Saturday, March 24, 2012

The best compliment yet!

There comes a time in every great service-dog-in-training's life where he or she achieves something no one thought would be possible -- he becomes invisible!

Today, Orent was invisible in plain sight at the liquor store. We stood in an insanely long line waiting to buy wine, and he was right by my side. When we got to the register, the lady said "uh, manager, there's a dog here." and the manager looked right at me and said "what? where?" Hard to believe she missed him, but he was right by my side and she didn't notice him for a few seconds.

I explained that he was in training, and she said "ok, fine". She must've been convinced by his good behavior or something, because she was super skeptical but she let him continue along.

But of course, all good things come to an end. Right now, he's tearing up and down the hallway chasing his tennis ball, making a massive racket that is undoubtedly driving my downstairs neighbors nuts. I bet they wish he was invisible for real!

UPDATE: while I was writing this post, he finished eating the head off his frog friend. This, if you're keeping track, is actually Frog Friend II. Frog Friend I died a slow, painful death as he was ripped limb from limb over the course of several months. Frog Friend II lost his head in less than two weeks! Poor Frog Friend II.

Monday, March 12, 2012

10 for 10

Orent turned 10 months old on March 9th, while we were attending the Puppy-Raiser Workshop. We learned a lot about him at the workshop and have lots to share for his 10 for 10 post!

  1. In typical teenager fashion, he has forgotten that "down" is a command he knows. Despite learning it shortly after "sit," when told "down," he sits and looks at you with innocent eyes. Unless there's a bribe like a toy or a treat. Then suddenly the light dawns!
  2. Despite last summer's unsuccessful attempts to get him to swim, this weekend he went plunging boldly into the ocean (at least up to his belly!) so there may be hope for him yet!
  3. He's super snuggly, and loves to lean (not so good) and roll over for belly rubs (great).
  4. He's finally forgotten that once upon a time he got to eat three meals a day, and has stopped looking at us aghast when we come in from a mid-day outing without stopping by the food bowl.
  5. He doesn't hate having his nails clipped any more. It's not his favorite pastime, but it's not a fight, either.
  6. He's shy of other dogs except CCI dogs. This weekend he met dozens of new CCI labs and retrievers and was ready to play (rough!) with each one from the moment they set noses on each other. Then on the way home he met a handful of new dogs and was shy and submissive around them.
  7. He loves to run and has gotten sooooo much faster! He loves to chase down rolling toys, to run for frisbees, and especially to be chased by other dogs. However, despite being faster than he was, he'll never be the fastest dog in the play yard!
  8. He likes babies. They make him wag his tail and sniff enthusiastically. I wonder what makes them smell so good!
  9. There will never be another toy as fabulous as a stick, in Orent's mind.
  10. He performs well for an audience. In puppy class, on outings, and at the workshop, he looked away from distractions, followed his commands, didn't pull on the leash, and was generally a star of the show. On the sidelines trying to be good and listen to the trainers teach the people... well that was another story!