Puppy walking

An adventure in looking after a puppy until it is old enough to be properly trained as a guide dog for the blind.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Thankgiving 2005

We took this photo to send to my niece Liz who is ski training in Switzerland and so missed Thanksgiving here.

Rocky has had a busy two days. He goes and goes and then collapses and sleeps like the dead. It started on Saturday at noon when my parents arrived for Thanksgiving. Rocky had met them before but anyone new in the house is always a treat for a puppy - more people to play with! We packed their car with the food and other things I was bringing to contribute to the family dinner at my older sister Kathie’s place and took off for the 20 minute ride. This time in a car, Rocky sat at my feet in the back seat and he was as good as gold. He couldn’t see out my window, so he turned around and looked out Peter’s side window. He was so interested in everything that went past the window - other cars, noisy vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists. It was a charm to watch him watching other things. He didn’t even try to climb up on the seat or anything, seemingly content to just sit and watch.

When we got to Kathie’s place, I wanted him to pee before we went in the house but he was too excited to listen. So we all trouped in and said hello and kept him in the leash so we could know exactly where he was. After about 5 minutes, Peter took him off the leash and he ran around sniffing everything but still being a very good puppy. Peter took him outside after only 10 minutes to see if he would pee and he still didn’t. I just didn’t want him to make a mess on Kathie’s new hardwood floors.

There were a total of 7 adults at the house so Rocky was never short of someone paying attention to him. While I helping with some food preparation, Peter would take Rocky out about every 10 minutes but he still wouldn’t pee. Finally Peter asked me to take him out and we walked up the street a little and he had a pee. Must be the “mom influence”.

When we settled down for dinner, you could see that Rocky smelled the turkey and was interested in it but he has not (and hopefully never will) learned to associate smelly people food with something good to eat. Everyone exclaimed what a pleasure it was to have a dog who didn’t beg for food at the table. Of course, one reason he didn’t beg was that he had exhausted himself and fell asleep while we ate.

Kathie has stairs in her place that are open - you can see through them as you walk up. Rocky had never encountered open stairs before and I remembered that most dogs are fearful of them and that even Uma, when she first encountered them in a mall, was nervous about walking up them (going down is no problem because you can’t see through them of course). Rocky hesitated a moment looking through the steps but when I called him from upstairs, he walked right up those stairs like a pro. We think he is going to make a good guide dog.

The next day, we had my younger sister Norah and her husband Gord over to our house and since Rocky was on home turf, he was more settled but still behaving excellently. Sunday was an equally busy day for a young pup and after Norah and Gord left, Rocky voluntarily went into his crate to sleep. And last night, he almost made it through the whole night, only barking at 5:30 when he had to go out for his poop. Of course, with things back to normal around here now that Mum and Dad have left, who knows what will happen with his poop schedule.


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