Sunday, January 27, 2013

Dante's Weekend Away

Or, this post could more aptly be titled, "We finally do something worth blogging about."

But I digress. 

This weekend, Dante had his second trip out of town.  My sister had a piano festival at a college a few hour away, so we came along.  

This was Dante's second hotel stay and he did great.  We opted not to tell the hotel about him ahead of time, because they have a no-pet policy and we were not sure how they would react (put us in a smoking room, etc.), but I am happy to report that not a single comment was made about him from any of their employees.  For those of you who are puppy raisers or have a service dog, you know how welcome this can be even over nice comments ;-)

There was a window bench along the wall, and my sister told Dante to "jump" onto it.  He did, and instead of telling him "off," she "released" him.  Dante did what any brilliant CCI puppy would do, and laid down and went to sleep!  Hahaha!

Hotel life agrees with this pup.

On Saturday morning, we dropped my sister off and decided to hang around campus for the day.  My mom and I took Dante to the tennis courts to burn some energy first.  If you read this post, you know that Dante scraped his paws pretty badly on tennis courts a few weeks ago.  This time, we were more careful, and he was just fine.

Just as we were walking back to the car, a campus bus came by.  Public transportation is something that I have been wanting to do with Dante for awhile, so we asked it we could ride the loop.  The driver was very nice and let us right onIt was almost full, but Dante did great and settled right on.  We ended up to moving where it was more comfortable for him when it emptied, but it was good that he got to experiences both ways.

 The afternoon was spent at Barnes & Noble; Dante sleeping, me working.   

Then my sister's recital, and 2 1/2 hour drive back home.  There are many things Dante is still working on, but one thing I must say about this puppy is that he makes a great travel buddy!

Friday, January 25, 2013


Yes, I know it has been three weeks since my last post.  Sometimes life gets crazy and sometimes you don't feel the need to post everything your teenage puppy does.  And sometimes both.  

Dante and I have lots of good days.  Take, for example, Tuesday when Dante went through his first fire drill in class and acted perfectly, like he had done it a million times.  I know he was slightly upset by the loud noise, but he was so good in trusting me and a funny look was all I got from him.

But right now there are plenty of not-so-good days too.  These days, it is hard not to get discouraged or lose patience with him (thankful for my dear mother who has taken him multiple times).  Sometimes it is his over-confidence, sometimes his lack of maturity, sometimes I lose patience too quickly, and sometimes all of the above.  

But it always seems that God sends encouragement at just the right moment: a story from a graduate; talking with our Puppy Program Manager; conversations with new potential raisers (more on that later!); or a sweet, encouraging comment from one of you.

 I love all of the videos on CCI's Youtube channel.  It is such a great reminder of why we do what we do.  This right here is why.  It is so encouraging to see these beautiful dogs working.  I still can't believe I get to be a part of all of this!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Bringing in the Year

Happy New Year, everyone!  Dante and I had a lot of fun (and some not-so-fun) on this first day of the year.

It has been raining so much the last couple weeks.  Our back yard is a muddy mess, and just having a bath a last week, Dante is not playing out there.  

We started our day later than I will admit here, and then took a trip to Target.  Usually, this is pretty mindless for Dante who has been here about a billion times, but today we got some good training in.  I went down this isle, and a hula hoop fell off and really startled Dante, so we stopped and walked through it upright and then practiced commands in it.  I decided to take advantage of the bouncy balls and add in some distractions.  

I love how he tucked his paws in

He did really well and became more comfortable with the hula hoops (some treats helped too!).   We also practiced lots of commands.

He is getting really proficient with his "ups."  I can now step away/behind him and he will stay.

We decided to go to the park where I could let Dante loose in the tennis courts so that he got in some good play/run time and there is no mud.  He was so happy to be able to RUN as he hasn't had really good, totally free play time in almost a week.

Dante is very smart.  He knows what his leash is, that it controls him, and when it is attached and when he can get away with something.  We have been working really hard on this and his independent attitude lately.  One thing that I noticed is that for the first fifteen minutes we were there, he would not come near me or let me approach him, for fear that I might put him back on-leash. 

I know it's really blurry, but it's such a funny pic!

Like I said, it took Dante about fifteen minutes to trust me that I wasn't going to put him back on-leash.  After that, he did many wonderful "here"s and even played Fetch for quite a while (he is also having a hard time getting the Fetch concept, as he prefers to run around like a madman).

"Dante, HERE!"

Watching some dogs walk by (and inviting them to come play with him.  Unfortunately for Dante, they kept going).

Ready for me to throw his ball.

We played for about 45 minutes and Dante was really slowing down.  Tired puppies are good puppies!  But we also noticed that he was limping.  When we got home I sat on the floor to cradle him and get a better look at his paw.  Turns out, he must have slid too much on the court and skinned his two front paw pads in four different places.

After talking with the wonderful people at CCI, my mom ran to the store to get some "liquid bandage" adhesive to put on them.  His paws aren't too bad, as he walks on them OK, but he is definitely cautious.  

Tired out.  You can see by the way he is laying, that his paws are hurting :-(

I had to put his Gentle Leader on to help control the licking.  Poor baby, I feel so bad.  The person from CCI that we talked to made us feel much better by sharing about the exact same thing that happened to their puppy.  They said that it is fine to take him back, but check him every little bit to make sure he doesn't do it again.  But, this means no walks for a few days, and no playing outside for a little while.  

What a way to bring in the new year!