Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Last weekend

Last weekend started friday afternoon. After we got home from Crystal's house we watched Stargate on the DVR for the 45 minutes then I decided at 5 p.m. that it was time to give all the dog's their baths (seeing as they'd desperately been needed them for a couple weeks). I started with Teddy and Kira and that went fairly smoothly although I somehow got myself sopping wet during the process. I wouldn't ask if I were you *wink* After I got them rinsed off and dried to some extent (Teddy Lurves the blow dryer!) I emptied the tub, brought them downstairs (restricting their outdoor access so they wouldn't go roll in the mud) and got little man out of his crate. I pottied him and then we trekked up the stairs to bathe the little man. He thought the bath water was a giant water bowl for him but by the time the bath ended I believe I was semi-successful at smashing that dream of his *wink*

His bath was surprisingly shorter than Teddy and Kira's. One: there was one of him. Two: he doesn't have the obnoxiously pain the kisser double coat to penetrate with water, soap and more water. After he was a bit dried and re-clothed (with collar/tag and leash) we trekked back downstairs and attempted some grooming. He wouldn't settle down as I refused to let him do the typical after bath zoomies so he went into his crate for a re-focusing session (AKA time-out) while I quickly brushed Teddy and Kira out and clipped their nails, a task which Teddy abhores BTW. Then we shooed the adult dogs (I can no longer call them "the big dogs" since I believe Eclipse weighs about a pound more than K now) and brought Eclipse out of his crate. I successfully brushed him (not much to brush currently) and then we attempted some nail clipping with him standing/sitting since he has to get used to that. He did well, besided grabbing at the little pads I use for the ear cleaning, until his second foot when he jerked and got quicked. He was good about letting me keep pressure on it and clean it up though. Then we finished the nail clipping and cleaned his ears then back in his crate he went. I went to change out of my sopping wet clothes and had to straighten my hair since the moisture made me into a giant frizz-ball! We then quickly jumped into the car (after getting Eclipse out of the crate and pottying him) and went to the Hausotter's house (family friend who love the PITs). Although we arrived a half hour later than we were supposed to (oops... I needed clean dogs!) all was well and we had a good time.

Eclipse was, for the first time ever, pinched by a chair but it was barely and he was fine. He also learned to hold a down-stay with the distraction of a playful cat in the room and then was given the oppportunity to play with the playful cat/kitten (she's about a year). Eclipse even followed the cat onto the couch at one point but immediately sprung off and laid down when given the "off" command. He was an awesome ambassador for JLAD, the breed, service dogs in general, the breed and himself *grin* Does that work? He did leave with my mom when she left because I didn't want him getting overwhelmed or injured as the three girls that were there (ranging from 22 to 15) were getting extremely rowdy and nearly stepped on him a number of times, unfortunately there wasn't a safe place for him either as they were moving and sitting and messing around with the chairs at the table we were sitting at and everywhere else. A little while later Alex and I ended our night as well as we knew Saturday would be Long.

Saturday started somewhat late as we Finally got out of bed at around 8:45. After Alex showered he took Eclipse out and kenneled him downstairs as he was leaving for service. After I showered I came downstairs and fed the little man and brushed him out then let him play for awhile. I got all ready for the day, including putting my short hair up for the first time ever. That was somewhat scary. I spent the morning doing things around the house, including checking e-mail and bring up a load of wood.

Alex got home early at just after 11 as they ran out of things to do that morning, so we goofed off a bit and gathered everything up for the class. Alex got something to eat and checked him e-mail then we headed out a bit early. We left at around 11:50 (20 minutes earlier than normal) and ended up at Coreena's (although I'm still not sure quite how *wink*). We stopped at the store and got a Rockstar, Funjuns, some jerky and some gatorade for Alex. (I used to stop on the way to work all the time and get either a Rockstar or a coffee, jerky and funjuns) Then we stopped and got the car filled with gas and headed out.

Eclipse sleeping in the front seat with Alex. Alex dropped the second half of the dog bone from the gas station on him>>>>

This was probably our most fun trip to Salem for class yet! We were all in really good moods and goofed off the entire time. Of course, my Rockstar didn't hurt my mood any *grin*

Since Rockstars make me so very happy I figured Cagney could use some to calm her nerves *wink* (As Coreena said; No Golden Retrievers were given any Rockstar on the way to or from Salem)

Eclipse didn't think it was fair that Cagney got to have a "prop" for her photo-op so he requested to use Dad's hat.

I adore this picture of him!

This one, however, he doesn't look so thrilled about. He seems to be saying "I requested ONE picture!"

We found where were going just fine but parked on the street parking instead of in the parking garage which was fine, gave us a bit more walking time and crosswalk experience. Also gave Eclipse some time to work up what he wanted to evacuate *wink*

We met up with everyone on the opposite side of the parking garage and after everyone relieved in the ivy we gathered for a group shot.

Mary (Tab's friend) & Echo, Tab & Eola, Mary & Fiona, Dudley's raiser (I forgot her name!) & Evette, Gwen (Joe's wife) & Elly, Coreena & Eva, Me & Eclipse (goofy boy), Joy & Fiona

We also had a few more people with us, a puppy-sitter/new raiser handled Eola. A woman named Kriss who is helping Joy with newsletters and some other things and the raiser who had Evett's mom joined us as well. Of course Alex and Max were there as well.

We made our was down the block (taking up the length of nearly half of it) to the first crossing. This picture is the back part of the group, Gwen with Elly, Joe with Fiona, the visiting mom, raiser with Evett and a passer-by. In front of Alex and Max (where the picture was taken) Joy was in the lead with Echo (tab and Mary with her) followed by the gal with Eola, Coreena, Eva, Eclipse and I and Mary and Fiona. The baby E's havent' yet been introduced to leashes much but did surprisingly well!

We were waiting for the light to change for us to cross and on the diagonal sidewalk to us a kid face-planted off his skateboard. It looked painful but silly me laughed. Why can't I control my morbid humor? *grin* We then ventured across the street and wandered to the Kohl's entrance. There Joy explained to us working the dogs through the automatic doors then we gave it a go.

^Eclipse in a perfect position through the door.

^>Coreena (minus head) with Eva.

>Mary with Fiona

Eclipse watching the other dogs coming through the automatic door at Kohl's>>>

After everyone got through the doors safely (Jk, no danger was involved) we wandered along the shiny, slippery floors to the other side of Kohl's to the entrance into the building and worked on the dogs learning to work in tight places. We would "scrape" them off at the theft prevention things (metal detectors? How about plastic theft prevention detectors? ;-)) and they had to figure out to drop in behind us and resume position once we were past it. Eclipse was extremely interested in all the dogs in front of him but did well with me just waiting him out for a few seconds.

Joy's telling me to just wait him out. There were customers walking by, four or five puppies in front of him (including his Favorite sister ever!) but did well and figured it out once he wasn't moving>>>>

Coreena and Eva working on the detectors

(Eclipse and Eva "visiting" while waiting for other pups to go through.)>>>>>

After everyone practiced with that three times we headed on through that section of the mall and to the doors to the outside once again. There we once again practiced buttons although they're still as of yet too short to reach the do an "up" and walk with us through the door. We then crossed the street again and came across a door where the automatic door opener was too far from the door to work successfully at this age so we learned the "new" way for the pups to go through the door. This way the pup is on the same side of us and the opening of the door (opposite of the hinge). We then open the door and hold it open with our foot, direct the pup inside with a "go through" and "here" sign, the pup turns and faces us, gets rewarded, then we walk through, the pup falls back into position (same side they were on before going through the door) and we continue on our way. Eclipse and the rest of the pups who know "here" did very good at this.

This was where we encountered the autism service dog. He's a two-year-old male yellow lab from, I believe, Autism Service Dogs of America. He's just been matched to a client although is still with his trainer. He was getting "tested" with all the cute fluffy puppies in front of him and he collected himself well but couldn't contain the small whines in wish to engage the babies *grin* We talked with them a bit about what the dogs are being trained for while the rest of the group worked on "go through" and then we continued on our way through that building to the other side. We didn't see the autism dog again but unlike Tim he had a full green jacket on (think like GDA or GEB jackets) with small packs on either side (like a regular dog backpack) and a loose handle by the neck (like the handle on Cagney's jacket but not as stiff and it was longer). He was a pretty boy, quite tall though.

Sorry, no pictures of the yellow lab (yet again, forgot to get the dog's name, urgh) although Alex may have gotten one of Joy's camera, on mine he took a picture of Star Wars cutouts. :-S

When we got to the other side of the building we were introduced to the "step" command. This command applies to going up or down stairs. The dog is to be a step above of you when given the command, either going or coming down. Everyone got their hand at trying the "step" command. We went five steps up with the command then just walked the rest of the way up to the landing, worked the first five steps down and then walked back down to where we began. I know Alex got good pictures of this process on Joy's camera. This is also the place of the Only accident the entire time we were there. We were walking around for more than an hour with two 12-week-olds, four 17-week-olds, and two 7-9 month olds. Quite the feat! All through the mall we attracted quite the crowd. In the picture above, notice the couple against the wall. There were also a number of people watching the interaction between the autism service dog and our group.

We then went outside there (once again working on "go through") but also worked on a automatic door button that was on the door! Eclipse did well but didn't push it, Eva on the other hand hit the button! Good girl! We gave the pups a chance to relieve and some did. Then we crossed two streets and met up with Joyce who gave us our puppy ID cards (will post a picture soon) and then continued on to a very quiet building where there were escalators! The down escalator was broken so we improvised.

(Echo in the quiet building, waiting)>>

(Evett in the quiet building. Puppies!)>>>>

Joy used Eclipse as the demo pup and went up, so I went with them. At the top she handed me Eclipse's leash and then we waited for the elevator. Eclipse showed Joy how good he is at "closer" and we rode back down to where the group was. Eclipse showed up with gum on his food! ICK! But most of it pulled off easily enough.

(Eclipse after pulling the gum off>>>)

Gross! After practicing for awhile we exited that building and went to another, much busier one. We got to the escalators and they were very narrow but we managed. We all tried those, Eclipse and I four+ times. Once again Joy went up with us (last minute) and told everyone else to wait as she'd forgotten to tell us to give the pups a pop up on the leash as we exit to get their feet clear of the teeth. Everyone did well but this is where we got the largest crowd. There were people at the bottom of the escalators, right at the top and all around the railing at the top, just watching the pups and us learn. Cool? Yes. Unnerving? Definitely!

(Fiona waiting for the escalator)>>

^Fiona and Mary working the escalator^

After that we headed back the way we came. Back out through Kohl's, again "scraping" them off and back out the automatic door. We ended up back in the parking garage where we talked about our homework, learned how to train "what?" and got our homework and potty pads for our homework. Our goal this week is work on our commands, work on "go through", "step" and "what?" but also get the pups willingly pottying on pee pads. We train this outside. Any questions, let me know.

Then we headed to the vet's. When we arrived Joy handed me Cagney, Alex took Eclipse, Coreena had Eva, Joy had Eola, Mary had Elly, and Tab had Echo and Evett. Max moved the bag of food Joy picked up for Eclipse from her car to ours. Below is Evett crashed out at the vet's. Tired girl.

At the vet we all sat around talking for a bit, then the first pup/s was invited back and Tab took Evett and Echo. When she came out Mary took Elly in. Then Coreena took Eva back. When Alex and I took Cagney and Eclipse back Joy told Tab and Mary they were free to go so Evett and Elly were put in Joy's SUV and Echo, Tab and Mary headed home. Then it was Eola's turn. After she came back out the vet tech came in and told us we had to wait another 10-15 minutes to make sure there weren't any reactions to the shots, so we sat around talking and just having a good time. The following pictures are from the vet's.

^Evett and Echo (left) just waiting^

^Little pink-nosed Eva^

^Eclipse imploring oh so politely of his father to take the darned head collar off^

^Eola looking Very healthy and well-settled.^

Eola was soo tired at the vet's that as we got up to leave she simply would not stand up. Joy dragged her for a bit and in the process Eola let out this giant yawn and stretched real nice then decided it was time to stand up and walk to the SUV. Silly girl. That was absolutely adorable.

The bag of food had ripped open (thanks dogs *grin*) and there was some on Joy's front passenger seat so I went and tried scooping up as much as I could. I got quite a bit, probably just over a cup, and I tried to snag the quarters that were in Joy's center console as well, but she caught me *grin* J/K I then said goodbye to Evett (she was sticking her head between the seats) and Cagney through the window and we took off. We then headed right down the road to Denny's and had a good dinner to top off our trip, and well, we were starving. We let the pups relieve themselves and Eclipse Finally peed. (He hadn't peed since after going through the first building at the Salem Center, so... a good two hours) Then we went in and sat with our husbands. The staff were all very nice and welcoming and obviously well-trained about service dogs. The customers however, not so much. One woman asked the waitress "You allow dogs in here!?" in an uppity tone, the waitress answered "service dogs we do" and kept right on walking. I can deal with glares from other people, no skin off my back! Overall it was a very nice outing for the pups and we were both very proud.

On the way home Eclipse was allowed to ride on the seat with Alex and I in the backseat. Yes, this was his first time riding on the seat but I think he enjoyed it. What do you think?

Sunday through today will have to be in another post. This has taken me Forever to post!

Ally & Alex w/ Eclipse, Teddy & Kira

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