Thursday, October 27, 2011

In orent's world, down means up (apparently!)

The story of this picture is that I was training Orent while I was sitting on the couch. He was in an "up" against the couch and I wanted him out of my face for a second (he was very focused on me and treats and snuggles). So I said "down!" Orent's thought process was clearly, "if I put my belly on the ground I'm getting farther away from Max, and treats. Maybe "down" means, put your belly where your feet were?" So he sort of slithered his belly up onto the couch and draped as much of himself as possible over me. I know I should have corrected him immediately and put him back on the ground but Kaytee and I were laughing hysterically...

I guess that means we just have to spend 3 times as long working on going from up to down.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I am Yoshi, hear me roar!

Orent got to get dressed up for halloween for puppy class tonight. He went in his cute little (homemade) Yoshi costume. Everyone loved him!

Wanna see some more photos from Halloween puppy class? Head on over to Orent's Facebook fan page and you can see!

A preview of another halloween-costume-clad dog here:

Going for a haircut

Lucky Orent! Today, he got to tag along with me while I got my haircut.

It was a quick clean up, and only took 15 mins. I'd gotten the OK from the salon (Rinse, in case you want to take your business somewhere service-dog-in-training friendly) in advance.

He was great! He hung out in his "sit" so I could reach him to keep feeding him his lunch.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

We all knew he was a pumpkin

Not a lot to say today, but I wanted to share some photos of Orent on our adventure to go pick out pumpkins.

He wasn't sure how he felt about them.

But he stuck by Max's side...

And eventually realized they were a vegetable worth looking up to!

Then we learned how to walk next to a rolling object. Orent wasn't really sure about it, but he did very well. It probably helped that we were armed with a ton of treats!

Then we went into "Goods" (basically the Mennonite Wal-Mart), which was Orent's first trip into a big store. He did so well. Some people wanted to talk to us, but we just kept on walking and sniffing. That is, until we got to the toys section! Then we needed to stop and rest.

We all think we should do more of this in the future. It was a blast!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Max is away, and Orent STILL plays!

Max is away for work for a few days, so all the puppy raising has fallen on me. This morning, he woke me up with his typical "haaaaarm"s and whines. It wasn't so bad though. Orent's now officially a reasonable morning dog! He goes outside, he eats breakfast, then he chills in his box or his crate til I'm awake enough to play with him.

We just finished a rousing game of "hall ball" with his new toy. Here are some videos so everyone can enjoy the game! He was a little slow this AM. Maybe in the future I'll get a video of him tearing down the hallway and running his head into the wall?

Did you see that "drop"? DAMN! And with no treats either. He just did it 'cause I said to. Oh man, he's a smart guy!

This afternoon, we're going to play with our friend Shasta! Photos of that coming soon, for sure.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Orent has got some 'splainin' to do!

So me and Max just got home from being gone all afternoon. We walked in the door, set the groceries down, and noticed a large yellow furball walking down the steep loft stairs to greet us. "ORENT! What are you doing out of your crate?" we say as he looks at us, slightly perplexed.

When we finished laughing at how funny the whole situation was, we went to investigate. No idea how long he was out, but it appears he busted out of his crate b/c the side "door" wasn't properly latched.

While out, he:
  • destroyed one cat toy (her favorite!)
  • chewed a tube of all-natural sunscreen
  • peed* upstairs in the loft (where he is NOT allowed and has never been to)
  • removed one jacket belt from the jacket and carried it a few feet before depositing it in front of the wine bottles (have we mentioned that our dog has an uncanny attraction to alcohol?)
But otherwise, he managed to do very little harm. He did not eat the cat food. He did not destroy any clothes scattered around the bedroom. He did not overturn any garbage cans. He did not remove anything from the counters or bed. He did not get into his food. He was a very well behaved dog, especially in the rooms he's had free reign of.

But still, he's got some 'splainin' to do!

*Maybe the cat framed him, but we doubt it.

Weekend adventures keep us busy!

We spent so much time playing with Orent this weekend, there was no time to update ya'll!

On Saturday morning, we went for a nice walk to the Swarthmore creek with Max's coworker Annie.

She knew that lots of lucky dogs go swimming early in the morning, and Orent maybe coud get convinced to swim if other dogs were swimming.

Orent, it turns out, doesn't really like water. All the other dogs were diving in and swimming and chasing tennis balls. Orent mostly stayed on dry land, chasing Scarlet the maybe-sheltie.

Our biggest challenge was the leash. Orent's not allowed off-leash, so we were constantly having to chase him around and ask people to move so he didn't trip them. I don't think we can play this game again in the future, as long as he has to stay on a leash... maybe later in the day when there are fewer people?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"Boo!" said Max. "Yummy treats!" said Orent.

Two weeks ago, we received instructions that we had to socialize Orent to the Halloween store. Well, that's the easiest assignment to date! You see, Max's birthday is on Halloween, so it's a very VERY important day in our lives. Anything relating to Halloween is basically the most fun thing we could do.

So today, the three of us called the manager of the Halloween store on Delaware Ave, and asked if we could bring the puppy. They agreed, and we set off.

At first, we let Orent sniff the outside of the store. He was intrigued by the reflections and the masks. But mostly he just wanted more treats. This dog doesn't get freaked out by anything if there are treats around!

So we decided to lead him in. We had a brief encounter with the real manager (the person we talked to on the phone said OK, but the manager apparently hadn't), who wasn't too thrilled about having a dog in the store.

Proof he's got a brain in there somewhere

Orent, asleep ON his bed!

Monday, October 10, 2011

5 for 5

Orent turned 5 months old yesterday! For the record:

1. He now weighs 44.3 lbs, and is officially too big to carry around. Also, his ears just keep getting bigger and when he swings his head, they look very cute!

2. He got his vest in the mail, and looks dashing in it.

3. Because he's old enough, he can now go to places regular dogs aren't allowed! he's already been to get ice cream with us, and into a coffee shop. He did so great!

4. We made friends with the nice girl across the street who has a fenced in yard. We've been over to play a few times, but Orent hasn't quite mastered the idea of fetch. He runs after things, but almost never brings them back. But he loves to play without a leash!

5. He's allowed to roam the house while we're home now. Not without supervision, but we hardly have to box him anymore!

That's all for the 5 for 5 update!

Up, Up, and Away!

Kaytee has class Wednesday nights, so Wednesdays are now Max 'n Orent bonding time. And boy did we have a great Wednesday. The little guy has really hit a new phase in maturity and learning.

Right now, he's working on "Up." He's not a very physically energetic guy, so our initial attempts were met with deep skepticism. Even with a tasty lure he would try sit, down, roll, and shake, then look at us dolefully while we tried to lure him into an "Up."

Finally last night I had the brilliant idea to try him on the easiest possible "Up" I could find. There's a 4-inch high wall around a lot of the yards in the neighborhood, so we went over to one. I sat on the wall and gave the "Up" command while luring his nose up and forward. He immediately stepped up and I gave him a whole handful of kibble while showering him with praise. Finally, his tail was up and wagging and his ears relaxed. Next I tried up on my right side. He was back to sitting and staring with his tail down. So we did it a few more times in the exact spot he'd been successful once. There, he could happily put his front paws up and receive lots of treats. After 3 more ups in the good spot, I stood up and tried a whole new section of wall. He leaped to put his paws up for more treats and praise. Yes!

We ended up walking 3 blocks, stopping at every low wall or step. He was loving it, tail wagging, eager for his treats and new trick.

The clincher was the slanty wall on Chester Ave. I got him to do "Up" on the 4-inch high part, then moved down to the 6-inch high part. Then the 1-foot, then 2-foot. He barely noticed he was doing an up at a height he'd been scared to try just 15 minutes ago.

By the time we got back home, he was happily doing an "Up" on walls that came up to his armpits when he's fully upright. He's a quick learner!

Orent can do up's just about anywhere now!
Then, he got free range of the house while I had dinner. He sniffed but did not chase the cat, and collected all his toys and brought them first to her, then to me. I tried not to feel slighted. After dinner I rolled the tennis ball down the hall until his tongue threatened to hit the floor with each step (granted, for our lazy guy that's less than 10 minutes).

He lay down in the hall right by the doors to both the outside and bedroom where his water is. I assumed he wanted water but he wouldn't come into the bedroom... he was signaling he had to "hurry" by waiting by the door. He let me put his Gentle Leader on with no kibble lure and went easily down the stairs (both signs that he's really got to "hurry"). Sure enough, as soon as we hit the ground he was ready!

Then, he wanted to go for a walk. He never wants to go for a walk, but he pranced eagerly around the block and even consented to run part of the way. He also met his friend from when he was a baby, a toddler in the neighborhood. She wanted to pet him and admire his feet and "hold his hand." We weren't sure what that meant but it didn't seem like it would work too well. When we passed her house again on the way home, he sat down on their sidewalk and clearly communicated, "hey, let's go visit that toddler again!" So maybe he wanted to have his hand held!

The evening ended with two amazing miracles. The cat sat on the floor and let me pet her while Orent got to sniff her all over. He just lay down right behind her and she stayed put and didn't even hiss. Then Orent actually fell asleep... on top of his bed! Not under, not beside, but on it.

Orent meets the cat and she doesn't run away!
Well done, little guy!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Occu-puppy... or Orent learns "Under" while putting the "Sit" back in Sit-in

Kaytee and I decided to check out the 2nd planning meeting for Occupy Philly today. Because of its coinciding with dinner time, and Orent's sudden burst of calm maturity, and the fact that we didn't want to stay long or sit in the front or speak, we thought it would be a good time to bring the dog.

We first tried to wear him out a bit in the park near my work. That consisted of me running around like an idiot while he stood there watching me and eating dirt. I thought the puppy was supposed to do the running around...

Then we headed downtown. The crowd to get in stretched around the building! We sensibly waited in the grass across the street, resting and practicing commands.

Then, when the line died down, we went in. It was clear that the church was full to the brim (over 1000 people!) and we would not fit (though we saw a pocket dog and a pit bull head in after we did). Instead, I asked Orent to "Under" (for the first time!) under a bench. He settled right in and I hand-fed him dinner. As long as he stayed in a "Down" he got kibble, and so he caught on to "Under" pretty quickly. Highlight: a guy came over and started petting him aggressively and he just lay right back down under the bench. No stress, growling, snapping, or jumping up to respond energetically, just holding his command. It was glorious.

I don't think Orent has political views, so much as he likes to be where the people are. The "other 99%" is about 99 times more fun than 1%, because it's 99 times more people! And he believes that people with disabilities should have access and resources to live independently... I mean, that's his job after all.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Little Guy Is Growing Up!

He's staying with Liesl, and getting to spend some family time with his sister Omega, this weekend. They are going to the Blessing of the Animals. And guess what he gets to wear to church?
A big-dog vest!