Stacey said that for once we were not going to be late submitting our monthly summary, so here we go. March started off with another visit to the city. Stacey and I took the metro to meet some friends of hers for lunch in Adams Morgan. The subway was not too crowded, which meant it was easy to find a seat and “go under.” Fortunately all of the elevators worked. I still do not really understand why she always asks me to go “paws up” on the outside of the big elevator doors. I can’t even reach the button! We were working on “wait” before getting into the elevator. If I am sitting before she says wait, then I remember every time to wait until she says “go through.” The tough one is if we are walking up to the door and it opens, I hear her say “wait” but I am so excited to get in that I sometimes forget. It’s okay, we just do it again. It was a Friday, so the streets were busy on the way to the restaurant. Focusing was a challenge as we passed by all of the trash and other things on the ground. We did a great deal of “heel,” “watch,” “side,” and other commands. I was a well behaved girl during lunch. When I got on the metro for the ride home, I noticed that the car was fairly empty, so I just hopped right up on the bench. Once Stacey stopped laughing, she made me get off and “go under.” Can’t blame a girl for trying.
The next day, I was off to a puppy sitter’s house! Yippee. Puppy sitters are the best. Visits to their houses are like a visit to Grandmom’s house. Actually, this month I had two short stays with puppy sitters. I love playing with the dogs that live with them, too. During the next weekend, I went to breakfast in Frederick and then went to the Home and Garden Show in Germantown. Plenty of people and lots of interesting things I had to ignore.
Class at Hero Dogs continues to get more and more challenging. One Monday, we visited the animals that live next to Brookeville Animal Hospital. There is a tiny horse, some sheep and something called a llama. After a short introductory sniff, Jennifer actually wanted us (expected us, actually) to sit quietly for like a whole minute right in front of them. I tried really hard, really… okay, sort of. Anyway, it was fun to be outside, and then after class was over a couple of us went for a romp in the field. During our last class, Stacey dumped a bunch of toys out of a basket and she wanted me to take each of the toys and put them in the basket. It was confusing because they smelled like all the other Hero Dogs, and they were toys and not “work” stuff, and Stacey wanted me to put them in the basket and not play with them. It was a competition; I love competitions, except when I lose… which is what happened that day. I was much better at taking the toys out of the basket. I really am learning some grown up things now. We are working on “paws up” and picking something up and giving it to Stacey or holding onto something, going paws up, and then dropping it.
One day Becca came to visit me at my house. I think she was a little confused that day because she kept walking in and walking out. Cody and I had to stay on our places and we had to say “hello” one at a time. Becca only stayed after I greeted her calmly. Go figure, I would think folks would be flattered by a tail-wagging, jumping-jack, “I am so thrilled to see you” kind of greeting. Stacey said it is the two-dog greeting that is the most difficult thing to handle at the house, and that is why Becca came. She also helped Stacey with some ideas of how to teach “paw” — I am a pro at it now. I have even learned the difference between paw and touch! Stacey is very proud of the improvement I have made in pulling. We started by attaching the pull rope to one of her purses. I don’t mind dragging the weight over to her, and once I got used to that I have been more willing to pull harder to open the drawers and some of the doors in the house. For every pull, there is a push. Yes, I have been working hard on that one too. So far I am still depending on the target for push, but I am now closing small cabinet doors regularly.
Last Friday I went to Ft. Belvoir again; this time we were in the new USO building. We were joined by Mae and her puppy raiser, Justin. It was not very busy, but the folks who stopped by were very interested and impressed with what we could do. We were saying hello, pulling, giving paw, touching, taking, and giving like real Hero Dogs. Stacey is hoping that we may have found some people who are interested in becoming puppy sitters while we were there being both adorable and helpful. Mae and I had a bit of fun also!
Just in case you were concerned that all I do is work and train and events and go to grocery stores, restaurants, malls, metros, etc., please know that I get plenty of play time. Stacey is very good about taking me to Jennifer’s field, where I have an absolute blast. Last Saturday, Glory came and played with Cody and I, and then Jennifer’s dogs came out too. We had a great time. Glory was the best to play with; I think I found a real best girl friend.
Before I forget, Stacey wanted me to be sure and tell you how wonderful I was the last time I went to Brookeville Animal Hospital. As we were leaving, a French Bulldog came in who was very aggressive and carried on barking, growling, and lunging at me. Stacey started playing the game where we see how many treats I can catch in 30 seconds. By the end of that little game, I walked out the door completely ignoring the boisterous bulldog. Yeah for me!
See you next month; Spring is here!