Friday, October 30, 2009

Doggie Day Care!

We tried a new experience today - Doggie Day Care. I tried taking the Dew to a dog park the other day, but she is so intense and her energy level so high that she got the whole pack at the park worked up. I decided that day care might be a better, more controlled option.

Based on a friend's recommendation - I took her to a place not too far from downtown, which will work well in the future since I work near there. Honeydew had to pass an evaluation - and she did fine.

They then let her into the large yard with all of the other dogs (I am guessing there were 40 dogs in there). She immediately went running around the yard at full speed - a total spaz. She finally calmed down and spent the next 20-minutes smelling every square inch of the enclosure.

I came home to see if I could find her on the web cam feed they have -- I can catch little glimpses of her only now and again because she is always on the move. Just a few minutes ago - on the web cam - I could see the all of the dogs running in big circles, followed by staff trying to calm them down...only to realize that the chaos was being caused by none other than our little Dew, who had convinced the other dogs to chase her wildly around the yard. How embarrassing. Hopefully, she doesn't get kicked out!

Pictures are of her when she first entered the yard.

P.S. I am happy to report that Honeydew officially had a blast and was invited to return. They said Honeydew seems to think that doggie day care is the best invention ever, and that during the entire 4-hours she was there, they only saw her sit once - and then that was only for about 30 seconds. They said she ran and played the entire time. It must be true, because she immediately feel asleep as soon as she got in the car to go home.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sniff-Sniff...Where's the cheese?

Today we tried out a new job for Honeydew - "Tracking" (think search and rescue, without someone's life on the line). We took an all day tracking workshop. It was a blast!

I had no idea that dogs could just do this, almost without any training. An absolute "plug and play" adventure. In early training you use tools to help both you and the dog be successful (putting out flags to mark the track for the human, and dragging raw chicken on the ground to mark the track for the pup).

Honeydew instantly knew what to do - I could hardly keep up with her she was so intent on the track. Even if we had to wait for a while for our turn - which meant that the scent spread over a wider swath of path - she still worked it well...nose to the ground, weaving back and forth, back and forth over the scent trail as we wound our way to the end point (which was usually a leather glove with string cheese inside - oh the excitement!).

I think that Honeydew loved it most of all because she got to do three things that were always against the rules as a Guide Dog puppy....she was allowed to smell the ground and follow her nose (instead of following me, at my side), she got to pull hard on the leash (pulling in the harness when she has the scent is encouraged) and she got to eat string cheese she found on the ground. She definitely thought that "being bad never felt so good!"

In the pictures you can see Honeydew and I giving this tracking stuff a try (small specs out in the field), my view of Honeydew's butt - which is what I was looking at most of the day, and Honeydew patiently waiting her turn. She was really into this and could hardly contain her excitement while waiting for the other dogs to finish the track. "Can that pomeranian puhleeze get a move on? What is taking her so long? Is it my turn next?"

I think we found a good "job", at least for the weekends.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Dew's Arch-Nemesis

The Dew has met her match in the "cute puppy" department - her arch-nemesis of adorableness. I don't think she knows what to make of the whole situation - this little creature is taking attention away from her!

This weekend we are puppy-sitting an adorable little 10-week old Goldendoodle puppy. He isn't a Guide Dog puppy - he is a mix between a Golden Retriever and a Standard Poodle.

"Dakota Cooper North" is his name, and he is an adorable ball of fuzz. He wasn't sure what to make of Honeydew at first - but once she started spinning in crazy butt-circles (see picture), he decided she was pretty fun.

Honeydew, on the other hand, is pretty sure that he shouldn't be allowed to chew on her bones - and she sits looking longingly at whatever he is chewing on waiting for her chance to steal it away (grass is always greener, I guess).

Friday, October 2, 2009

A Dog's Life

Today I took Honeydew over to Bend (OR) to visit my family. My brother and his wife have 5 large, male dogs. I wasn't sure what to expect - having never been around Honeydew playing with other dogs (we didn't let her do that as a puppy because she was so dog distracted).

Honeydew hit it off with their newest edition - a big American Bulldog named Tony (see the pictures). She played and played and played with him. Chase, tug, wrestling. It was very cute. Needless to say, she snoozed the entire drive back to Portland.

I think she thinks being a 'normal dog' isn't half bad.