The adventures of SD Juno and SDIT Kaline (and their human, Colt).

04 August 2012

All the things, and Saturday Class No. 3

Thursday night, Juno was an absolute star. I had the worst lower-body fibro flareup that I've had in a long time, and it started in the middle of a University of Michigan alumni networking mixer. Once it started, I sat down, and that did nothing. To get up, I had to brace on Juno. To get up the stairs, she had to pull me slowly forward. Dad and I stopped briefly to get takeout Thai for dinner, and Junebug had to give me momentum pulling there too. My knees and calves were starting to burn like they were on fire.

We got home, and I stayed on the couch. When I tried to get up again, everything was a million times worse. Dad took Kaline out for his last potty break, and I took Juno, thank goodness. She took tiny, tiny steps to keep pace with me hobbling around. Going down the stairs, she went one at a time so she could support me. I basically crawled back up the stairs, because it was easier to have my knees taking the pressure than my feet. I was kind of wondering about my options for becoming upright when Juno helpfully popped out of the kitchen and braced wonderfully for me to get up. What a fabulous girl. It's days like those when I'm like, "Gawd, I want a BLD!" But those days don't happen that often, and a BLD is very expensive, so at least for now I'm holding off.

Friday we tired the crap out of wee Kaline with three pack walks, back to back to back. After that, he took a big ol' nap, then came to the tdoc appointment with us—in his adorable vest—and after a little bit of being antsy, went to sleep again. How glorious.
 However, by about 7:30 or so, Kaline was fully recharged, so we went on a very long walk (Juno stayed home to beg dinner off my parents). We went to downtown Menlo Park, and Kaline met a ton of people, including two little girls. The girls were all over him, hugging and petting, and I would have said something if Kaline looked uncomfortable (most dogs don't like to be hugged). These kids hugged him, both at once, and he just closed his eyes and leaned harder against them. He looked positively blissful.

Kaline also finally encountered the stone dogs outside this one downtown store. It took a while before he was completely convinced that they weren't real. First he stayed back, stretching out his long neck and sniffing energetically. Then he got a little closer, for more sniffing. He went all over both the stone dogs, sniffing and sniffing. Then, as a final test, he playbowed before them and did his very best to get them to play, even barking and running in little circles. It was pretty amusing.

I took him to the park at the end, and he ran around me in circles, like he was a horse on a lunge line. More hilarity. He slept very well once I brought him home.

This morning we had obedience class. After starting in the back seat, this is where Kaline ended up by the time we got to the park.
Kaline did really well at the beginning, and of course started to lose focus toward the end. Now that I think back, I could just see the gas gauge getting to zero during the remote sits and downs, usually one of his best things. At first he was doing it, and then all of a sudden, he'd go down and he was down. Head on the ground, eyes saying, "Do not ask me to get up again."
I'm staying right here.
We did a lot of heeling work, especially in close with the other dogs. We also did a ton of individual recalls, and even when I dropped the leash, Kaline didn't break once. And that's a tough thing for a baby, to have to hold a sit when he sees all the other dogs running to their handlers. We did a lot of meet and greets with variation with a lovely German Shepherd named Harley (Juno, inexplicably, cannot stand either Harley or his biological brother, Wheeler). Kaline did all right there too—broke one sit when he got greeted by Harley's handler—but he was losing it, so all the sudden recalls started to not be tons of fun for him. He was totally fine when I left him in a down with Harley's handler and went out of sight for a few minutes. Woohoo!

After class, we did our first two-service-dog outing, to Red Robin. I was so nervous. What if they gave me a huge access challenge over having two dogs in the restaurant? What if Kaline peed in the restaurant? What if he suddenly barked at Juno and she barked back? What if he refused to hold any kind of a stay and just made a pest of himself?
Kaline on the way to Red Robin ... I was just hoping he didn't totally recharge by the time we got there.
It ended up being completely fine. Both dogs were very professional. Kaline wore his head collar, so I'd have more control if he started to go for something on the floor. We brought his new mat, which is (I kid you not) made of memory foam and has a super soft blue outside. Juno and Kaline walked in together, and I set their mats up on either side of my chair. I got Kaline settled, with Juno waiting patiently, then gave her the "on your mat" command. Kaline immediately snuggled down in his mat (hey, who wouldn't snuggle into that thing?) and only got up once or twice. I rewarded him periodically for his lovely settle.

And I must say, the staff at Red Robin were fabulous. They didn't ask any intruding questions, or give us trouble about the two dogs. Our server grinned at the dogs but never talked to or touched them. She was so sweet: "Yep, I could tell the little guy is in training—the big one is just cool." They sat us in an area with few other people, so there was plenty of space to put the dogs and have them out of the way of anyone walking.

Needless to say, I was very proud of the kids! Took them to Petco after (unvested, of course) to get some treats and loving up. Yay, our first real Juno-and-Kaline outing was a success!

1 comment:

  1. Yay, congrats on your outing success!

    The more I read about Juno, the more I just love her! She's such a rock star for you, and Kaline seems to be shaping up to follow in her footsteps very well.