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

10 February 2013

Our week

Another slow week, especially because I gave myself a bit of an ankle sprain on Wednesday night. That flared up massively overnight cause the fibro gnome got aroused, so I was having a flareup all over for the next couple days.

So Juno got to come with me to the doctor's office on Friday. I toyed with the idea of taking Kaline but ended up bringing Juno, which was the right idea. The building has these tiny, narrow door buttons which were a little confusing for her, but she figured it out. I need to figure out a time to work Kaline on those. Weirdness is good!
We ordered a new little vest ... Still hasn't arrived. Dammit.

In the exam room, Juno helped me off with my sweatshirt jacket, once the nurse was gone. I don't know why but I always feel bizarrely shy about asking her to tug off my jacket in front of people. Then she crashed on the floor till we were done. My doctor wasn't overly worried, just a bit pissed at me for hobbling about on all my dog walks Thursday and Friday. So I wasn't allowed to go to SF and walk around all day Saturday with Sonja. (We did go to obedience class though.) By Sunday, today, I felt all better with my foot.

Yesterday we did obedience class, and Kaline was excellent except for whinging a bit while waiting for his recall. His heeling was very nice, plus we had like three people tell us how tall Kaline is getting. That always puffs me up, like I've accomplished something (ha!). During Kay's stays, I worked on proofing—nudging his butt, staring challengingly into his face and having others do the same, stomping around him, straddling him, stepping over him. Pretty solid. After class he blissfully let his buddy Lupo chew on his snout and ears and front legs.

Today, Kaline did his usual public access work in the morning: Farmer's Market, bagel place, Trader Joe's, and Walgreen's. He settled faster this week in the bagel place, even though he was on the tile instead of the carpet. He was fantastic in Trader Joe's and had an excellent time doing the buttons at Walgreen's. One was right at nose level, and wonder of wonders, Kaline pressed it with his nose! (He likes to use his enormous feet whenever possible.)
At the bagel place.

And then this afternoon, we went with Freddie, Anne, and their four collective dogs to the Horse Park at Woodside! Only Kaline was invited—he needs to run, plus we were going to work on his off-leash recall with the e-collar. I ordered a pair of collars for him and Juno for this purpose, but they haven't arrived yet.

Before anyone leaps on me for using an e-collar: Freddie has used them for decades, as has Anne, so with them they get used properly. They are never used to teach a dog a behavior. They are used to communicate with the dog over distance to enforce a behavior the dog has already been taught: here, the recall. We had already done some short-distance conditioning with Kaline. Call him, and if he ignores, he gets nicked. To turn the electricity off, he has to touch the hand of whoever calls him. None of the dogs do more than twitch their heads when they get nicked; no screaming, no flipping out. And the recalls are unbelievable.

We had to nick Kaline maybe once or twice at the start, and that was it. It was amazing to be out in this huge grassy area, with Kaline able to run and play and gambol to his heart's content, and know that I'd be able to get him back. He ran and attempted to get everyone to play with him (no one was really having it, unfortunately!). He even splashed into a little pond once! He clambered up and down the jumps, did beautiful joyous recalls, just ran himself totally ragged. He isn't too coordinated yet, but it was still so pretty to watch him.

We were there for about an hour. Rio, Freddie's black Lab, got to do some retrieving, and Mudd, Anne's 12-year-old chocolate Lab, sometimes joined in. Lucky, Anne's little rescue who looks like a Dachshund with long legs, ran around on his own schedule, and Dealer, her Norfolk terrier, kept everyone in line. Kaline got in his face one too many times and Dealer laid down the law with him. If only Juno could channel that a little bit sometimes! Kaline squawked in surprise and then left Dealer alone.

We are now home, and Kaline, having woken from his nap, is watching the broadcast of Westminster 2012 with highly amusing, deep interest! When a little Staffordshire bull terrier started bouncing around on screen, he was enthralled. Marvelous.

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