My Velcro Dogs

My Velcro Dogs
Louie, Bradley and Echo

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ok, Ok, time to fess up.

I have been seriously, unforgivably negligent in keeping this blog updated and to anyone who actually reads it, I sincerely apologize. I have no good excuse.

It's been hot and humid for a while here and Bradley really does not perform well in those conditions. Therefore, we haven't been doing much outside work, as I felt that pushing him when he didn't want to do it would only have a negative impact on the finished product.

It has cooled down substantially in the past week; cool in the mornings and still pretty warm in the sun during the day. If it keeps up this way, we'll be able to work a lot more than we have been and I'm really looking forward to it.

I started taking Bradley downtown almost daily for the past week and he's done fantastic! He has been suspicious of unfamiliar objects like USPS mailboxes, big trash bags, etc. However, once I "introduce" him to the object, he accepts it rather quickly. We still haven't returned to Victoria's Secret to reintroduce him to the stuffed dog but we probably will within the next week.

We have resolved to take him with us everywhere from now on, for the most part. When we started out on this endeavor, we only took him places when it was convenient for a partially trained dog to be in toe. However, now we recognize how vital each new experience is to his socialization and training so we're bringing him almost everywhere.

I think part of the reason why I was hesitant to bring him so many places before was because I'm not a confrontational person and I dreaded being challenged by businesses. However, I have yet to have a serious problem bringing him anywhere and I hope for that to continue throughout his training.

The "little", and I use that term loosely, guy is getting big! I haven't weighed him lately because that involves me weighing myself (I weigh both of with me holding him and subtract my weight) and that's not something I'm really excited about doing :)

If I was to guess, he's probably between 55 and 60 lbs right now. He was just over 50 about a month ago and he has grown a little so that's my best estimate. To be honest, he is a bit chubby but not any where close to being FAT. He's just very solid. He's not very tall but he's probably grown an inch in the past month or so. I'll measure his height when I have Joe weigh him :)

We're getting close to needing a new "In training" vest. His current one is orange but I prefer red and that's probably what I'll get...unless that implies a different area of service? I'm getting excited about him reaching his full size because then I'll be able to get his harness, which is very exciting. I've told myself not to even get a harness until he's 18 months old so I'm sure he's done growing but I'm not sure I can wait that long!

For having such a clueless handler, Bradley is progressing beautifully. While he doesn't yet know how to guide and will occasionally give into the temptation to make friends with a passerby, for the most part, he really does present himself as a trained service dog. He knows that when he has his vest on, it's business time. I'm so proud of my boy!

I'm going to share some pictures I've taken in the past few weeks; mostly from hiking trips.

And here's the BIG NEWS:
We finally adopted our Greyhound!!! We named her Ruca, after the song by Sublime, Waiting for My Ruca. She's incredibly mellow and sweet. She has been the perfect addition to our pack so far. She's a pretty alpha female but she's not stepping on anyone's toes/paws. She's very submissive to humans- just not our boys :)

I'll include some pictures of her too.