Monday, August 29, 2011

Orent goes to ACT UP

...and falls asleep while being cradled by max! Great first long mtg for the dog.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Orent's away, so Kaytee can play?

Orent is off with his Auntie Liesl for the weekend in New Jersey (but far away from the Shore, don't worry), so Max and I get a weekend break from 6am wake ups. He gets a dog to play with and a yard with a fence to run around in during a hurricane, and we get to sleep til 10am!

But just because he's gone doesn't mean I'm not thinking about him. I just finished fixing his giraffe toy. It's his favorite, and mine too because it doesn't squeak. I got it in the $1 bin at target, but they don't sell it anymore. So it has to be repaired. I tried just sewing up the hole, but he kept chewing on the leg. Solution: complete amputation!

I'm hoping this will work...

I wonder if Orent will notice the fourth leg is missing?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Adventures before the hurricane

We're trying to get in lots of outdoor activities before the hurricane hits this weekend. Tonight, we walked a whole six blocks to a rec center to play, did a training, and then we walked back!

We practiced "let's go":

Orent did extra good at "let's go", especially when crossing a street!

and because of it, he got to carry his new toy for a bit:

then we played at a new tennis court (to us, anyway):

and did some training at another tennis court:

then we walked home and ate dinner, but only after waiting until we got the "ok":

After the 'quake, some learning

The weather was gorgeous after the earthquake, so Max and I decided to take the puppy out for some running around and training with distractions.

We went to a tennis court in fairmount park (the country's largest municipal park, in case you're curious) and worked on training:

and waiting for "ok" before eating (he's not so good at this outside his crate yet):

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Post-earthquake puppy

Does anything phase this dog? We had a mild earthquake in Philly today (yea, no joke, an earthquake) and here's the dog, just chilling in his crate, looking slightly annoyed he got woken up from his nap.

Monday, August 22, 2011

He's so smart!

So, I just finished one of the best training sessions ever with Orent the cutie (can you tell how much I like him right now?). He is learning "bed" really well. He knows the difference between "bed" and "kennel", which I think is huge! Over and over again, he went to kennel when I said "kennel" and them came out and sat on his bed when I said "bed".

Then, when it was time to eat, he waited a whole - get this - SEVEN SECONDS (which was as long as I dared wait) before I said "OK" and he could eat. No lunging forward for the food! He just sat there and waited for me to say "ok". Tomorrow, I'm going to try for 9 seconds.

Also, there are roofers redoing our roof today, so it's super noisy. Lots of loud clangs and crashes all the time. And he's super chill. During our training session, he was about to sit on his bed when there was a loud noise. He stopped, and looked around, but I got his focus back a few seconds later. What a brave and unflappable puppy!

Orent is so chill, with crashes and bangs from the loud roofer.
He's even ignoring the tomato plants we had to bring in for the day!

He's even doing good avoiding the tomato plants that had to be taken off the ledge so it could be re-roofed. They're behind the x-pen right now, so he can't eat them, but he's taken no notice of them. This is important, b/c tomato plants are poisonous to dogs.

What a good boy!

PS - he's all better now. Yay for boiled chicken and rice! Miracle cure.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Videos of Orent

Here are some videos I took yesterday of Orent's play-time at Luke's house.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Raising a puppy isn't all frolicking and cuddles...

This blog is for sharing all kinds of Orent related stories. So here's the story of the day. Don't read if you're eating lunch (or are squeamish).

Orent woke up at 4:50am and cried and cried until Max took him outside to hurry.

An hour later, he was howling in his crate. I've never heard him bark like this before. But we decided to ignore him, assuming that he was hungry or he wanted attention. Five minutes into the barking, I said to Max "umm, I smell poop". Sure enough, the dog had diarrhea, in his crate! This has never happened before.

Poor sick puppy! We called the vet, who advised that we feed him boiled chicken and white rice all day, and call again tomorrow if it doesn't clear up. Turns out, Orent likes this food. It's squishy and apparently quite delicious.

More updates later as the sick-puppy situation develops...

In the meantime, anyone know where we can get a puppy version of comic books and gatorade?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Updates & Learnings

Hi y'all,

It's a rainy Sunday afternoon so we're all hanging out in the leaky office. Orent thinks the drips sound funny! I thought I'd do a little catch-up blogging, writing about some of the things I promised way back at the beginning of August.

How good he is at entertaining himself (and how lousy he is at being entertained)/The amazing X-Pen!:

Orent in his cool-kid x-pen. Kaytee & Max love this thing!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

One socialized pup!

Last night, Max and I decided we needed to socialize the dog some more. So we set out on an adventure to the Drive-In theater about 1.5 hours away, near Allentown. We waited for Max at the Fresh Grocer while Max bought us dinner. Orent and I did a lot of great training with heavy distractions (lots of people, cars, buses). He did so good. He barely got distracted by anything, and was super focused on me. Also, I was focused heavily on him. So focused, in fact, that I looked at my phone and realized that my meter had expired. So I said a quick and urgent sounding "let's go" and we jogged back to the car one block away, where a PPA person was there finishing writing me a ticket.

I said "I"m sorry, I was training my dog, and I lost track of time. He's going to be a service dog, so I have to train him in all different places. I'm really sorry!" The PPA guy was really nice! He gave me a slip saying he'd rescinded the ticket. As thanks, I let him pet the puppy.

So, thanks Orent. You got me into, and out of, a parking ticket!

Then we found Max and were on our way. After getting stuck in horrible traffic, and then coasting along for about 45 minutes, we realized we accidentally drove to New Jersey. Whoops! Must've missed a turn!

Well, it was getting dark, the dog was grouchy in the back, and we were hungry, so we stopped in some small Jersey town, found a playground and took the dog out to play.

The park was great! There weren't any kids, so we could let to dog play going up the stairs, across the shaky bridge, and down the slide. The ground below the playground (not where the picnic benches were) was made out of torn up tires, so it was very squishy to walk on. Orent didn't like walking on it, and we had to work hard to make sure he didn't eat the little bits of toxic tires. Success on that part!

Here are some videos of Orent walking around the playground after the sun set. It's funny that his eyes and his reflective collar are basically the only things you can see.

Orent goes across the shaky bridge:

Orent's new ride

He outgrew the car crate, so now he's riding around town in a doggy seatbelt harness. Stylin'!

PS -- he went to the PetSmart to get it too. He loved smelling all the dog toys and treats, meeting a 1-yr-old pup who liked to play-wrestle, and getting treats from the employees. He did a decent "Let's go!" in his Gentle Leader and "sit" and "down" while we comparison shopped and stood in line. More "down" than "sit" 'cause he was annoyed with the G.L. but he was nonetheless decent. And he literally cried when we left the PetSmart. We'll have to go back soon!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Another go at the hydrant

Orent and I just came back from our walk to the spraying fire hydrant down the block. This time, he had a blast, and I stayed dry (unlike Max, from earlier this week!). He mostly spent his time rubbing his face in the pavement to try and get the gentle leader off. Man, he hates that thing. Any tips?

Here are some fun photos of the lil guy (or should I say - much bigger guy):

Monday, August 8, 2011

Rookie Mistakes

So... where do I begin? This was a long afternoon of rookie mistakes, many which would have been hilarious to have seen on video. At the time, less hilarious.

First of all, I decided to walk Orent to the nearest park-like stretch of grass. It's 2 blocks away, but I went the long way so it's maybe 2.5 blocks. We did, eventually, make it there. There were even a few yards of him walking next to me, head up, at a reasonable pace. Some of him walking next to me, head down, at a reasonable pace, and a few more of him just behind or just ahead of me. And a lot of time with him snorfling around in bushes, sitting or lying down and refusing to walk, etc. He's getting good at eye contact and will often take a few steps on an enthusiastic "let's go," but loose-leash walking is definitely going to be a 3-4 mo. old skill, not a 2 mo. old skill. He turns 3 months old tomorrow, and I'm not expecting overnight miracles.

Which brings me to rookie mistake number one: it's almost dinner time, and I brought NO TREATS on the walk.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Orent vs. Other Puppies

A special guest post from Kaytee's sister Sara!

This last week I had the pleasure of spending time with Kaytee, Max, and their baby, Orent. And as soon as I stepped off the bus and met Orent, I knew he was different than other dogs. He stayed very calm and greeted me nicely. I was so excited to see him and tried to get him riled up but he really just wanted to lie on the sidewalk and lick the ground. Then when we put him in the car it was like I forgot he was there. He made no noises and sometimes I had to turn around just to remind myself that there was a dog in the car and that he was still alive. It was crazy!

That night I got to watch Max train Orent with half of his food. It's a really good idea to train that way. They think they're getting a treat but they are so hungry that they will do anything to get the food. I think I'll use that trick if I have another dog someday. But I also found out that they take him outside every 2 hours. Sheesh! That is a lot of stairs to go up and down every two hours. Thankfully they never asked me to do the 5-6am shift. 

Pup in search of a hobby

I said to Kaytee the other day, "Orent needs a hobby." She said, "What, like collecting stamps?" Clever... But seriously, watching him recently I've noticed that part of being a puppy is being into EVERYTHING. And for a puppy, especially one who has to learn to be a service dog, most of everything is forbidden. Orent's current forbidden interests include:
  • anything on the bed, his kennel, or the nightstand
  • the cat (though, thankfully, he's content to watch most of the time)
  • mouthing people, especially their hands and shorts/skirts
  • licking toes
  • eating rocks, sticks, leaves, and grass
  • splashing in his water bowl
  • chewing cords, laptops, and phones
  • chewing and wrestling with his bed, kennel, and x-pen
  • playing tug of war and keep away with everything
So much of his play time is spent redirecting him to better activities, like:
  • chasing ice cubes
  • chasing his giraffe toy
  • chasing his bone
  • chasing his special stick
  • chasing me
  • chewing toys and bones
  • getting belly rubs
We're very slowly starting to learn "Drop It" which means not every chase ends in an attempt to play keep away or tug of war. But he's also gotten so good at drop it that he'll run halfway to his toy, then turn and sit for a treat. Which makes the play part of playtime less effective. He also gets frustrated when he doesn't get to wrestle, mouth, and tug and will go straight for the nightstand or cords. Because that will often end in some good hands-on attention.

Which all leads me to the conclusion: Orent needs a hobby. He needs a game he loves and is good at that he can play for a while, to help burn off his puppy energy and have a safe, healthy, playful bond with us. I'm hoping that "Drop It" gets better and fetch can become a good Orent game. I know he loves swimming and splashing and so after he gets his final puppy shots maybe swimming in creeks and lakes can be part of his routine. And we're trying to find friends with a yard and hose who will host Orent and a baby pool for some swimming playdates...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Max's turn...

Kaytee has been doing the brunt of the blogging this week, and has been doing a GREAT job. The photos and the videos of Orent have been super cute.

I'm not going to blog this late at night, since Orent will be up in 7 hours (if he sleeps through the night, which is questionable these days). But I will give you a teaser of what I'll be blogging about for the next couple of days:

  • My work trying to find a hobby for Orent (Kaytee recommends stamp collecting)
  • How good he is at entertaining himself (and how lousy he is at being entertained)
  • How many things he's not allowed to do
  • How many things he's amazing at
  • The thunder adventures
  • Life with a Gentle Leader (essentially, a nose-based collar)
  • The amazing X-Pen!

Orent goes for ice cream

No ice cream for Orent though. He just waited patiently while we enjoyed a Mt. Vesuvius sundae from Franklin Fountain. He was very good.

We're taking him out on his gentle leader more now. It's amazing how much more responsive he is to commands or guidance ("go this way") with it on. However, he does stop about every 10 steps and try to paw it off still...