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

24 December 2012

Kaline's long down work continues

Kaline's in the opposite of the doghouse right now!

Last night, I took him to a gathering of friends (one of the group who doesn't get a chance to come home a lot is in town for the holidays). If I were just thinking of which dog could handle the situation better, hands down it would be Juno. But 1) my mom doesn't appreciate being Kaline's babysitter and 2) Kaline needs a lot more work on that kind of situation than cool-as-a-cucumber Juno does.

So off we went to the restaurant/bar in Palo Alto. Before we left, I put Kaline on the treadmill for a good 45 minutes to try and tire him out. He wasn't perfect, but he did really well for being a baby in that environment. There were a lot of new people, it was crowded, and it was loud. I brought Kaline's cushy mat and a full bait bag, plus he wore his red Cloudchaser to make sure he stayed nice and warm.

We stayed about two and a half hours, and I was pleased with how both of us did. When I pretty much know Kaline isn't going to be a Completely Professional Old Hand Invisible Service Dog, I can get preemptively nervous and uptight. I stayed pretty cool last night, I thought! When Kaline alerted, I took it seriously and let him in my lap until he felt I had chilled enough for him to go back down. When he popped up from his down and got nudgy, I didn't freak, just put my foot on his leash so the only comfortable position was a down. I remembered to reward him periodically when he was good, and I didn't flip over normal puppy antsy-ness.
Kaline right after we arrived.

Kaline, for his part, spent a huge majority of the time in a calm, relaxed down, punctuated by little bits of popping up and being antsy. It's much easier to focus on the times he wasn't doing what I wanted, but when you think about it, he really did much more of what I did want than what I didn't. It's just easier to overlook a dog who is being "invisible"! It was a tough test for him, and I am definitely proud of how he did.
Kaline after he got more comfy.

After a long time I could tell he'd had enough, so I let everyone know I was leaving and said if anyone wanted to say hi, they could come outside and I'd take off his vest so Kaline could socialize. He had a great time getting to meet people! (Oh, and a great friend moment: When I first brought Kaline in, one of the guys started trying to get his attention. Before I could even say anything, one of my buddies leaned over and said, "You can't do that. Don't distract him, he's a service dog." WOOHOO!!!!)

Today is Christmas Eve, so we've got some stuff planned. The parents invited me to both lunch and dinner, so I decided Kaline would go to lunch, Juno to dinner. Mom was a bit worried about how Kaline might behave at lunch, which of course got me worried. We were going to Carpaccio which is a nicer place, so if he decided to be a pill it would not be good.

So we did the two pack walks, and when we got home early, instead of letting Kaline rest, I took him right out again to work in a hardware store until it was lunchtime. Worked like a freaking charm. I took him into the restaurant, put him on his mat next to my chair, and except for rising to a sit when Dad showed up, Kaline was silent and practically motionless under the table for the entire meal. I reached down every now and again to stroke him, praise him quietly, and/or give him a treat. He was so good. Even Mom was impressed!
Wearing a Christmas ruff and settling like a champ.

I think we all know Juno is going to be a star at dinner tonight. Grin.


  1. Yay Kaline! He's just so awesome (and so handsome in that collar ^^) I'm also extremely proud of your friend for driving home the "service dog" point.

    1. Yeah, I get a real kick out of it when my friends know their stuff about SDs. :)