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

15 December 2012

Christmas obedience class

Kaline demonstrates his Doberman comfort-seeking genes.
Today was our Christmas class at Stanford Shopping Center! We had a pretty good time. Kaline is used to the shopping center, but obviously today he was more distracted than normal since all his friends were there. His little buddy Lupo now has a snazzy bright red Ruffwear Cloudchaser—he looked so cute. Poor Kaline should've been wearing some sort of jacket. I thought we'd be mostly inside stores, but we turned out to be mostly outside between stores, and it was cold.

We always do Needless Markup (also known as Neiman Marcus) first, then disperse. We paraded through the first floor, went up the elevator in shifts—no one had any issues—then worked on group down stays right in front of the escalators. The dogs were freaking adorable. Whenever I got the chance, I'd work on auto-settling with Kaline. He did pretty well.
Kaline between Bean (Cairn Terrier) and Traci (German Shepherd).
L-R: Bollie (mixed breed), Rex (Golden Retriever), Bean (Cairn Terrier) and Kaline.
Back row, L-R: Gracie (yellow Labrador), QD (Border Terrier), Jessie (chocolate Labrador), and Bollie (mix). Front row, L-R: Phi (Sheltie), Percy (colored Bull Terrier), Sienna (terrier mix), Juno!!, Jockey (Norfolk Terrier), and Rex (Golden Retriever).

We meandered all over the shopping center, eventually running into our friend Sylvia (I've gotten to know her because her house is on the Black Dog Walk route) and her newest CCI puppy, Scotland! Scotland is a three-month-old Lab/Golden cross. Kaline was crazy about her. She is unspeakably cute, I must say. Sylvia and my dad really hit it off because they are from the same area of Pennsylvania, so we ended up standing around in the middle of the center for what seemed like hours.
How many more times do I have to pose with inanimate objects?

Being an adorable puppy himself, Kaline attracted child after child. And he was excellent with them. I was so proud. He did not jump on a single one, or even appear to think about jumping. He sat very nicely while they petted him, and went for little kisses whenever cheeks came in range. If the kids wanted to give one of the doggies a cookie, they got to visit the chow hound, Junebug, who gleefully slimed their hands as they held out treats for her.

We had an afternoon full of grooming, mostly for Kaline. Juno's toenails are fine if I grind them once every two weeks; Kaline's need to be ground (grinded?) intensively at least once a week. Probably twice if I was really a good dog mommy. So we did that, and then both of them got brushed. And then came Kaline's anti-favorite, the bath.

He still needs "help" getting in. He could, physically, jump in, but he won't, even if I put a rug in the bathtub for traction. He was okay after I helped him in. He was seriously pissed about being bathed in cool water though. I'm hoping the bath in the special sensitive-skin shampoo will help us get through the next week or so till his Paco collar gets here. The skin on his neck has been more flaky than normal lately, in certain spots. Ugh.

For the first time in a while, I accepted an invite to the movies from Dad. Then I agonized for a while about which dog to take. Kaline is more attuned to my psych stuff, but obviously is too young/untrained to really help with anything fibro-related. And he requires a lot more involvement in general. But I really wanted to get him the work, especially on settling. Then dinner got added into the mix, and I pretty much knew that that'd be too much for Kaline. Two hours lying quietly in a theatre, then a couple more hours lying under a table? Yeah, surrre.

So once I settled on Juno, I roped Dad into a Trader Joe's outing for Kaline. He worked the best he ever has in his head collar. He was paying attention, walking with me, responding quickly and enthusiastically to commands. He did hardly any sniffing. I had Dad run the cart by us, very close to Kaline, while he was both sitting and lying down. No problems. Dad walked by us and stomped loudly next to Kaline; he nudged his butt while he was in both sit and down stays; he did the bad-dog-hand-waving that Sonja and I like to play around with. Kaline was a little rock. And then he blocked wonderfully in line.

I put him on the treadmill at a trot for about 15 minutes to drain him before we left for the movies. Juno was perfect at both the movies and dinner. Kaline probably would've been fine at the movie, but oh man, he would've been way overstimulated at the restaurant. It was very crowded there, and we had to wend a very narrow path between oodles of tables to get to ours. Juno does not sniff people or tables, but let me tell you, Kaline sure would have! All at nose height—oh boy.

The one disappointing part of the evening (other than getting scolded for not indulging the curious people who ask intrusive questions) was realizing it was impossible for me to use the bathroom at the Guild Theatre. It was built in 1912, I think, so obviously it doesn't have to comply with the accessible bathrooms part of the ADA. It still sucked. The stalls were so tiny, no one with a medium-sized or larger SD—much less someone in a wheelchair—would have been able to fit. The bathroom itself was not large enough to accommodate a SD doing a down stay outside of the stall. And I couldn't even put her on an out of sight down stay in the tiny bathroom "lobby" because every time the door opened it would have hit her. I wrote them a kindly worded letter about the problem; I doubt there's much that can be done but it can't hurt to bring it to someone's attention.

Maybe I'll use Kaline training as an excuse to be bad and eat fast food tomorrow. Hehe. I loved using the McDonald's near Kepler's as a training ground for Juno when she first started training. Mmm, definitely a possibility.

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