Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Miscellaneous Ramblings

I am sorry that I have not written in a while.  It has been one of those weeks.  Dante is at that age where he can be quite a pill.  Honestly, I have not been wanting to write because I didn't have very many positive things to share, and it is not my point to highlight or dwell on Dante's troubles, so I thought it best to keep shut.  I know he just needs time to grow out of it, but a few times per day, he heads to his crate because I need a good amount of "no puppy" time.

Right now, Dante is sprawled  out on his back at my feet sleeping - finally.

Some things this week:  Dante took another trip to Petco and got to see a really friendly ferret.  It was so funny to watch them because the ferret was not the  least bit afraid on Dante.  They followed each other back and forth along the glass.  They were so cute!

Dante also got a "big boy" collar.  His little one was starting to look so funny on him, and he was almost grown out of it.  At over 40 lbs. I am surprised it was strong enough to hold him.  I swore that I would not buy a personalized collar, because I want to remind myself as often as possible that he is not mine, therefore, was just going to keep a plain blue one on.  But my mom and sister talked me into it.  It is brown, and I think it looks really nice against his fur.  

Okay, okay!  It might have a small floral design, but you cannot tell from afar, and it was on sale (I also have a plain brown one that looks nice).  I think Dante is secure enough in his manliness that he can pull off a few flowers!  ;-)  He is looking SO grown up!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Take 2

We're still waiting for his "big boy" vest to come.  It should be here this week.
 I took Dante to Target again tonight.  Am I worried about his being afraid of it? Heck no!  He did fantastic!  I am sorry that all I have is this blurry picture.  But he was great checking in and kept looking at me like, "This is great, isn't it?  I can't believe I got to come back!"  This dude loves his adoring public! ;-)

Having a puppy with you brings out a lot of people.  Before we left, I had Dante in a "down" just to the side of Target's door to practice staying with distractions as people walked in and out, and this guy squats down 3 feet in front of him, and call to him to come.  It isn't the first time it had happened (and it drives me CRAZY!), and usually Dante tries to get up.  But this time, Dante stayed and looked at me.  Win!  The guy looked at me like he was insulted, and I said that he is in training, and that he is not supposed to get up.  He said "Oh." and kept walking.  He so did not get the significance of this, but I was really proud of Dante.  A few minutes later, I overheard him tell the people he was with "Do you see him? He is in training to be a service dog."  I love when people I talk to keep educating more people!

A few minutes later, this lady comes up behind me and says, "Excuse me.  Where did you get his vest?  I am training my service dog and am looking for one."  I know that the simplest Google search can bring up hundreds of different vests and service dog gear, so I doubted her validity, and was not going to say this, so I replied, "He came with it."  She than asked "Where did you buy him?  How much did he cost?"  I explained that I was a volunteer, and was issued Dante and the vest from CCI.  Some people I just can't help but say "What!?!?!" 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Here We Go!

I took Dante on his first "official" outings today.  We headed to Office Depot first.  How could I forget to take pictures??

The Office Depot in my town is really quiet.  Like we were there for about ten minutes and we saw one other customer.  

When we got out of the car there was an UPS truck in front and a yappy little dog in a nearby car.  Dante was very distracted by this.  After a few minutes I decided just to take him in.  And as soon as we walk in the door, I had the best "check-ins" from Dante.  We walked around the near-empty store for less then ten minutes, and Dante did great.  He did bark once.  I am still not sure if it is a nervous thing or just his sassy-ness/boredom.  The manager came over and asked to pet Dante, and he did very well and held his "sit."  I am very thankful that Dante is getting such welcoming responses from different places around town!  

We then had to make a quick stop at Target.  My plan was to walk Dante in to the Pharmacy counter where my mom was, and then walk out with her.  Estimated time: about five minutes.  Just enough time to get the exposure, but short enough to leave on a sweet note.  

Overall, I have not been getting stopped with Dante as much as I first expected.  We usually get one or two people who actually stop us and ask (or not) to pet him.  We walked through with lots of "look at the puppy!"s but not a single person stopping us.  Until we reach the Pharmacy.

Dante was doing GREAT, like he had been there a thousand times.  As we approached the counter, there were two - to put it frankly - completely out of control kids.  The younger one looked about five or six and came over with outstretched arms yelling "I'm gonna give her a hug!"  I quickly put out my hand trying to keep him back while I said, "Wait a minute!"  By this time the older kid (seven or eight), and their Dad had turned to see what was going on.  I tried explained in the simplest manner I could that they had to wait until I said it was okay, all the while trying to keep this kid off my puppy.  

Being a teenager myself, I always feel awkward trying to correct people's kids, especially while their parents are present, but their dad had absolutely no control over them.  

I really should have turned and walked away without another word, but at the time, it didn't come to mind.  Dante sat, and they pet/hugged him.  

After a minute, Dante had had enough, and I knew it.  I looked at my mom, and we both knew that he was starting to get overwhelmed.  I knew that the only way we could stop was to leave, so we started to head for the door.  The smaller kid came running, trying to pet Dante, and with that I had had enough, and blocked his hand with mine and said "you cannot pet him," very firmly and with all the niceness I could muster.  

We found a bench outside and sat down.  I did not want to leave on a bad note, so I gave Dante some ice cubes and he was fine.  I decided that I would walk Dante in and out really quickly with lots of praise and treats so that he wouldn't have a negative association.  He trotted in like he owned the place, and I gave him a hug when we got to the car.  

Looking back, I should have hightailed it outta there before it started,  but we are both learning as we go.  

Dante really is handling his outing amazingly well.  He is very interested when we go out, but still listens very well.   He has never seemed overwhelmed by places, but I think I am going to say "no petting" when we are in new places, until he is completely comfortable there.  

Dante still does not settle very well, even at home, so we are going to keep our outing really, really short until he can do that better at home, and then work up to it at different places.  

So far this pup has amazed me at how smart he is, and how well he handles situations.  Even today, he recovered amazingly well, and we ended on a good note.  Oh, how I love this puppy!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Five Months!

Today is Dante's five month day!  I cannot believe how fast he is growing up.  August 2013 will be here before I know it.  Here are five things I love about Dante:

  1. Dante is a cuddle bug!  If you sit on the floor with him, he will climb in your lap and stay there for as long as possible.
  2. Dante is smart!  I have nicknamed him my little GPS because when we go for walks, he know every corner, and how to get home.  My mom and I joke that if Dante ever gets lost we'll know where to find him - at home!
  3.  The teething and chewing is finally starting to wind down!  We're almost there!
  4.  Dante is confidant.  He loves to go to new place and is always ready to try something new!
  5. Dante can now start going in public!  He has been on a few very short outings to the library, post office, etc., but now that he is five months, we can start going more places!
Happy five months!

Friday, May 18, 2012


The last week has been getting pretty warm.  It has been in the low 90's and I know over the summer it will get well over 100.  Dante has already been showing that he is uncomfortable on the hot pavement, so we got some booties for him.  You really just have to watch the video...

On another funny note:  Dante has been h-o-r-r-i-b-l-e about chewing and playing with his leash, so my PPM suggested we get some "bitter apple" to spray on it.  We took Dante to Petco today, and were just going to buy one, but the lady who worked there told us to try it on him first.  We went through ALL (6 or 7) of the products they have and Dante just licked it up with a wagging tail.  We eventually found one he didn't like, but he keeps us laughing hard!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

So Long, Crate!

Yes, I am just now sending back Dante's little crate he flew here in.  I really should have sent it back over a month ago.

I had set up Dante's wire crate in the house and moved this one to my car, so I wouldn't have to keep moving it back and forth.  And I kind of forgot about it.  I keep telling myself that at least I am getting it done before his five month birthday on Saturday.  But I have no excuses.

I am a sentimental person, and so I had to pull this up:  my first ever picture of Dante at the cargo pick-up in the airport:

Dante helped me take it apart and clean it.  He even tried it out one last time.

Dante all hunched over in his little crate.

I love his face in this picture!  This is Dante 110%

He was very interested in the hose, and loved when I sprayed it on his paws.

Trying to figure out why his crate is flooded.
 I tethered him so he couldn't reach it while I actually cleaned it, and he was not too happy that he could not play in the soapy water.  

As you can see, he is laying all the way at the end of his leash

Ahh, he's growing up.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures!

I take way too many pictures of Dante, and I readily admit it.  But really, my philosophy is that I have to fit a life-time of photos into a year-and-a-half.  So, here are some more!


SO proud of his stick!

Finally caught on to fetch

Yeah, he chewed out the tennis ball on the top...

Pure joy!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Here are some random pictures from the last week.  Enjoy!

We took Dante to our neighborhood pool a few times.  He really liked checking it out.  I'll try to get some better pictures when it is a little lighter out.

Since this post, Dante has barked four times when out: at the post office, the garden center of Home Depot, Petco, and at Awana. Here is proof:

Blurry barking at Home Depot

Dante loves to walk on different surfaces, and went on these all by himself!

Jack and Dante on their way to friendship:

Notice he is barking at me and not the cat.

Having fun at the library:

Thank goodness he did NOT bark in the library...

Dante's favorite pass-time: running around with a stick.

Friday, May 4, 2012

At the Mall

Oh my, it has been an entire week since I last posted.  I have had a pretty busy week, so Dante has been getting out in spurts.  So the next couple post shall be catching up.

Last Friday we headed to the mall.  It is outdoors, so we did a lot of walking around and practicing commands.  Dante was having an especially good day, and was listing very well.

Checking in

Our mall has a kids section that we had fun in.  Dante practiced sitting on different surfaces and levels:

This picture does not do justice to how BIG Dante's paws are.  Everywhere we go, people say two things:  "He's so cute!" and "His paws are HUGE!":

Dante's big paws next to a bear's bigger paw prints

There were a bunch of different statues too.

This dog has THE sloppiest sits I have ever seen...

I had Dante "sit" and stay there while I hopscotched.  He stayed while I went down and all the way back!  Yay for little victories!

There was also a little house that he got to check out:

How I love this goofy golden smile!

I love getting out with this little guy!  And he loves it too.  When I take him somewhere (especially after a day or two of being home all day), his whole demeanor changes and he is the happiest, most well behaved puppy in the world.  He loves to go to new places and meet new people, and that makes for a happy raiser!