Dagbok Dog

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Iris will be here on Monday!!!

July 10th 2009 3:52 am
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Her preliminary training is complete and the trainers are shipping her to me on Monday!

 

Fast forward to 2010

March 8th 2010 5:21 pm
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My human is unable to work any longer, so we're spending a lot more time training. In the past couple of weeks, we've gone many times to Target, where I am really popular with the staff, and Orchard Supply Hardware, and the local library.

Today we did our usual early morning ball-throwing at the dog park next door, and then we went in to the office, where I have to sit and wait for her to use her badge to open many doors.

I like riding the elevator to the 5th floor. But instead of going to our cube, I had to sit or lie down while she talked and talked to strangers and friends. She did a lot of talking.

I'd never been in the fax machine room before, and was mildly curious with the new sounds and lights as my human completed the paperwork for disability.

After we left the office, we dropped by Target. Instead of just walking around the store like we ordinarily do, my human got a shopping cart and I practiced walking alongside.

The register clerks called my name to say Hi! but I wasn't paying a lot of attention to them. They weren't insulted. My human told them that it is good practice for me to have distractions.

We called it a day after our visit to Target. My human was very tired and I had the satisfaction of a session well done. We've been napping and doing short bursts of training for service tasks.

I'm learning to open doors and turn on lights for my human. She doesn't need me to retrieve things, but we're playing a clicker game where I have to figure out what object my human wants to me pick up and give to her. I love this game! I get so excited when I figure it out.

Right now, I'm practicing lying quietly at my human's feet while she writes my diary entry. Every so often, I get a click and a piece of cheese. Sharp cheddar, my favorite!

Tomorrow will be a big day! My human and I are going to go meet Ollie and his mom in Emeryville to do some public access training at a dog-friendly outdoor mall. There's an escalator there that I once watched Ollie and Jolanda go up and down and up and down with their people. Maybe tomorrow I'll try it out.

 

Yesterday, The Bay Street Mall, IKEA and Starbucks, today...- nothing

March 10th 2010 5:03 pm
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It was an exciting day yesterday. I met up with Ollie and his Mom at the Bay Street Mall in Emeryville for some public access training.

We were, um, exploring the landscaping when caught sight of Ollie and his Mom. One thing that surprised me was that Ollie's Dad was balancing on a one-wheeled sort of something I had never seen before. I wasn't sure I like it at first, but then it become obvious that it was a game and I wanted to play!

Ollie and his Mom went up and down the escalator several times while I watched and got treated with cheese. That was great!

Then my human tried to lure me with cheese to follow them onto that scary thing and I refused! What was she thinking?

She tried another couple of times, but finally, we compromised with me eating treats as close as possible to the escalators while we watched Ollie and his Mom go up and down.

We walked next door to IKEA and after a quick potty break, entered the store with Ollie's Dad video recording us.

There were hardly any people! My human and Ollies Mom were amazed at the all the furniture and displays they had never seen before because of the crowds. For me, the most interesting thing was a really BIG Giant Schnauzer that snuck up behind us on the ground level.

It really shook my human, who for a second wasn't sure she was actually seeing something real -- it was so unlikely!

The Giganta-Schnauzer's handler said it was a Service Dog, but even a Service Dog in training like me knows that service dogs don't wander around at the end of a 15 foot extendable leash without their handler's attention, sneaking up on law abiding SDiTs.

The Giganta-Schnauzer actually seemed like a nice dog. Those humans should not have put that friendly giganta-schnauzer in a position to pretend to be a service dog, though.

After we settled down from the excitement, we finished walking through IKEA. I lost focus a few times, especially in the beginning, but I think I did okay. Ollie heels beautifully, especially when his Mom pushes a cart. My human wants us to learn to do that!

We walked back to the Bay Street Mall and had refreshments at Starbucks. I did great waiting in line and then I was patient and well-behaved when it was our turn to order and get our parking validated. Yay me!

Ollie and I stayed under the table while the humans talked. Well, except for once when there was a person standing behind my human's chair at the trash bin. I snuck over to say "Hi." My human was so embarrassed!

Ollie's dad took some photos of us under there. At one point while we were sleeping, our front paws touched. We're good companions. We don't have to play together to be companionable.

I slept all the way home, and then all evening.

Today, my human isn't feeling well. We visited the dog park next door at our usual early hour for some fetch before sunrise, but we've spent the rest of the day inside napping and doing a little training and playing a few games.

Tomorrow, my human hopes to take us to a breakfast restaurant after our game of fetch and then later take a ride on a bus. We'll see. She's taking some really strong medicines these days. I have to keep her from getting discouraged. She says I do a good job!

 

Busy Thursday morning

March 11th 2010 8:03 am
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Wow! It isn't even 8:00 AM and we've already done a lot of training.

First, we went to the dog park next door for my early morning exercise. After that, instead of going home, my human put on my harness and took me into the local IHOP at 6:00 AM.

It was my first time under the table in a booth and I tried a few times to peek out, but my human had a good hold on my leash and I settled down for a nap while she ate breakfast.

Then we dropped by the office for some paperwork and we had coffee with Pam, our OCLC compadre. I am very comfortable in the office and relaxed while the humans chatted.

After we said good bye to Pam, we drove to OSH Hardware for a quick training session and to pick up some duct tape. My human doesn't have any projects that need duct tape, but she likes to have some on hand just in case.

I love walking up and down the aisles because my human is a very silly person and makes it like a game.

I wonder what else we'll do today?

 

Friday, March 12th

March 12th 2010 4:52 pm
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My human had a nightmare last night, so I woke her up by licking her face. Then I curled up next to her so that she could stroke my fur while she went back to sleep.

We were still up early as usual so that I could get some exercise without being interrupted by other dogs. My human and I have a system for ball throwing and chasing.

We use two tennis balls. (To encourage me to take care of business, she throws one ball for me after I pee, and then the other after I poop.)

My human stands in the middle of the large dog area. I have to give her a solid down before she throws the ball.

After I've captured my prize and am running back to her, she says "drop!" I drop the ball while I'm running and she throws the other ball and I'm off again!

The ball I dropped usually rolls right to her. Then we repeat. When I get tired and lay down, she steps over me a few times. She does that at home, too. She says it's for practice.

We do this until the 5:50 AM bus rolls by. I'm usually still cooling down by the time my Husky acquaintances arrive. We sniff butts a bit and wag our tails, and then it's time to go home.

Today was Basic Obedience at Berkeley Humane Society with Nancy Frensley. We both love Nancy!

My human had a lot of phone calls to make -- what is it with humans and all the talk talk talking? She took a shower, which is a shame, because she was just beginning to smell interesting. We got in the car (I had to wear my seatbelt harness-- ick!) and drove to a park near the Dumbarton Bridge for a long leash walk before heading over to class.

Today there was a new puppy in class. A Scottish Deerhound. It's taller than me, but gangly. I'm sure I was never so uncoordinated...

I really wanted to play with that puppy and he wanted to play with me, too. My human kept distracting me just before I went into a play bow. Very annoying. She has very bad timing quite often.

Our major accomplishments during this lesson were practicing an informal down-stay next to my human's chair, and learning a new way to figure out what I should leave alone and what I can take. Nancy says I have a very soft mouth. That puppy I wanted to play with kept chewing on his human when she would feed him a treat.

I started wrestling with my mat when class was almost over, so Nancy took it away. I had to lie on the concrete for the rest of the class!

I slept all the way home. The drive home took a lot longer than usual because of the rain.

My human doesn't have any energy at the end of the day, so we'll probably just nap and putter around the apartment. We might practice the one-step heel, and Leave it.

 

First time inside CostCo

March 15th 2010 6:47 am
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My human and I have walked back and forth in front of CostCo before, but we've never gone inside. I have no idea why she waited so long, because everyone in there loved me!

It wasn't only a practice trip: we needed supplies. My human hasn't been up to shopping much and we needed a lot of stuff (more than half for me, of course).

I walked fairly well beside the cart, though I took up too much space a few times and my human had to call me back to her side.

My most challenging moment was when she climbed into this huge refrigerator to get a box of milk cartons -- there had been a rush on organic 1% and there were none within reach from the door.

I was puzzled because she didn't take me in there with her. I kept my eyes on her every nanosecond, even though she was only three feet away. I was so happy when she came out that I kissed her and people laughed.

My human was able to talk to several people about PSDs and hand out two fliers about SDs. She didn't say that she was training me for herself. She said she was training me for a person with BP and PTSD -- which is true -- and then went on to say what sorts of things PSDs can do for their people.

There were several people who mentioned that they wanted to pet me but would not because they knew that petting wasn't allowed. I think my human needs to work with me more on my wave so that I can interact with my fans without losing focus.

 

Sleepy day

March 16th 2010 7:14 am
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I had to wake my human up yesterday because she didn't seem to respond to the alarm. I'm happy to do it, because I love mornings! My human gives me loves and we goof around before we get out of bed. She says she can't stay early-morning grumpy with me around.

After my early morning exercise, we drove over to the local grocery store for some chocolate milk for my human's coffee.

I'm still too much of a sniffer to go into grocery stores, so I had to wait in the car. Good thing I had my bully stick to keep me busy.

My human was reluctant to leave the apartment yesterday. She does a lot of sleeping lately, which is generally fine with me because I happen to enjoy naps myself. When she was awake, we played and I practiced opening the door using the cord my human crocheted out of macrame cord. I also practiced my retrieves. I love it when she lets me pick up the weight!

When it was time for our evening walk, instead of heading out the door in search of adventure, she opened the door several times and looked out.

I reminded her that it was time and she finally wrote to the PSDS list and asked for a boot in the seat of her pants to get her out the door. The boot was promptly provided and we finally headed out.

We walked around our neighborhood, and then jumped in the car to visit the local pet store for a supply of stuff for me to chew. I need to have lots of chews, and I like a variety. It's expensive, but what can I say? I'm a German Shepherd. I get bored with same old, same old.

After our visit to the pet store, we walked up and down the mall sidewalk playing "return the cart." We take carts that have been left on the sidewalk back to the correct store. I get rewarded for staying next to my human and can't help but prance a bit when she tells me how fabulous I am.

We returned home and I settled in for a long, relaxing chew session while my human talked on the phone with the man who is our friend. That's how we typically end our day.

 

Hanging out with Zeus, plus my first hotel visit, Part One.- (Wednesday)

March 19th 2010 6:54 am
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Wednesday: It has been an exciting and exhausting couple of days. We went on an overnight trip to Auburn, CA to visit with Zeus and his mom and to give me experience staying in a strange place.

On Wednesday, my human buckled me into the car for the long ride. We took a short walk after we got out of the car. It smelled a little different, so I had my nose to the ground.

When we returned to the parking lot, I got a huge surprise. Zeus's mom was there! I adore her. She really appreciates exceptional kissers and I am a champion. And then, wow! Zeus was there too! Ta dah!

We exchanged proper canine greetings, and then I was ready to play. Alas, it was time to work. My human put on my harness and we accompanied Zeus and his mom to a physical therapy session. It was my first time in a clinic setting.

The place was full of interesting noises and people coming and going. Zeus gets the greater share of attention, being a true charmer, but people noticed me, too. I was a bit restless, having just had a long nap, but I did fairly well. I sat in the treatment room with my human while Zeus's mom had several different treatments. Zeus was napping and stretching out toward me, and I sneaked a few sniffs of his paws and face as they inched nearer and nearer.

Then we left Zeus in the room and went out into the open equipment area. Then I was really on the spot! No massive mastiff to deflect attention from the (relatively) little SDiT.

One of the other patients took a keen interest in me and we heard about his dogs and how they were a focal point in his life. He was so curious about me and interested in sharing about his dogs that he kept forgetting to continue his exercises.

My mom had me laying down and I would pop up every few minutes. Finally, she sat next to me on the floor and we chatted with the staff, patients and Zeus's mom.

After our visit to the clinic, we headed to downtown Auburn for a visit Winston Smith Books. My human has a real weakness for books, and for some reason, used books make her go wild. I remembered when I first came to live with my human and how she didn't like me eating her books, so I was very kind to all of the books even though they were at just the right height for a taste.

The aisles were wide and there was a energetic calm about the place that made it possible to relax. Zeus and his mom headed upstairs and I wanted to go with them, but my human needed to check out the science fiction offerings, where she soon discovered a couple of hardback copies of titles she wanted to add to her library.

FINALLY, we went upstairs to the loft. The human talked a bit (sigh) and then we looked at more books. I peeked between the slats of the barrier between up and down and watched people walk past. Heights are fascinating. I think I like being way up and watching people way down who don't know I'm there. Probably a species memory, but whatever it was, it was mesmerizing.

Book people tend to take service dogs in stride, it seems. People looked up, noted our beauty and charm, and then went back to looking at books. While we were in line, a man approached and asked about me. My human got to see an iPhone photo of his mixed breed Husky/GSD. She didn't show it to me, not that I'm used to examining other dogs in two dimensional format. She told me later that it was lovely, but could not hold a candle to me. Well, of course not. I am a three dimensional being.

Then we took a bit of a walk up and down Old Auburn. We stopped in a different bookstore, the Book Haven, but it was an unhappy place to see books waiting for new people. Dead end aisles where all four of us had to back up to escape, and kids sitting in the middle of the store on a couch in front of a game console and TV. There wasn't a single place to sit. Our humans left pretty quickly even though the books looked just as tasty there as at Winston Smith's.

By the time we got to the car, I was tired and thirsty, and my human was ready to rest. Zeus's mom led us to our Best Western so that we could check in and freshen up for dinner at the Taco Tree.

The check-in clerk did not challenge us for access. She didn't quite understand that it mattered that I was not a pet, but without any interference from my human, she said she would not charge the pet fee.

She also said that she would mark our check-in card to note that there was a pet in the room so that housekeeping would not be surprised if the dog was there alone when they dropped by, but my human told her that I would not ever be left in the room because I accompanied her everywhere she went so that I could mitigate her disability.

The clerk marked the card to note that there was a service dog checked-in for that room and my human was comfortable with that because in case of emergency, it would be good for others to know I was there.

I stayed on leash while my human unloaded all of our stuff. She brought a separate bag with my equipment (toys, food, treats) and my Pup Tent soft crate. I was very excited when I saw her putting it up and I kept walking all over it in anticipation until she told me very firmly to go lay down. As soon as it was up, I was inside, looking very pleased with myself.

She gave me a Kong filled with soft dog food so I was busy while she changed her clothes and lay down on the bed for a few minutes. Soon, the phone rang and it was time to go to dinner.

 

Hanging out with Zeus, plus my first hotel visit, Part Two- (Wednesday Evening)

March 21st 2010 6:47 am
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Wednesday evening: Zeus's mom swung by the hotel to lead us to the Taco Tree where we were to meet with her sons for dinner.

We got a table for four after we ordered. Zeus's mom's sons did all of the extra running around- getting napkins, filling soda cups, picking up the humans' orders. Zeus was a calming influence as usual, and I did well in my corner for most of the meal.

After a long time of sitting in the corner, I kept getting up. Surely it was time to do something else? All my fun was over when Zeus's mom suggested that my human sit on my leash with just enough length free to let me lie down. That put an end to my jack-in-the-box fun.

The humans talked and talked and talked until it got dark outside. I could tell they were having a great time, so I didn't bother them. Much.

After we left the restaurant, Zeus's mom led us back to the hotel. I was tired, but excited and trotted around the room looking for mischief until my human filled up my Busy Buddy with kibble and put it in my crate.

When I'd finish that, we played with one of my Nina Ottosson puzzles. Then she filled up my Kong with soft food and I spent a relaxing time working on it while she got ready for bed.

I dozed on the bed with her while she was looking at this thing she calls TV. We don't have one at home and at first, I was interested in the sounds that came out of it. I waited until she was almost asleep before I jumped off and went into my crate to sleep.

 

Hanging out with Zeus, plus my first hotel visit, Part Three- (Thursday)

March 24th 2010 4:13 pm
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I don't know how I missed, it, but she had a nightmare and I didn't wake her up! I must have been exhausted. However, I did wake her up in the morning like I'm supposed to and we went out in the dark to play on the hotel long. I was on my long leash and we ran around a bit, and then played tug with my favorite tug toy.

My human had been wearing her pajamas, so she changed into regular clothes before we trotted over to the breakfast room. I did pretty well heeling while she got coffee and a danish, but got distracted by the men who thought I was the coolest dog.

I wanted to play tug with the curtain when we sat down at a table in the corner, but my human sat on my leash again and I had to just lie down and think dog thoughts.

My human fed me via my Busy Buddy and Kong again and then we took a nap. We almost didn't get up in time to pack up and check out before Zeus's mom arrived to lead us to Roseville, where we were going to have cheesecake and caffeine at The Cheesecake Factory.

And I got a happy surprise! Zeus was not alone! I was so excited that I jumped up on the driver side door to check out the new pup. And so it happened that I met Teagan.

Zeus and Teagan's mom let Teagan out and we realized quickly that we needed to play together. Unfortunately, my off-leash recall is not absolute, so we couldn't play off-leash on the grounds of the Best Western, but we did our best with our play bows and jumping.

Teagan had to go back in the van, and off we drove for the shopping mall in Roseville? Marysville? Susanville? My human doesn't remember, but it isn't really important, because it was a mall and that meant I was back on duty.

We walked around a bit on the second floor where we saw something that made us want to go downstairs: a man playing with a hover toy.

By the time we got downstairs, he was playing with a radio controlled car that could flip over and still go. He made it come to us. I really wanted a closer look, but alas, our humans would not let us even think of chasing it.

Our humans got lost and had to ask directions to the Cheesecake Factory, so we did some more walking around while people admired us in our wake.

The people at the restaurant really liked us. First, they put is in a booth, but my human didn't think I would be comfortable, so they moved us to a table without any fuss.

Zeus's mom helped me figure out where to lie down by luring me under the table toward her with a piece of cheese. After that, it was humans talk talk talking, with other people coming over to talk, and then bringing stuff I knew I would never have a chance to even sniff.

My human got Banana Cream Cheesecake with bananas and whipped cream. Zeus's mom got a chocolate cake that was so good it made them stop both talking for a bit.

Zeus was snoring.

My human needed to make a relief stop, so I went with her and was interested in all the comings and goings in that little room with the stalls. I didn't peak under the partitions, though. My human had me sit and I wouldn't have been able to reach under anyway.

We walked back to the cars and the humans talked more and then we were off again. This time, we stopped at a place with a lot of grass where I had my own relief stop. Zeus and his mom went inside to talk to someone.

My human buckled me into the car again, and when I woke up, we were home! I was ready to play, but my human didn't seem to be interested, so we took a nap together.

And that is the end of my two day adventure visting Zeus.

 
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