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

02 September 2012

Car shopping and skateboards

Big day yesterday, mostly chilling out today. We were supposed to have class Saturday morning, but it got cancelled at the last minute. Since we were at the park anyway, we just worked the dogs a bit in the usual spot, then took them on two laps around the park. Kaline did pretty much all his stuff, including a bit of heeling and finding the heel position. I also did drops on recall with Juno, who had a lightbulb moment when I realized I should be taking a step toward her as I was giving the hand signal. She dropped way quicker after that.

Kaline did pretty well with his loose-leash walking; good stays, good remote sits and downs. Semi-decent recalls, sigh. We're having trouble coming in straight still.

After training, Kaline went into his crate for a nap and Juno came to the Honda dealership to check out the CRV. I definitely like the 2012, but of course it's pretty out of my price range unless I can get a good lease or something. It's got these very easy to pull handles that make the seats flop down; basically I was checking it out to see what would hurt my hands and what would be easy on them. Putting the seats back together definitely hurt, plus they separate into two parts, the second of which needs a lot of force to go back into place. Juno had no trouble hopping up into the back, so yay.

We also went to the used Honda place across the street, but they only had a 2004 CRV with almost as many miles on it as Faithful Little Tygs On Top. The point in getting a new car is not to have to keep bringing it in for repairs that basically cost more than the car is worth, so that one is out. They also showed us this fire-engine-red Scion which was pretty much the ugliest car I'd ever seen. Plus the seats didn't go flat. Also out.

We came home, Juno went upstairs to join Mom's nap in progress, and grabbed Kaline to go check out Toyotas. He did great. We saw a used 2011 Rav4 which was practically perfect, but obviously we are still in research mode and not ready to get a car. The back opens to the side, instead of up, which is easier for me, and has the same seat levers that the CRV does.

Kaline could almost get himself into the back—he couldn't because he's uncoordinated, and cars for sale have this smooth plastic on the floors so he couldn't get any traction. Any adult, non-senior dog his size or a little smaller won't have a problem leaping in. He was also able to hop into "his spot" in the front seat foot space. When he wasn't being called upon to test the car's dog friendliness, he just lay down on the ground and waited patiently. What a good pup.

The used Rav4 was right in the target price range too. Dad has a car guy in one of his business groups, so hopefully we can set him on the trail of a used 2011 CRV (cause yeah, I like those better). Either one will work just fine though, I think. They both have their good points and drawbacks.

Both dogs were quiet and lovely while I was home with them and the parents went out to dinner and a movie. We went on a long walk to downtown Menlo Park, and had an impromptu skateboard desensitization session.

Three boys from the nearby middle school were coming toward us, two on skateboards, and Kaline shied away from the sound. (I'm pretty sure it's the sound, because when bikes or scooters go by—wheels, similar speed—he doesn't really care.) As soon as they saw us, the very considerate boys immediately got off their boards and picked them up to walk past. I asked them if they'd mind riding past slowly, and maybe letting Kaline smell their boards. They were happy to oblige, and the encounter ended with Kaline eagerly picking treats off their boards. He even put both feet on one board and sent it rolling away; he was not at all fazed when it clattered off. What nice kids!

Kaline all of a sudden became a total pill later in the night when the parents came home. Once I got him out of one place he wasn't supposed to be, he'd immediately go to another. Oh, puppyhood. Nights like that make me long for the day when he turns two (or three) and gets his grown-up brains. Or whatever passes for grown-up brains among male Dobermans, haha!

Today we did our usual walk to the Farmer's Market, the walk-through, and Borrone's. No problems, very little inappropriate sniffing on the puppy's part. Positioning is always a problem at the market, though, because I've got both dogs, both fair-sized now, and it's always crowded. I heard one guy (not the kids' parent, but their babysitter, I guess) explaining to the children why they mustn't touch my dogs, and thanked him profusely for doing so. Then we let the kids pet Kaline while I rewarded him for maintaining focus on me. 
Chilling at the Farmer's Market.

At the cafe, I tried to put Kaline in the sun because we didn't have a mat for him today. Of course he immediately moved to the shade! He did well though, didn't eat a tempting strawberry that was on the ground near his paws, and didn't go for the plate the kids at the next table kept leaving one body length away from him. The kids also kept throwing random crap in the fountain; the splashes didn't bother Kaline either. (The kids sure bothered my dad though!)
By the fountain.

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