Friday, August 21, 2009

Don is Back!

Don has had a busy week since he returned from the puppysitters. He was very excited to see us (he did his happy little tail wagging, wiggling puppy dance). Then again, he does this to everyone he meets. He got much bigger and a his coat really darkened. Don got a great report from his first puppy sitter. They took him to Fun Day, a large gathering of puppy raisers at Guide Dogs, and he got to see two of his littermates. The report from the other family wasn't quite as stellar, but I was glad to hear that Don behaved well at the puppysitter's work which was at Guide Dogs and at a rehabilitation gym.

The first day Don was back at home he was an angel. He went to Trader Joes and was great with all the commotion and the tempting yummies on the floor. The next day, his friendliness sort of diminished and now he's back to his old, somewhat distant self. I think he reasoned that we weren't going to leave him with the puppysitters anytime soon. Wed. night we took him to California Pizza Kitchen. It took a while for him to settle down and he wouldn't heed even the strongest corrections for licking the carpet. Oh well. Tonight, Don will be going to the mall and then out to dinner again, our biggest outing yet. I'll let you know how that went tomorrow, but for now I'll post some pictures that the puppysitters took of Don at Fun Day. 

The Calming Touch dog massage class at Fun Day
Poor Don...  the only one with a Gentle Leader.
 Don mixes it up with his littermates Donner and (most likely) Delaware.
California Fun Day Crowds

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Where's Don?

Don has made lots of new friends this week! He's spent the week with three puppy sitting families and their puppies in training. And where am I? In San Diego... constantly thinking about Don! I've been really fortunate to get experienced sitters- one who actually emails me daily updates about Don. (Thanks Mary!) It sounds like Don is being really good, excluding the whining in the crate. I guess the sitters have discovered the next problem to work on :(. Oh well, they said he had good relieving habits which I was just ecstatic to hear. Don's been hanging out with two older pups-in-training (Maren and Sherman) and two Cc'd dogs (Joe and Jack). The puppy sitters both work at Guide Dogs, so Don is spending the day at his birthplace, on tie-down in the puppy raising department. Well, that's about it. To make up for the lack of photos last week, I've included a couple that Don's puppy sitters took:

Close ups of Don in Xpen

Don and Maren, best buds

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Good News All Around

The title says it all- Don's doing great! Yesterday, we dropped Don of at Guide Dogs to hang out with our club leader while we spent the day at the lake (Don hasn't gotten his 16 wk. vaccines). I went tubing on my uncle's motorboat and even went for a swim. It was only 58 degrees when we got there at 11:00, but it warmed up real fast. Don got a great report from our club leader. He spent the day in the puppy raising department where he slept on a tie down next to her desk. She also did some gentle leader work with him and now he is much more tolerant. She said he did great on walks and, I'm really happy about this part- NO ACCIDENTS!! Hurray!

Don had quite the productive day today. This morning, we worked on FIR (come) in the backyard and he handled the distractions (until he realized that grass was better than kibble). Then we worked on some sits, walking with the gentle leader, and the "that's enough" command. Now we've just got to fix the whining in the crate issue- any suggestions?

Lastly, I can't believe I forgot to post this, Don had a great time playing with Chia, Maureen, Ivani, and Queenie Sunday at our fellow puppy club member's house. Chia and Ivani are both CCI dogs (Chia's the breeder and Ivani was CC'd). Queenie was being puppy sat, and Maureen, another puppy in training, came to join in the fun. Don wanted to be friends with everyone- but only Maureen would tolerate his "puppyness". Queenie (who absolutely despised Don) is actually Don's "half-brother" - they're both Bosworth puppies- and look IDENTICAL! (I'll post photos when I get the chance). All the dogs had a fun time and I think these puppy playdates will become a regular thing. 


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Gentle Leader, hurt foot, and other stuff

Hi guys,
Bad news- Don's depressed. The gentle leader (the green thing shown below that prevents pulling at the leash) isn't going over so well. Don refuses to eat, drink, or play with it on- but desperately needs the new equipment to lower his distraction level. I'm going to the lake tomorrow, so Don while spend the day with the Mt. Tam puppy club leader and hopefully learn to tolerate the Gentle Leader. Don gave us quite the scare this morning. Today, while out on a walk, I corrected Don for pulling at his leash, and started going the opposite direction (a trick a member of our puppy club taught us). When I turned around, Don was limping and could barely walk. I carried him home, and after an hour of puppy snuggles and kisses, Don was back to his old self. I'm pretty sure that he's fine now, so we will wait until it happens again to talk to the Guide Dog vet. Anyways, Don is getting better at some things, including being quite in his crate (he's in there now and happily chewing one of his nylabones). Today I plan on arranging a "puppy play-date" with a breeder dog from CCI (Canine Companions for Independence) and a guide dog puppy in training. Since Don is my only dog, we try to get together with as many dogs as possible to prevent dog distraction. We'll, I've got to get Don ready for his playdate with Chia and Maureen. I'll let you know how it went in tomorrow's post. ~Here are some cute photos I took today~

Don squinting in the morning sun, ready for an outing.

Don poses with his Guide Dog vest.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

New Puppy

Hi all,
I can't believe it's been three weeks since we picked up Don from the kennels at Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael. Shown right is Don's first day at home, a definitely hectic one. Just to recap (I should've started this blog a while ago) we picked him up on Monday, July 13th. Our puppy club leader had hinted that his name was not the best, much to my disappointment. So we came prepared, and when we were handed our joyful, wriggling pup, we just laughed at his one-syllable name, thinking that, on the bright side, Don would be an easy name to pronounce and nearly impossible to misspell. 
The past few weeks have been a wild ride. Don, who has already earned a reputation in the club as a "trying" dog, is slowing starting to get that he is, sadly (for him), not the king of the world. (Poor Don). He still has a bit of hope though, snapping and mouthing us the moment we let our attention wander from "Mr. Beasty". Typical puppy behavior, I hope. Slowly but surely he's progressing. Today I took him on an outing to an outdoor mall and he got to practice walking and meeting other people. After awhile, telling people that No, he's not a golden cross, he's pure lab, get's awfully annoying. Anyways, talking with our leader, she told us that Don is still finding his place in the family "pack." I guess there's hope for "Mr. Beasty" after all.