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.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Rockwell got to ride the bus yesterday. The weather finally cooperated - more than that really, because it was beautiful. Sheila came by and we walked out of the house with Rockwell in his jacket. We had to wait a few minutes at the door because he wanted to bolt out and she wanted him to go quietly. Finally we made it and Sheila walked him on his balanced lead. He walked so well, you wouldn’t believe he was so young. While we waited for the bus, Sheila took him to watch the skaters on the reflecting pond by city hall - of course, I forgot the camera.

When the bus came, I got on first and then Rockwell led Sheila onto the bus. He is very good in cars so it wasn’t overwhelming for him to be on a conveyance. We took a seat near the front, on the side where he could tuck under our seat and not sit out in the aisle. Some of the seats are perched on solid supports and if we’d sat there, he would not have been able to tuck under the seat. A bunch of high school students got on at the next stop, all giggling and talking. Rockwell was SO interested in them and if Sheila had not kept her arm around him, he would have been happy to jump all over them, as they walked by him on the way to the back of the bus. That was/is his biggest problem - his enormous desire to greet every person he sees.

We stayed on the bus as it went through the big transit station and then got off where it turned around at Lincoln Fields. That was a good exercise too - getting off the bus and crossing the platform to catch one going back the other way. There were so many people milling about on the platform that Rockwell just stood quietly and observed in his inimitable way. Occasionally, someone would run by to catch a bus and Rockwell would be up and after them (not going very far on a short leash though!). Too exciting to resist. Then we got on the bus to go home again and he just continued to be the best boy. Sheila said that she had just gone on the bus with a 13 month old puppy and Rockwell did better on his first trip than the older dog.

The main drawback was the melted slush on the floor of the bus. It was dark brown and soaked the feathers on his tail as well as coating one side of his haunches where he sat. I had brought an old washcloth with me and when he stood up, I wiped his tail down, not before I got a swipe of the dirt on me of course. His tail has more feathers than a Lab because of his Golden genes and so it carries more water.

So now we can ride the bus! We’re going to do a few outings where the big excitement is the bus, not the destination. But by the Spring, when we want to go downtown and other places for a change, Rockwell will be ready to go with us.


At 5:10 p.m., January 24, 2006, Blogger Katherine said...

Such a good boy! :)

At 8:40 a.m., January 25, 2006, Blogger JuliaR said...

Katherine, he WAS a good boy! I’m just sorry I didn’t have pictures. I’ll have to drag Peter with me on some weekend and then we’ll have pictures!

At 4:54 p.m., January 25, 2006, Blogger M-Fax said...

I used to take Bosco on the TTC (subway) alot, he would just lay on the floor and behave. One time in the summer, I had shades on and some guy offered me his seat cause he thought Bosco was a guide dog.

At 9:16 p.m., January 25, 2006, Blogger IndyPindy said...

That is so cool! I wish I could ride the bus. I know I couls behave. I love to ride in the car and look out the window and watch people. I'm jealous!

At 11:56 a.m., January 26, 2006, Blogger JuliaR said...

MFax that's nice that Bosco got to ride the subway. They let dogs ride the tube in London too.

Indy, I am sure you would be very well behaved on the bus. Don't be too jealous of Rockwell - he will have a lot more work to do later in his life.

At 7:02 a.m., January 27, 2006, Blogger Furkids In Hong Kong said...

Wow, we're so proud of you guys!

Mark and I will never have the opportunity to take the bus (or the tube). :(

Keep up the great work!


At 9:55 a.m., January 27, 2006, Blogger JuliaR said...

Thanks furkids! We're working on it.


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