|Me and Kaline with Sonja and Chief.|
Yesterday morning, Juno, Kaline and I were moseying along on our morning walk when I got a text from Sonja inviting us to San Jose. Sounded like a much more productive way to spend my Sunday than vegging out around the house! Sonja picked up me and Kaline and off we went!
We had such great fun and got to work Kaline and Chief on all kinds of different things. We parked down near where our friend Nicole used to live so we had a nice walk to the convention center. There was a craft fair going on there this weekend—not something either of us humans are real keen on, but an excellent outing opportunity for our boys. Plus there was Christmas in the Park, in a park right near the convention center.
At the craft fair, we met up with another SD team. Manuela was the handler, Sadie the dog. Sadie is a gorgeous border collie/Australian shepherd mix with amazing ice-blue eyes. We walked through all the aisles. Kaline actually did better than I expected with having to walk very slowly and stop frequently, due to crowds, and once I even caught him doing a block on his own! Chief was having a little bit of an off-day in there (when he was on the carpet, coming in and going out, he perked right up and did his delighted rubbing and rolling celebration) so Sonja carried him some of the time. If Kaline has an off-day, too bad, buddy, I'm not carrying you!
|Chief, Sadie and Kaline at the convention center.|
|Little bit of grounding at the craft fair.|
Once we'd gone through the fair, we set the boys up and worked on distractions. They held off leash down stays nicely, so then we asked Manuela to move around them with Sadie. We worked on removing each other's dogs, which sounds kinda scary (most people put badges on their dogs, or carry cards, which say DO NOT SEPARATE DOG FROM HANDLER) but it's a good thing for the pups to be accustomed to. In an emergency, emergency responders might have to take our SDs off to the side for safety. In turn, Sonja and I laid down on the floor with our dogs on our chests, and then the other person would come take the dog off to the side. Neither boy had a problem with it, which is very good.
|Off leash down stays.|
Then we did "bad dog" scenarios—basically, each of us mimicked things that assholes sometimes do when they see service dogs, or things that people who are not paying attention might do. Shaking fingers in their face, saying they're naughty or bad, grumping, "No dogs allowed!", nudging their bottoms, straddling them, stomping around, etc. Kaline had no problem with me straddling him and stomping, but he popped up when Sonja did it, so she worked with him a lot on that. Mostly he did quite well though, and Chief was a total star.
We went to lunch at Johnny Rockets, where Kaline refused to lie down because the floor was too cold (not to mention kind of grimy). I didn't have his mat with me, so I just let him sit there with his head in my lap. He didn't beg or anything, so it was actually really nice. Then we headed over to Christmas in the Park.
|Kaline at Johnny Rockets.|
|Doing a brief down at Johnny Rockets. Sonja took this shot blind!!|
There were all kinds of beautifully decorated Christmas trees and displays, plus a mascot roving around. We saw two kids riding razor scooters, so Sonja got them to come over and ride around me and Kaline in circles, doing little tricks. He did so much better than I expected! Normally he hears the noise of scooters or skateboards and gets a little nervous, won't look away from them. But he was really good, focused on me, even did a down stay with the scooters going around!
|Me and the boys with the mascot at Christmas in the Park.|
Across the street from the park, there was an ice skating rink. One of Sonja's older dogs, Josephine, used to get spooked by the noise of skates hitting the walls. So we took the boys over there and asked a group of girls to bang on the glass with their skates. Neither of them minded, really, though Kaline did some blocking after they did it. Cutie.
|At the ice rink with Kaline (blocking) and Chief.|
|Standing with the boys in front of a kids' ride.|
On the way back to the car, we let the dogs run around in an empty dog park. Kaline is getting a bit big for Chief to play with ... how sad. But before Chief ran out of gas, he led Kaline on a merry chase. Kaline can probably run faster than Chief, but Chief is far more agile and can make all kinds of tight turns and thwart Kaline. They both had a fabulous time.