also received a wonderful card there from Crockett's family; I was delighted to get a photo of him surrounded by his family.  I'd heard that Bozo was a bit of a problem child so I took him out for a bit when I was done. It was time for the other kennel dogs to be outside so the big guy went into the park area with me. He had a great time galloping through the acreage and wallowing in the snow/ice. I walked him a bit in the clinic when we returned and his leash manners continue to improve. He's also charming and that goes a long way when meeting new people.

The kennel will fill tomorrow and I only have three spaces so I need to bring home another dog. (Yes, that makes nine.) I have a request for Bozo to stay with a family for a few days after Christmas so I might bring him here to get him ready. I'd love to bring GP home, of course, but it would be hard to return him to the kennel after cuddling with him at home. T-bone and Huntley would probably be the easy ones to handle but they seem to do well at the kennel.

Tonight the kennel was nearly full. Freezing rain was pouring when I was there but it was still pleasant to be out with the dogs. Bozo, Huntley, and T-bone played and GP was more sedate and interested in me, like normal. We also released our friends Garbonzo, Bizou and Sophie. Garbonzo and Sophie seem to be pretty much over their initial hesitation with the big boys. They still get overwhelmed after awhile but they no longer seem to fear the guys.

Bizou made great improvement tonight. She gets so anxious when I go into her run to get her that I've just been opening the door when I first let out the other dogs. Yesterday she didn't come out at all but today she wandered out to check on Kitty (who was cleaning Bozo's run). When I came inside I saw her at the door and invited her to come outside. It took a few tries but she went all on her own! Outside she still cowers when the pack rushes by her but she recovers quickly. She's getting so much better and I enjoy watching her confidence grow.

2008-12-24: Christmas Eve by Kyler Laird
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My sister, Renel, is at the farm with a friend. They brought Dad to Lafayette to meet me and Kitty for lunch today. Renel's friend is a dog enthusiast and wanted to see our pack so after lunch I headed home and took the house dogs to the kennel to meet everyone. The dogs did well with each other despite Sakari not knowing any of the kennel dogs. Huntley and Bozo were jumpy when my family arrived so we all headed to the park area so that the dogs could spread and run. We enjoyed walking the park but then I realized that the dogs had found the burrs along the fence. They were all a mess.

After my family left Kitty and I returned the kennel dogs and washed our eight. Kitty brushed while I washed. The Northern dogs were easy but the hair of the Poodle mixes held the burrs tightly. I was hurrying because we needed to get to church at 6:30. (Kitty had a reading in the service.) We just barely made it home in time to take quick showers (I was soaked.) and get to church.

After the service we were invited to join Bastian's family. There we enjoyed wonderful people and food, chatting and singing into the night. As always, it was a delight to see Bastian with his family. He is greatly appreciated.

It was late by the time we returned to the kennel but the dogs seemed to be alright from their earlier outing. We pulled Garbonzo, Sophie and Bizou and they all did well with the big guys. After I returned everyone but T-bone and Huntley I pulled Keowee, returned him, then pulled Mackey.  They are making remarkable improvement and both dogs initiated play with T-bone.  I felt like I spent all of my time cleaning and managing dogs and didn't get to play with them as much as usual. I'm looking forward to returning with more time to spare.

2008-12-25: Christmas by Kyler Laird

Kitty and I spent most of the morning and a good chunk of the afternoon in bed, covered with dogs. It's easy for me to justify lying still when I'm bolstered by dogs all around me so I think I caught a couple naps. It was a good way to spend Christmas.

I dropped Kitty at her parents' house as I headed to the kennel before dinner. The staff was taking out the regular boarders. I took Bozo, Huntley and T-bone to the bathing room for brushing. Bozo was quite a handful, bucking and spinning but never biting. I tethered him to the tie point in the bath and made quick progress. As I brushed he jumped on the bath, giving me easy access to his underside. He was still jumpy and after awhile he jumped all the way into the bath. I wasn't planning to bathe the dogs but since he was there I decided to go for it. He bucked like crazy while I washed his head but then he settled and was great. I got so wet in the process that I decided to go ahead and wash Huntley. He was a true water dog and seemed to enjoy the bath and the attention.

After Christmas with Kitty's family Kitty and I went to the kennel. While Kitty handled the heavy lifting inside I got to play with the dogs outside. Garbanzo, Sophie and Bizou joined us as usual. The girls were great! They played with each other and with T-bone. Bizou was the surprise of the evening though; she played with me! I was amazed at her transformation and enjoyed her immensely. Keowee and Mackey came out separately toward the end and both played with Sophie. GP was out but neither of them raised his ire. I think GP is vastly more mellow than when he arrived but the Husky boys are doing much better too.

2008-12-30: Bozo tries a home. by Kyler Laird
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A wonderful volunteer has been asking to host Bozo ever since her dog, Tanner, played with him. She's still on vacation this week and her Christmas guests have departed so yesterday I went to her house and installed a temporary fence.

Last night we tended the kennel dogs as usual. Bizou and Eli joined our guys. Bizou continues to blossom. She usually sticks close to me and it's fun to watch her as we stand in the middle of "the racetrack" as my guys run a figure-8 through the kennel yard. She's always shied away from their thunderous galloping but now she's showing interest, leaning forward and watching intently, following them as they pass. A couple of times she even ran after them! It's remarkable how different she feels. Instead of being resistant and withdrawn, I can easily guide, move, and lift her pliant body. I enjoy Bizou.

Eli has only come out with our pack a few times but he's already become playful. His kennel card says he's to play with dogs "30-40 lbs." and all of our guys are at least twice that size but he's getting the hang of it. He has gone from sticking close to the door and cowering at their approach to running after them and inviting play. Last night he was especially enjoying T-bone, playing with him most of the time he was outside.

Normally T-bone and Huntley play all the time but with Eli getting T-bone's attention Huntley was more available to me and Bozo. I don't feel like I've gotten to spend much time with Huntley so I appreciated being face to face with him - except when he jumped into my face and we met tooth-to-tooth. (Fortunately I had my Invisaligns on!) I lightly corrected him and he seemed to immediately understand that jumping wasn't appropriate. After that he would come look at me but stay seated. Although it's taken much more work, Bozo is generally doing the same. He had a great "sit for attention" when he arrived and we've been practicing it. He still gets excited and breaks it sometimes but he generally does an awesome job. Bozo and Huntley did get to play rough with each other though and it was a lot of fun to watch.

Tanner arrived toward the end of our visit. He came in the yard with everyone and then we started returning dogs to their runs until only Bozo remained. They both came inside with us as I handled the checkout paperwork, gathered food, etc. Then Kitty jumped in the car with them to go to the foster house while I returned home to grab a crate (which I'd neglected to bring with me). By the time I arrived at the foster house Tanner and Bozo were outside enjoying the fenced area. I assembled the crate and threw a chew treat inside. When the dogs came inside Bozo went right into the crate uninvited and stayed there, enjoying the treat. (Yea!)

I decided to wait until this morning to write about this because I wanted to hear how the night went first. I always encourage foster homes to call me anytime and it would have been easy to take Bozo back to the kennel but it wasn't necessary. Bozo's foster mom survived the night but did encounter some rough spots. She spent the night on the sofa next to Bozo's crate so that he'd relax. In the morning he did have an accident (while roaming free) in the house. Bozo pulled during the first half of his morning walk but then got the message that it was not appropriate and heeled. And during breakfast he growled at her to protect his food. She took the food from him without incident and hand fed him the rest. What a great home! I'm sure Bozo will be a challenge but this is a great environment for him and will give us much better insight in finding a suitable adoptive home.

2009-01-02: What about Bo? by Kyler Laird
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I was full of trepidation when leaving Bozo at his foster home. I knew his foster mom is capable of handling him but I was concerned that he might just be too much of a pain after being kenneled for so long. Well...I was right; he was a pain, but he still has a foster home - an incredibly patient one. "Bo" has had some accidents in the house, destroyed the pan of his first crate, and later broke out of that crate to go counter surfing for licorice. He's guarded his food and toys and he pulls on walks. But he's also endeared himself to his foster mom. She has given him great attention and worked with him on all of his problems, noting how quick he is to learn and that "he wants to please."

Bo still smelled of "kennel" when I delivered him so on Dec. 31st I took him back to the kennel for a bath. He was pretty hyper (see photo of him waiting not so patiently for me in the bathing room) but did so much better than his first time. I even used a creme rinse and blow drier on him this time. He's even more snugglable now.

Bo is picking up the rules at home with the help of his buddy Tanner and they've enjoyed the newly fenced back yard. Tanner is much more relaxed than Bo and although Bo has calmed immensely he's still a handful on walks.  Today I helped "tire" him - literally. He was great - no need for a leash at all. I look forward to hearing how he does alone with his foster mom on walks.

2009-01-17: a busy week by Kyler Laird
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I've been neglecting to write but we certainly did a lot this week. We finally got some decent snow and on Wednesday I took out the big sled with Morgan and Dobky in wheel and Bob in lead. We just went a couple miles, down Lindberg and back, but it was fun. (Well, except when Bob veered off the trail into oncoming traffic a few times.) The three dogs were just about right for pulling the sled on the hard packed snow . I'd dressed to run with them but I got to ride almost the whole way.

Much of the snow on the trails was quickly cleared and I kept hearing about record cold temperatures so I was inclined to stay inside for awhile. We still made it to the kennel every night and it always seems pleasant there when I'm dressed appropriately. On Thursday I bathed T-bone and Huntley at Klondike in preparation for a visit to University Place. I took them home with me and they did alright but I got distracted and allowed T-bone to mark a couch.

We met Amy at UPlace and she brought Bo. He's a handful - two handfuls, even, so I took him while Amy and Kitty handled T-bone and Huntley. These three all have a lot of energy and are difficult to focus but they're still wonderful and have outstanding potential. It takes a lot to keep them from jumping on people but it's fun to see them interact with the residents and the dogs get appreciative comments constantly.

Yesterday, Friday, I decided it was time for another run. I've had an ice fishing sled that I've been wanting to try for awhile. Work was a little rough and I didn't get to go out until it was getting dark but I'm so happy I did. I ran with the six boys like usual but this time I clipped Bob and Marley's harnesses to a line connected to the sled. Grazie rode in the sled atop a cushion. She was tethered to it but she didn't seem to have much inclination to leave her perch. A long stretch of bungee eliminated major shocks and seemed to give her a pleasant ride. It was good for the dogs to have something to pull.

Today we volunteered to be at the West Lafayette Public Library with a sled after the Caring Paws reading program. I didn't know how to get the big sled and all the dogs there so I sent that sled with Kitty. (She went on campus before the library.) I wanted to tire the dogs a bit so I ran with them to the library just as we did yesterday. Grazie rode almost the whole way, jumping out once to relieve herself on the trail and again so that she could run alongside as we went through campus. At the library I connected Morgan, Dobky and Bob to the big sled as a demonstration. We had several children come out to see all of the dogs and check out the sled. I enjoyed the opportunity.

Tonight we returned to University Place with Bo, T-bone and Huntley. Again, they all took a lot of management and yet they were so very appreciated by the residents. We visited a couple rooms on the second floor of Assisted Living we'd not had time to visit on Thursday. Everyone did well in the elevator and we had a great time hanging around on the second floor.

2009-02-12: busy February by Kyler Laird
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I was sick last week and have been non-stop busy all the time, it seems. I've been neglecting updates so it's time to recover a bit.

Sunday, February 1 started our first draft class at Klondike Canine Academy. I've been asked to help people start pulling with their dogs for years so KCA made it happen. I pulled out a bunch of vehicles and used Morgan, Bob, Dobky, Marley, and Bozo to demonstrate them. By the next class (February 8) students had received their custom-made harnesses so we put their dogs to work with various sleds. We instructed in the barn, taking turns with dogs connected to light loads, starting with empty orange juice jugs and progressing to plastic sleds and even the kick sled and car tire for the especially strong dogs. I closely managed the loads while Allison baited the dogs. Everyone did great! At the end of class we moved outside (beautiful weather!) and let some of the dogs drag some sleds around the agility area.

On February 3 I helped South Central Newfoundland Club Rescue with Rodney, a dog who had been stuck in the Gary pound for awhile. A kind couple met me in Rensselaer where they handed Rodney to me with the information that "He stinks but you'll get over it in about 20 minutes." I left the back windows open for the ride home and the smell was still strong. Rodney was a sweet guy though. At the kennel I let him stretch his legs out back and then I had some calls to attend so I worked on Rodney's matts in the bathing room. He was a little excited at first but after an hour he stopped squirming and I made fast progress. It was quite a hack job but I think I finally got all of the matts. The bath went smoothly after that and then Rodney returned outside to meet the rest of the dogs. Despite being a young intact male he has done well with everyone.

On February 5 GP joined me for an in-home visit with a physical therapist. His size and demeanor suited the situation well. It was relaxing to handle him.

That night we had a CGC class. Kitty handled GP while I took Huntley. Two Purdue students came to work with T-bone! I was talking to rescue about Rodney and was running very late so I just handed T-bone over to them cold but they did a great job of handling him. Peyton was also there with his family. His girls came to visit us a few times as I worked with Huntley.

I'm often greeted at the kennel by Jack standing up behind the grooming half-door, silently keeping watch over everything. His family takes wonderful care of him and it's been a joy to see his transformation from the crusted dog no one wanted to the beautifully groomed and loved dog he is today. On the sixth I came in to see him particularly well-groomed and his mom showed me that she had groomed his butt "poofs" into hearts. Oy!

On the seventh I finally brought my new kart back from the kennel to the house and took it for a test ride. It was freshly modified by a local shop to accept a wagon handle and I'd briefly demonstrated it in the training barn with Morgan pulling. This time I tried it with the team pole and added Dobky. I'm still not a big fan of the team pole configuration and we ran into some problems with it on this short test run but the kart generally pulled well on the street. A couple days later I made modifications to the team pole and harnesses and added Bob and Marley to the front (in addition to Morgan and Dobky in wheel position). We zipped around the Celery Bog Nature Center without any problems. I ran ahead anytime they needed guidance but generally stood on back. Grazie rode most of the way but then trotted alongside awhile. This is going to be fun!

Bozo spent some time in the kennel while Amy was out of town. He did alright but he was, as usual, bouncing off the walls. Although he got along well with Rodney at first, on Bozo's last night in the kennel he kept lunging at Rodney, even while I was holding both of them. Rodney always declined to engage but Bo tore into him anyway - as much as Bo ever does. Bo isn't out for blood so I didn't worry about Rodney's health but I wanted Bo to understand that it was beyond appropriate levels.

I spent much of Tuesday the tenth in Rensselaer with Dad. It was a trying day and I ignored phone calls and messages until I was heading out of town. I had a voice message from a rescue in Illinois who needed to pull dogs from the shelter there so I stopped and called. There were two dogs in the shelter who needed a transport but were alright for awhile. The third dog was with the rescuer's mother, north of Rensselaer, because the pup was quickly returned by its adoptive family and it was easier to drop him there. She already had dogs of her own and this little guy needed to go elsewhere. As we talked about this young male Yorkshire Terrier/Schnauzer mix I realized that he might be just what I'd been seeking. I decided to head north on I-65 to get him. His caretaker had become attached to him already so I tried to avoid stress by leaving quickly. I took him outside and got to know him a bit with a quick walk and some petting. As we left, she called to me that he already knows his name, Buffy? or Buddy?. I decided to go with "Buddy" as he was a good buddy on the way home.

At the kennel I quickly introduced Buddy to the big dogs. He didn't hesitate in the least and easily blended with them. He and GP did growl at each other a bit but that was brief. After they played in the yard awhile I brought everyone into the bathing room because Huntley was sorely in need of a bath too and I decided everyone could use an activity. I bathed Huntley first while Buddy got to know the other dogs better. T-bone was especially playful with him and GP was simply patient. Huntley was amazingly stoic and mellow during the long process of thoroughly cleaning all his fur. Buddy was just as well-behaved as Huntley in the tub but it only took a moment to bathe him and I used less shampoo and water than one of Huntley's legs requires. I took a call while I dried the dogs, then we headed outside briefly. I was already late for dinner with Kitty.

I really didn't want to have Kitty upset during this dinner with friends so I put a crate in the back of the car and left Buddy inside. Buddy didn't make any noise on the way there so I didn't mention him. I took him for a quick walk partway through dinner and then he was quiet on the way home. I left him in the car at home while I tried to figure out what I'd do with him. I'd mentioned to Kitty that I needed to transport some dogs and I asked if it would be alright if we hosted the Schnorkie for awhile. She said that would be alright so I got him from the car.

I brought the crate into the house first and pushed it through the front door into the pack who had already spotted Buddy. Buddy was tethered to me with a long stretch lead and after getting the crate inside I expected to turn and see a scared little dog pulling away from my pack back toward the car. Instead, I looked down and saw that he had walked right beside me into the house and went ahead to greet the pack. It was almost spooky how calm everyone was. Buddy definitely has a way with other dogs. He's getting the routines at our house and even picked up "down to eat" on his own. I crate him next to the bed and he only complains a little about going there. He seems to be house trained and shows no interest in escaping through the gaps in the fence.

Yesterday (February 11) another visitor joined us. Marty is a Poodle mix who has had some difficulties and can't stay with his family. He's been relinquished to IDOG and they've asked me to evaluate him to determine if he's safe enough for their people to handle. I visited Marty in the morning after I let the other kennel dogs out to play. Marty barked at me fearfully through the gate but quieted as I backed into him. I sat with him for awhile but he continued to growl at me most of the time. Finally I left because...

We had another visit to Mentoyne Elementary! We took GP, Marley, and Dobky. Waynetta met us there with Maddie Bea and a Purdue student joined us to handle Dobky. I kept GP most of the time and helped Kitty wrangle Marley. The dogs all did well and I especially enjoyed seeing GP make such a great impression. After our classroom visit we talked with the principal about other possibilities and he was very encouraging. As we talked, several interested students passed his open door and he would invite them to come inside to greet the dogs. Later we all went into the hall and talked with several teachers who stopped to enjoy the dogs. I'm going to enjoy working with this school. Thanks, Waynetta!

GP returned home with us and then went back to the kennel for Buddy's initial vet check. I tethered him to Buddy; GP makes a good anchor. It's rewarding to see GP do so well with a little (young intact male!) dog. After the checkup I let the kennel dogs play a bit and then I returned to Marty along with Buddy. Layla joined me and we discussed his behavior. I was finally able to loop him with a leash and we took him outside for a bit and then to the geriatric room for a little quiet time. Marty seems fearful but not otherwise aggressive. He was not at all disturbed by Buddy. I slipped a couple times when handling the leash and got "air snaps" as a warning when Marty could have easily bitten me. I took Marty out again at night after the other dogs were back in their runs. It'll be awhile before he's comfortable enough to evaluate but I can see him relaxing already.

2009-03-07: a full Saturday by Kyler Laird
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Marty visited us today while his family went out of town. He was very anxious at our house but finally settled in the corner behind the chair where I work. I took him with me when I headed to the Petite Pals playgroup with Buddy.

I kept Marty on lead during PP and worked with him. He is amazingly easy to train. We distracted all of the other dogs there to play and they were all following Marty's lead, looking for treats. Buddy was especially persistent; he has learned that sitting, not jumping, is a good way to get my attention and I often turn to see him sitting and waiting for me to notice him. Chewie is picking up this behavior also and is now looking for my attention instead of barking at dogs and people. At the end of PP I let Marty play with the other dogs and we soon migrated outside. Chewie and Buddy are a great team; I enjoy watching them zip around in circles around me. Marty was great with other dogs as always but he was a bit head-shy and uncomfortable at first. By the end of class he was relaxed and he's become quite comfortable with my occasional wrestling.

After PP we headed out to the "real" playgroups. I pulled all the dogs from the kennel then Amy arrived with Tanner and Anna. Finally, Kitty arrived with the rest of our home dogs. We had an active section but the dogs all did well together. I don't recall a single skirmish.

There were three evaluations during playgroups and our pack did very well interacting with the new dogs. Buddy continues to show his value both in greeting new dogs and helping Chewie be more comfortable. (They were tethered together again today for awhile.) Anna plays the role of "gentle giant" beautifully but barks loudly (from a down) to implore the little dogs to play with her. GP continues to impress me; he is gentle with everyone and tolerates Marty's frequent mounting without appearing disturbed at all. GP and Chewie had no problems together. Chewie has recovered well from the first time they met. Huntley and T-bone play together constantly and it takes a bit of management to ensure that other dogs don't jump into the middle inappropriately but they're a good source of activity.  Morgan kept a low profile, perhaps trying to stay out of GP's way.  Bozo looks great with his newly-blown coat and he played well with everyone.  Dexter and Bob even played together a bunch when everyone else was in the evaluation area.

After playgroups we ran home and quickly turned around with Bob, Marley, Jarreau and Dobky for a visit to University Place. We met Amy with Tanner and Anna along with five Purdue students. UPlace wasn't very active today but we did get to stop and talk with several appreciative residents. Despite having spent so much time at playgroups the dogs all seemed to enjoy running in the health center courtyard also.

2009-03-14: Bozo's slumber party by Kyler Laird
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I was a little surprised when Sunny's adoptive family responded to a message I posted about dogs being available for foster over Spring Break. What surprised me even more was that they chose to take Bozo home with them! The whole family came to playgroups yesterday to meet everyone and pick a dog for an overnighter. I was thinking Huntley or T-bone would be a good match but they really appreciated Bozo. They do well with the two dogs they have already so I thought they could handle him but I was still cautious. They left playgroups with the three dogs and a big bag of food.

I didn't bring Bozo's harness to playgroups so I took it that night along with a tug line so he could take a tire walk in the morning. Bozo was getting a walk when I arrived and he seemed energetic as usual. He'd marked a couple times and had an accident in the house already. I offered to take him back to the kennel, of course, but they declined.

This morning I learned that he really protested about being left anywhere else in the house at night but settled as soon as he was allowed in the bedroom with everyone else. There weren't any problems overnight.

Bo joined us at playgroups so we talked more about his stay and I was pleased to hear that he got along well with the other dogs, even submitting to Sunny when they played. As I warned, he's still a bit protective about his food and water but did not become a problem. On their tire walk this morning Bo zipped along with his tire and Sunny tried to keep up while pulling his own tire. Sunny was very "tired" at the end of the walk.

I'm pleased to hear that Bo did so well in a home setting with other dogs. He does take a lot of management but he's a lot of fun too.

2009-04-05: rainy day catchup by Kyler Laird

It's been non-stop here for weeks (or months?). Whenever I don't have work to do there's something for the dogs. Today, however, it's raining and I feel like I can sit and write for awhile.

This morning Buddy went to church and was perfect as always. He slept on my lap most of the time, perking up at the performance of Four Dead in Ohio (The sermon was about Kent State.) but quickly settling again. He was very social afterward. I usually have him walk everywhere but there were lots of people so I held him the whole time and he seemed completely comfortable with that.

A bunch of us went to lunch after church and Buddy did fine waiting in the car. We drove directly to the kennel afterward to meet a couple students. Playgroups were canceled so we had the park to ourselves. We had a good gang. Our regular kennel dogs, T-bone, Huntley, GP, Bozo, and Marty were joined by friends Keowee, Ranger, and Meka. They played in the rain for over an hour without incident.

At home we're adjusting to Dexter's departure. He's joined a family in Ohio and I hope he has a great life there. It's always hard for me to see a dog go, especially to a distant home. Dexter deserves a great family of his own though.

Speaking of Pyrs, we have one I haven't even mentioned yet, Cody. He's an IGPR dog who needed a place to stay between foster homes. Cody's in a new foster home now but will return to us soon while his foster family leaves town.

LTDR foster dogs are doing great. Anna is learning to play with Tanner and making lots of little neighborhood friends. Aries came to University Place and Waynetta let me handle him while she took Buddy. Both dogs did very well there as has Tanner.

Dobky attended his first Caring Paws function and did a fine job as a reader dog at the new Klondike Branch library. He has a great personality for this activity. We continue to visit Mintonye Elementary and Dobky goes almost goes with us because I know I can hand him off to someone else and he'll be easy to manage.  The other regular at Mintonye is Maddie, handled by Waynetta.  Maddie is so perfect that I sometimes forget about her.

We completed our second series of mushing classes recently. Bob and Morgan were my class helpers/coaches. While Morgan tolerates the activity Bob revels in it. I love putting him to work pulling and I enjoy watching his spirit inspire other dogs.

GP received a wonderful adoption application recently and I blew it. I took too long to respond and the applicant found another dog. Although I hate that I botched a great home for him I do like having him available. Even more so than Dobky, I know GP can be handled easily by other people around visitors of any age. It sure is nice to have "easy" dogs.

And then there's the rest of the kennel dogs... T-bone and Huntley are full of spirit and love to play with each other. They're both regulars at playgroups and are often requested by name. Bozo doesn't go to playgroups unless I'm there but he's had lots of requests for walks. He's been on campus a couple times and he is easy to manage when he's dragging his tire. Huntley needs a tire but he's too young. He's started class with a volunteer though.

And Marty...oh, what a good dog he's become. It's been such a pleasure to watch him develop. He continues to do well with other dogs but he always circles around to me. He sits in front of me for attention and gets his head patted and his face scrunched. I play with him by shoving him round and round and pulling his tail if he doesn't flip around toward me quickly enough. He's turned from fearing touch to seeking it and it really shows when he's in a group of students. At first I was careful to warn everyone about his sensitivity but now it's not an issue.

There are lots of plans on the horizon for LTDR. I've flown to Wisconsin and Kentucky to look at trailers and I'm hoping to purchase one soon. That will bring us lots of possibilities for activities on campus and all across the country.

2009-04-09: CGC testing by Kyler Laird

I spent much of the afternoon at the kennel, working with dogs. Kati took Huntley on a walk shortly before the CGC test.  I'd requested volunteers through our Facebook group and we had a bunch of helpers.

I took Buddy first and he breezed through the test just like the first time he took it. This time, however, he nailed the "supervised separation." He's still my "Velcro dog" but I've been working with him on long downs with me out of sight. I put him in a down and he did break it but he remained relaxed. Yea!

Kati had been holding Huntley and he was still very active. I took him into the ring and he quickly focused. Down and stay were problems last time he tested but not today. I was delighted with his performance and he passed with no problems.

Then we moved to the more challenging dogs... Tibby did well for me earlier but had been out playing and was completely loopy while we waited for another dog to test. Although he did really well with most of the exercises he completely botched the down stays.

I wasn't expecting much from Bozo but he did an admiral job. He was very interested in everyone (including the neutral dog) but he did well with the other exercises.

For kicks I tried Cody. If he could have just done a down he would have passed. Bummer!

2009-05-03: Bo gets a visit by Kyler Laird
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Bo has come so far from when I met him. We've developed an appreciation for each other and he has become a lot of fun to train. I love his enthusiasm and his energy...usually. Unfortunately he (literally) bounces off the walls in the kennel and he's a lot for the staff to manage. He's also quick to respond when other dogs are pushy and he can do a lot of damage with little effort. He deserves a family who will adore him full-time.

I've been watching for a good family for Bo and today one visited. They had a similar-looking Mal who died after over 13 years. I think Bo charmed them.

2009-06-11: Pet Partners tests by Kyler Laird
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Today we had a Caring Paws Pet Partners evaluation at the UUC. Bo and Huntley just passed their six month mark with me so I wanted to test them and even though I've only had Jacks 45 days I wanted him to take the evaluation so he can be covered under my insurance. I knew it would take a lot for Bo to pass so I pulled him and Jacks a couple hours before the test.

I let all the dogs out for quite awhile before taking Bo to the car. He was still way too excited about meeting Jacks so I booted him and let him run alongside the car for a mile or so. We stopped for a long drink before heading to Petsmart (with Bo tethered). He was considerably more relaxed after the run but still a bit too interested in Jacks. Jacks appeared completely oblivious to the danger.

I put Jacks in the bag I got at the AHHS garage sale and tried to get Bo to relieve himself before entering Petsmart. I was a bit concerned about how much he drank after the run. Bo continued to look for Jacks in the car but finally went and then we headed inside. I was a little surprised by how much attention Bo got. Everyone thinks he's such a big dog. (He only weighs about 100 pounds.) He got lots of petting from adults and children, and several dogs greeted him. I was pleased that he did beautifully with everyone and surprised at his lack of interest in other dogs. He was well-behaved even when they weren't.

Bo heeled well as I searched for a new brush for Buddy and another carrier for Jacks. I eventually opened the bag a bit so Jacks could poke out his head. Bo finally figured out Jacks was there and his nose was glued to the bag after that. I was checking out the first carrier I found and eventually put Jacks on the ground next to Bo (who was in a down). They did great together. I was so proud of Bo and impressed with Jacks's demeanor. Even in a busy aisle with lots of wiggly dogs, Jacks was completely cool and Bo was a charmer. After we moved to look at more carriers I put them both down again and they seemed very comfortable with each other.

We got outside and almost made it to the grass when a couple stopped me to ask about Bo. As we talked, Bo released a torrent on the sidewalk. (Fortunately it had started to rain.) We'd spent way too long in the store right after his big drink. I'm so glad he held it - what a trooper! Not bad for a dog who has spent so many months kenneled. On the way to the test Bo was still interested in Jacks but had become much calmer.

At the test I waited as a couple other dogs went and then took Huntley. He's been at a foster home so I don't get to see him much. He'd gotten some great care and I enjoyed handling and snuggling him during the test. Huntley was a handful during the test but he's a great guy and squeaked through it.

It was finally Bo's turn. He took a lot of management and although he was heeling better than usual it was still barely passable. The big surprise of the day was that he had no interest in Pebbles, the neutral dog. That was a huge relief. Things were going great until the exam when Bo...growled??? No, it sounded like a growl at first but it wasn't at all. That became especially evident when he rolled on his back for more. This low rumbling vocalization was new to me from him but he certainly wasn't doing it out of aggression. Still, it would certainly scare someone if he did it on a visit so he failed the test but we continued and he did well. I'm disappointed that the big guy didn't pass but I was delighted by how well he did. I think that I pushed him a bit too hard with a long day out and then lots of waiting in the hall.

Jacks was next. It was my first time taking the test with a carried animal. It was laughably easy. (I felt a little silly doing "out for a walk" while holding Jacks.) Jacks has all his claws and they're quite sharp (in case he needs to use them). I was a bit concerned that he might deploy them by accident during the test but it wasn't a problem at all and he passed the test without incident. I think he'll be a great addition to our visits.

2009-06-21: LTDR participates in first Zionsville Pet Parade by Kyler Laird
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[more photos of the parade by Chris Bucher Photographs]

Jane Rose of Indy Great Pyrenees Rescue notified me that IGPR would be marching in the Inaugural Zionsville Pet Parade as part of “Pet Friendly month."  I delayed responding because I wasn't sure how many people I could bring but finally said I'd be there and listed off the dogs I'd bring. Jane suggested we have our own entry.

I decided to use this as a test run for the semi trailer. It was certainly an adventure. It took quite a bit of work to get everything ready to go. In the morning I headed to the kennel and loaded T-bone and Bozo into crates. It was already hot but the trailer's air conditioners made a huge difference. I drove to the house to load Kitty and the dogs in to the tractor and we on our way to Zionsville.

Amy drove separately with Tanner and Anna. She scoped out the parking lot and I was relieved to hear that it was empty. I quickly parked and started laying out equipment. I pulled the wagon, kart, and tire, then laid out the chain picket line I made last night. Finally I pulled each dog to go on the line. The line worked well but putting Buddy next to Bozo was a bit of a misstep.

While I harnessed the dogs, Kitty and Amy loaded the big red wagon with ice and bottled water. I connected it to Morgan first and Kitty was concerned that it was too heavy for him to pull on his sixth birthday (because she had a hard time pulling it). While I was hitching the other dogs Mo' walked off with the wagon a few times. I decided he'd be fine.

Morgan was solo on the wagon, T-bone and Bozo pulled a truck tire. On the kart we had Bob and Marley in lead, Jarreau and Dobky in wheel, Buddy and Grazie riding, and Dexter running alongside. We headed to the parade a little after IGPR left but we had to take the long way instead of trying to negotiate the stairs/ramps they used. Even though we blocked traffic on the main road for a little bit everyone was very kind to us. A policeman recommended that we take Main Street because it was already blockaded. In doing so we became our own "pre-parade" but as we arrived at the parade starting point I could see that everyone was heading our way so we veered off and went around the block to end up behind them. We were just in time to fall in behind IGPR. Fortunately Christine and Garrett had been there with Huntley and had already checked in for our entry (#34).

The parade was short but fun. The dogs had already gotten quite a workout and they were just becoming manageable. We put water down each time we stopped and it was good we had a wagon full. It was fun to halt the dogs; they relaxed and lots of people came to take photos each time. Then when I called "hike!" the dogs (especially Bob) would lunge ahead and I could hear spectators responding to it. While I wrangled the dogs on the kart, Amy walked Tanner and Anna, Christine walked Huntley, and Garrett graciously handled Bo and Tibby on the tire. I was so thankful for the great help; it was a lot of work but I think it impressed people.

At the end of the parade we gathered with other participants, including several Miss Indiana Pageant participants. I enjoyed talking to everyone and felt extremely comfortable there.

The IGPR folks were headed to Serenity for lemonade so we backtracked the parade route to join them. A couple boys were admiring the dogs so I asked if they'd like to ride and invited them to jump on the back of the kart.  I'm sure I should have gotten a parental consent waiver and provided them with protective gear but I just jumped on the side of the kart and called "hike!" instead.  The boys seemed to have fun and their father thanked me.

I parked the dogs in front of the restaurant and spent probably 30 minutes talking with folks who wanted to know more about them. Finally I took some of the dogs in to join Kitty and Amy. We sat and talked with a local family who'd called me a couple days ago about a dog. The restaurant owners also relaxed with us. Lots of people stopped to visit the dogs and chat with us. And we ate a wonderful Father's Day brunch! It was a delightful way to spend the afternon.

Finally it was time to head home. The dogs were exhausted so I ran back and drove the truck to them. A local officer informed me that there are "no trucks on Main Street" but told me to just be quick. I like this town...a lot.

We had a couple hiccups on the return trip but finally dropped off the dogs at home just in time. They were all about to burst. I headed straight for the kennel and relieved T-bone and Bo before kenneling them. They were more than ready for dinner.

Quite a successful day! It will be interesting to see what comes of all the wonderful people we encountered.

2009-08-18: Buddy crosses mountains by Kyler Laird
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After four years of being away from the UC Merced campus where I work it was time for me to visit. I had to neglect a lot of responsibilities at home to do it but the trip went well. Taking Buddy with me required a bit more effort and planning but he was a great companion and kept me centered.

I had flown GP to Hobart, IN to stay with Amanda in Portage as a test flight. Buddy and I left Indiana on August 9 and returned August 18. Kitty handled the house dogs and arranged care for Bozo and T-bone at the kennel.  I think it was especially good for other people to handle Bozo; more people appreciate him now.

2009-08-20: Bozo, CGC by Kyler Laird
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I just returned from California a couple days ago and have not had much opportunity to work with Bozo. This afternoon I let him out to play with T-bone, took him with me to unload more stuff from the plane, and then we went to Petsmart for a bit. Bo always seems to find fans at Petsmart and another driver even asked me about him as we drove home. Bozo came home with me and ate alongside the house dogs before returning to Klondike Canine Academy for the test.

For a long time I've known that Bozo gets cranky when he doesn't get fed on time. When he's in the kennel he's fed regularly around 4:00. Each time that I've tested him I've delayed his dinner quite a bit and he loses his patience with me. Feeding him made a huge difference. He was much more relaxed and consistent.

The weather this evening was gorgeous and Bo was perfect as we waited for the test. It helped immensely to go first this time. Bo did really well and lulled me into complacency. Then he forged during the "distraction dog" exercise! He's never interested in the other dog; it was obvious he wanted to check out the handler, Rick. Darn. Fortunately he cruised through the rest of the test and I was given the option of retesting the failed exercise after everyone else finished.

I was quite happy with Bozo's performance anyway and I took him out to play with Leia, who was waiting to test. They had a great time and Kitty brought T-bone to join them. Finally I got to retest with Bozo and we made it! CGC!

For fun, I also tried T-bone but he was too jumpy; he wanted to greet everyone. Oh, well. He already passed Pet Partners so that's not a problem but I'd like to get his CGC someday.

2009-09-20: three remaining dogs pass Pet Partners test by Kyler Laird

Caring Paws again held Delta Society Pet Partners evaluations at the Unitarian Universalist Church in West Lafayette. I scheduled three spots for the last of our dogs to test.

Bozo went first because he's always a handful. I've had some problems with him in previous DSPP and CGC tests but I modified my approach for this one. Instead of taking him out of the kennel for a long public outing and lots of exercise I just let him run at the park for awhile with the other dogs. At the test I made sure he went early so he wasn't stressed by waiting for hours. And most importantly, I fed him before the test. It took way too long but I finally realized that he was past his feeding time during other tests - not a good thing for Bo, who has a rigid schedule at the kennel.

During the test the big guy did a super job. He takes some management but he seemed fairly content. The most difficult part was the "neutral dog" but that was largely because the "neutral dog" wasn't so neutral on her first time in this role. Bo didn't even look at her on our second attempt. It's going to take awhile before I'm super confident with him in a crowd but I was quite pleased by his performance. I look forward to watching him improve once he's out of the kennel.  He'll be an especially useful asset during our visits to Cumberland Elementary when they start studying the Iditarod.

After Bozo's test I quickly drove him back to the kennel (where he really needed to relieve himself) and returned just in time for the next test. I'd wanted to take Anna next but I needed to spend some time grooming her so I decided to grab Buddy instead. Fortunately Kitty had been brushing Anna so she was all ready to go.

Anna was a breeze to test. Again, the neutral dog was a bit of an issue but she was just interested. Everything else was easy; she stuck right next to me without much management at all. And of course she loves getting attention from everyone.

I saved Buddy for last as my reward for a long afternoon. He was a delight and had no problems with any of the tests. We got dinged because I was having too much fun with him while walking and he jumped/pranced at my hand a few times but I like that and don't intend to discourage it.

We had lots of new volunteer helpers and I enjoyed getting to show such a varied group of dogs to them. The helpers were very appreciative of the dogs and we all had a good time. I'm excited that everyone has now passed DSPP!

2009-12-06: South Central Newfoundland Club's Rescue Tree Pull by Kyler Laird
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I've enjoyed working with the Newfs in my life and I often talk about SCNC's tree pull being a perfect example of helping rescue dogs earn their keep. When Leslie invited me to help at the tree pull this year I couldn't resist. Because it's 90 minutes away I'd planned to take everyone in the semi for the day. I had the trailer all packed and warmed but then decided to simplify and just take Bozo in the Jeep. It was a good decision.

Dull's Tree Farm was already packed when we arrived at 12:15. I harnessed Bozo and connected him to the ice fishing sled. He was completely comfortable in the crowd of people and several dogs. We eventually found the Newfs and then worked the circuit.

Mostly Bo and I wandered. Many people just wanted to pet Bo and talk about him. Sometimes I forget how strikingly beautiful he is. He had many admirers.  This is the first time I've had Bo in crowds since moving him to my facility and it was a thrill to see how relaxed he was with everyone, including several toddlers who got right in his face.  He's a great dog.

Bo gave a ride to one child and pulled a couple loads of trees. The last load had three trees and it got a bit stuck in the mud when we paused on the hill but Bo forged ahead with a bit of help.  The only time he had the slightest lapse in behavior was when he saw his Newf buddy, Kerry, and they weren't allowed to play with each other.

SCNC was very gracious to us and I was delighted to experience such a wonderful event. The tree farm appreciates the crowd that comes for the dogs and SCNC's rescue fund got a substantial boost from tips. We heard several people say that they came for the dogs.  It was a huge success.

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