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.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Today we all three went to the grocery store. This time, my extra pair of hands belonged to Peter and he took the pictures and looked after the groceries. I think it was less stressful for Rockwell because after we left the store, he didn’t even need to have an “excitement” poo. Of course, he did have a pee but that isn’t out of the ordinary. I know I found it much more relaxing to only have to think about Rockwell as opposed to getting 5 items or less and getting out of there. The main issue of the day was the walk over and back. Plowing all the snow we got yesterday hasn’t been really finished and intersections are difficult and some sidewalks are dicey. Getting the snow plowed for cars is always a priority over getting it plowed for pedestrians.

First we walked out of the neighbourhood. I put his jacket on from the start because he’d just relieved himself in the yard and we were good to go.
Here he’s walking very well, leading more than pulling.
walking well
When we got to the store, I was able to take off my coat and put it in the cart. First stop - the deli counter.
the deli counter
Here we are in the cereal aisle. I look a little stunned but you can see how Rockwell’s leash is nice and slack.
grocery work
At the checkout, there were two people in front of us, so we had some time to sit and wait.
at the check out
Once we left the store and I took his jacket off, it was time for a pee.
time for a pee
On the way home, the sidewalk had been plowed but it wasn't scraped very well and was icy in spots.
way home
The intersections are a labyrinth of piles of snow, slush, puddles and chunks of ice.
All in all, we got a good workout and Rockwell had more fun with the two of us humans than he has when it’s just me stressing out.


At 8:37 p.m., January 22, 2006, Blogger HanktheDog said...

Dogs love extra pack members. And, as you know, most Labs love to vogue.

At 8:58 a.m., January 23, 2006, Blogger Katherine said...

What a good boy! So he doesn't try to nab items off the grocery shelves? Amazing, are you sure he's a lab? hahahaha.

At 11:10 a.m., January 23, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I noticed in some of the picture you have the leash configured to resemble a type of harness........how do you do that? And, do you find you still have good control if you need to make a correction? I recall reading your school taught you how to configure the leash. That method certainly frees up one hand for shopping!

I find when I'm out with a puppy both of my hands are tied up with the leash so I resorted to clipping the leash around my waist or on my belt loop if I had made purchases (depending on the puppy and if they pull hard) and using one hand to firmly hold the leash and give corrections when needed, thus freeing my other hand to carry parcels.

At 11:22 a.m., January 23, 2006, Blogger Amy and Winter said...

Gwiz, I noticed that as well and have tried it a few times with Winter. It helps a lot but I really doubt it would be encouraged by our foundation. I used it when I needed to make Winter look more official. Since Rockwell only has the option of being a Seeing Eye Dog I can see the use of that, but since our dogs could be HED or SSD it's not as apropriete.

Buhbye, Amy and Winter

At 1:10 p.m., January 23, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1:22 p.m., January 23, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I realize my previous post sounds like I would try that with Lyric and that we woudln't be encouraged to use that technique with our puppy but thanks for the advice though. I was thinking more for walking Miss Fortune since she is familiar with a harness and pulls a fair bit in a collar.

At 11:17 p.m., January 23, 2006, Blogger Robin said...


It must be freezing cold.. do u have a sweater or a booty?

At 11:36 p.m., January 23, 2006, Blogger Sam I Am said...

Wow looks like you are having a fun time.And it looks cold.

At 6:51 a.m., January 24, 2006, Blogger Furkids In Hong Kong said...

What wonderful photos and such a great job you both did. Rockwell looks so well-behaved!

Thanks for sharing!

At 9:27 a.m., January 24, 2006, Blogger Jellyfish said...

your place is snowing, beautiful.

never had any snow except the ones in snow houses. LOL

At 9:37 a.m., January 24, 2006, Blogger JuliaR said...

Hey Hank! I am not sure what you mean by the verb “to vogue”? Do you mean show off, like on the runway? In that case, I would think that would be the Golden in Rockwell coming out, more than the Lab!

Katherine, Rockwell doesn’t steal food. He has never been given any food but kibble. Even though he knows something we are eating smells interesting, he hasn’t tasted it and doesn’t beg for it. I am sure that one day, he will make the connexion between what smells good and food but not yet!

Gwiz and Amy, the “balanced lead” that I’m using on Rockwell was taught to me by the PW supervisor and it works like a charm. He doesn’t pull and he transforms into a guide dog, just by using it. All I do it shorten up the leash (there are metal loops on it at different places to give you a long or short lead - it’s British in origin) and then turn his collar around so the loop where I fasten the leash is under his chin and the leash then can fall on either side of his neck. However, if he suddenly wants to go somewhere else, he can easily back out of the balanced lead but then you just have him on a normal short leash. More on leashes and collars later.

Robin, Labs and Goldens and other big dogs originally designed as hunting dogs with double coats don’t need any kind of coat. I can imagine what they think however, while we humans are pulling on our boots and coats and hats and scarfs, while they are waiting to go out and play in the snow!

Sam I Am, it really wasn’t that cold. I got so warm walking over that I took my hat off. It must be all the snow that makes it look that way.

Furkids, yes Rockwell was well behaved that day! He wasn’t perfect but then, he IS only 7 months old.

Jellyfish, snow is beautiful at first. Then it gets dirty along the roads. Then by March you are really tired of it. And then you get some more in April!

At 9:15 p.m., January 25, 2006, Blogger IndyPindy said...

It looks like it went very well - great job, all of you! I would be waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too excited about the deli counter, the cheese, the bananas, the peanut butter and the meat section to be calm in a grocery store!

At 11:58 a.m., January 26, 2006, Blogger JuliaR said...

Actually Indy, I think maybe it is all as overwhelming as you imply and maybe that is why Rockwell is calm!


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