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

17 August 2012

Outings with Chief

Kaline and Chief are fast becoming best friends. They will play with each other until one or both basically collapses from exhaustion. Yesterday, Chief and Sonja came out to training in the park. Kaline's face when he saw Chief arrive was priceless. He was stoked.

Juno and Kaline didn't get a ton of work in yesterday—we had a lot of dogs. Kaline did a pretty good job doing figure eights for the first time, though. It's a great heeling exercise, because the human has to work very hard on keeping a smooth, steady pace regardless of the turns (I usually hum "Do You Remember" in my head because it has a good beat to match my pace to), and the dog has to work on maintaining the heel position through an inside turn (slow down) and an outside turn (speed up). So Kaline got to do figure eights, and Juno got to do jumping and recalls and down-stays. We say it lovingly and jokingly, but her nickname, from all the broken down-stays, is Goddammit Juno. (Just like Peter is Jesus Peter.) We have a little too much fun cracking up and joking about at training.

We left training at exactly 4:30 to get home and be ready for our Animal Control appointment. They were scheduled to come between 5:00 and 8:00. Because Kaline is Canadian, there were all kinds of incredibly preposterous restrictions on him from Customs. Apparently rabies is just rampant there, and all puppies, even from great breeders, are exposed. (That's sarcasm.) Seriously, the restrictions on Kaline were identical to those he'd have had if he were an unvaccinated dog who'd been in contact with a confirmed rabid animal. If one actually followed those rules with a puppy from 9-17 weeks old, you'd have the most maladjusted, antisocial dog ever. Basically no going outside except to pee in the backyard, no contact with any humans or dogs outside the immediate family.

Anyway, yesterday was the day we got our figurative walking papers. The lovely man from Peninsula Humane Society came, I opened the door, he cooed over Kaline, and then said, "Okay, you're all set!" I was a little confused and said, "Um, don't you want to see his rabies certificate?" He shrugged and said, "Sure, if you have it." Clearly enforcing these insane rules is not a huge priority for them (he asked if Kaline had been through puppy classes yet, even though he wasn't ever supposed to set foot outside the house). And that's as it should be, because there are a lot of dogs actually in need of their attention! We had a great time chatting with the Animal Control officer about the improvements made at PHS (Juno is an alum) and about the two wonderful dogs he adopted from there. He just loved Kaline. Of course.

Today we had our pack walks in the morning, then came home for lunch and a lovely snuggly nap. Our tdoc appointment got cancelled, so we went on adventures. First we stopped by Mr. Choo's, the tailor, to introduce Kaline to him (he's crazy about Juno and has been asking my mom to get me to bring Kaline by). He loved the puppy and made sure to lavish attention on Juno too. Kaline was a little more distracted than normal because there was a big mirror; he still doesn't trust that strange dog who looks just like him and keeps copying him without fail!

After that, we went to meet Sonja, Hendrik and Chief over in Burgess Park. We let the puppies play off leash—they ran each other ragged and had a brilliant time. There was one point where their play drifted into a little soccer area for the kids, and one of the kids took off and Kaline took off after him ... I was of course a bit horrified and ran after Kaline to get him. No one seemed worried but me! Turned out, the kid's mom was laughing the whole time because they have two German Shorthaired Pointers, and the kid loves having them chase him. Other than that they did pretty well. Ate some mud, but hey, what are you going to do.

Sonja, who is a dog training genius, taught Juno to bark on command in about two minutes. I have been trying to figure out how to teach her that for years, and could never do it! It was no trouble getting the Labs to do it, but Juno, no way. Apparently you have to make woofie noises (I was doing that) while showing lots of open mouth and teeth (I wasn't doing that). Then they think you're playing and get excited and eventually bark back at you. It was so awesome!

Our last big adventure was going to the Stanford campus, which I've never taken much advantage of despite living here my whole life. It's almost as pretty as Michigan! And it's super service-dog/handicapped friendly. Every building not only has at least one door with a handicap button; there are always two buttons, one at the normal level and one almost at ground level, for people who either use their feet to push the buttons or who have short/small service dogs.

We walked around campus a bunch, then found a set of buttons to practice on. Juno was freaking awesome. I got her to push the button with both her paw and her nose. And since I was using the clicker, she'd get her treat and immediately bounce back to hit the button again (her cue is "Hit that"). Fabulous girl. Chief worked on the low button and did great, and I tried Kaline on both. He actually had a much easier time with the higher button; he's already tall enough that when he puts his paws on the wall, he can either hit that high button with his paw or his nose. He got the door to open once and I jackpotted him. It was a lot of fun.

We went to another courtyard and sat on the ground while the little boys wrestled some more. Damn, they're cute. Kaline is so clumsy and yet gentle with Chief, and they do tons of bitey face. And of course they really didn't have much traction on the smooth cement, so if they got up any speed chasing, they'd slide for a while if they tried to stop. Chief finally decided he was done, so we made our way back to our cars with our very tired babies. We're going to make a weekly thing of this—it's going to be great for the dogs!

Pictures hopefully to come ... Next week I'm gonna try and remember to take my Real Camera™, not my little phone.

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