August 29th 2011 11:15 pm
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Today Charlie went swimming for the second day since I picked him up from the pound a little over a year ago. He used to hate getting wet in any way, shape, or form, but now he has discovered the joy of swimming, and is actually anxious to retrieve sticks thrown in the water! Of course, he is prudent, and won't go out too far, which actually eases my mind a bit. The very first time he swam, about a week ago, he went after a huge branch floating in the water, which he could never hope to get his jaws around and only wound up pushing it further out. I halfway thought I might have to throw all my gear on the sand and swim out to get him!
But today, Charlie demonstrated wonderful prudence, even if his exhilaration at his new-found skill was obvious. I'm so glad he knows how to steer himself in the water and come back to shore -- I was honestly worried about that, the first time!
After a couple errands, we went to the vet for Charlie's annual vaccinations and checkup. I remember how he had to be muzzled the first time they took his temperature, and even at that, it took 3 techs besides me! Today he didn't like his temperature being taken (although he calmly allowed me to take it at home and phone it in), but he sat quietly for all 3 shots, and didn't even squirm too much for the squirt-up-the-nose bordatella vaccine.
I feel like the luckiest mommy in the whole wide world. Nearly everyone who sees Charlie smiles, and we get lots of comments on him: "Gorgeous, cute, happy, easy to love, smart," etc. People watch him, and often comment to me later -- for example, one man had apparently been watching Charlie try to fetch a stick in the water today, and when we ran into him later, he said, "Did he ever get the stick?"
Last night after class, our trainer (who is clearly very impressed with Charlie) had to take a few extra minutes to play with him. "You're such a good dog," she said. I almost wanted to say, "You can't have him!" LOL
But Charlie has always shone like a star in every class we've taken, and while other dogs just walk away from their handlers, hoover the floor instead of concentrating on the task at hand, or come begging for treats from other class members, Charlie does none of this. His performance is brisk and energetic, and he's always focused on me. The only time he faltered was his first time on the tippy board, but I fixed that by installing a low teeter-totter in our yard, and last night, Charlie did the tippy-plank like it was nothing. I had to remind the class, "Remember how scared he was...?" They did indeed, and were duly impressed with his newfound confidence.
Charlie is a service dog, though, and his main job is to keep me straight. Well, this afternoon, just as we were about to be running late and I still hadn't taken my shower, I decided to check the computer "just real quick." After a couple moments, Charlie started barking at me from his pillow next to my desk. He never even stood up, just started barking -- nagging, almost! The only time he ever does that is when I'm getting lost in my head and forgetting what I'm supposed to be doing. I thanked him, kissed him, and went to get ready while he went back to snoozing.
I have the smartest puppy in the whole wide world (I call all dogs puppies). And there will be more posts. This is just a hasty introduction....