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

19 November 2012

Our Sunday

Kaline had another mostly excellent Sunday. We walked downtown with him in his vest, which is not the usual way of things but turned out to be a good idea. On the corner of Santa Cruz, we ran into a barefoot man who seemed ... off. I did what I do with Juno when I feel very wary of a person—I told Kaline "break" when we got to the corner, instead of making him sit beside me. That way his back wouldn't be to this man, and he could move around.

Kaline made a circle around me, and then just stood staring at this guy. For all I know, it could have been his regular, "A new person! Do you want to be FRIENDS?!" look that he does to a lot of people. But anyway, it made me feel better. And then the guy asked to pet Kaline, and I was so grateful he had his vest on, because I could say, "No, he's working right now."

Which sent the guy into a rant, yelling at me about how could I not know he's a dog lover, does my dog work for the government, something must be very wrong with me, etc. Luckily we got the walk signal right as the rant started and booked it across the street. I was panicking, bigtime.

As soon as I saw an empty chair outside Stacks, the restaurant on the corner, I plopped down in it and with the tiniest invitation, Kaline practically threw himself on me, paws on my shoulders, leaning his whole upper body into my chest. Such a good boy! Right at this time a veteran saw him and started telling me about this Paws For Purple Hearts program they have at the VA nearby, and how he's training a service dog. Which is awesome, don't get me wrong. Big yay for programs that train dogs for vets, because there aren't enough and the VA makes nothing easier.

But jeez, dude, you're training dogs to respond not just to physical problems but PTSD and other mental issues. And you see a baby SDIT clearly doing a task ... maybe not the best time to try and engage the handler in conversation. I did the best I could responding, because I knew he meant well, but still.

Once Kaline had calmed me down, we headed off to the Farmer's Market. It was the first time in a long time we didn't have to deal with pets in there—so nice. Kaline did good blocking, didn't pull as much, paid attention, etc. He was not as good in the bagel place, where he was very antsy for the first ten minutes or so before settling down. It was kinda tight quarters, so at one point he was down but blocking the tiny aisle. This kid had to get through and just stepped right over him—sometimes I love kids! Cause Kaline stayed perfectly still and it was nice practice.

Trader Joe's went really well. We were in the meat and cheese aisles and he showed no interest in sniffing anything. He did a little bit of blocking in line, even though it was again a very tight space and there was another person right next to him that he was keeping away from me.

Later in the evening, we had a bunch of tiny fridge sessions. (Kaline also amused himself at times by just opening and closing cabinets.) Kaline got the fridge door unsealed (he doesn't quite open it the way Juno does, to the point where you can reach in, but it's early) twice all by himself. I worked with Juno on retrieving metal objects (in this case, a butter knife). She hates to have metal in her mouth so it's an ongoing thing. She could get the knife off the bed, but had a harder time getting it off the rug or the floor. She did fine retrieving my keys, because they have two leather strips (from BLD!) as keychains.

I'm not going to be hard and fast about the one task per week resolution. I'd rather get Kaline's fridge-opening skills to be very reliable before we move on.

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