Saturday, January 8, 2011

Puppy Push-ups?!

Today was puppy meeting day! Becky, our AC, planned the meeting at Costco, a warehouse club similar to Sams Club. A former puppy raising team, Paul and his wife, came to photograph the puppies as Paul's company donated money to SEGD and this was a great opportunity to show the company how the puppies get their exposures and early training. Sadly, Moose and Diva could not make the meeting so it was just Honey! Hopefully, Paul was a better photo journalist than I (it will become apparent from the photos below that I am not a photographer!).

Becky, me, Honey and Jenny waiting for Paul to arrive. Jenny was a little torn between staying with me, watching Billy play with the 3-D tv, following Honey around in Costco and getting on the road back to college (Jenny, we miss you already! And yes, I will try to stunt Honey's growth until you come home again!).

Bad Photo #1 - Forgot to turn on the flash...
Bad Photo #2 - Got the flash on but clearly I do not know how to center subjects in the frame (that is why I became really great at editing photos!)

We wandered around Costco for a while and Honey did very well with Scotty as her handler. While we knew to keep Honey on our left hand side and to walk on the left side of the aisle, we learned today not to move around people. Being sighted, we instintively move into the center of the aisle when we see an obstacle, such as another person approaching, thereby not keeping Honey 'straight'. Today Scotty practice making Honey walk on the left and not veering off the straight path Becky outlined. People moved for Honey instead of us moving Honey. I never really gave much thought as to how difficult it would be for a blind individual and their guide to navigate if they had to keep moving around obstacles. When Honey goes IFT at SEGD she will learn more about obstacle avoidance but for now she has to learn straight.
Bad Photo #3 - Focus in the dog food aisle
We treked down to the dog food aisle. The smell of the dog food was overwhelming but Honey did well not to rip open any bags. Actually, she did not even attempt it! Honey practiced Puppy Push-ups. Scotty had Honey sit, down and then back to sit. He mixed it up with a few sit, stands and several stand, sit, down, sit, stands thrown in for good measure!
Bad Photo #4 - The rawhide section
Honey cannot have rawhides as they are unsafe for her but Becky had Scotty move Honey close to them. Becky explained the smell of the preservatives in the rawhides - that leathery smell - has led some dogs to become 'career changed'. Becky said that some raisers take their puppies in training to the mall to go to Wilsons Leather so the dogs get use to the smell.
Bad Photo #5 - Practicing sit, down, stay while in the rawhide section
Again, Honey did great! I was so proud of Honey and her behavior today! Kind of made me think that Scotty is a better handler than I....
Of course, everyone in Costco wanted to meet Honey!
Bad Photo #6 - Honey is pooped out
Walking around Costco - which was jam packed full of people due to the threat of snow - and the puppy push-up workout led to one pooped puppy!

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