October 01, 2008

Afternoon and eve activities

This afternoon, after his nap, we went to a nearby park for a walk in the woods. Dazzle had a great time! We didn't walk too long, but long enough to wear him out a bit. I think he was still recovering a bit because later in the evening it took a long time to wear him out! We hung out near a bench at the end of the walk and he had fun playing with natural toys and rolling down the hill. He also liked walking through the sand of the vollyball court.

I LOVE this one! He's 9 weeks old tomorrow.

This one came out really nice too

Hiking ahead...I found some burrs mom

Just chillin' after the walk

Rolling down the hill
Shhh, I'm hunting leaves!
He took another short nap (& so did I) then we went to the police K-9 demo in Lawrenceburg. It was a huge event! There were 34 dog/handler teams (9 of them had Mals :-) and they showed many aspects of police work after the helicopter landed and the equine drill team rode in with the flags for the national anthem.

Dazzle did exceptionally well with all the commotion. When I first arrived, they were playing rock music over the speakers and when I went to where the grand stands were, it was clearly too much for him. So we backed off and went out to the grass in the center of the parking lot for a potty and play break where we could still hear the music, but it wasn't as loud. After a short time, he was doing much better and started to play. I thought I would have to miss seeing the demo, but noticed there was a hill off to the side.

We went up on the hill, spread out my towel and plopped down to watch. From that distance, he did REALLY WELL with the loud music, announcer, crowds, kids yelling/crying/running, a helicopter flying over then landing (very little reaction to this really loud noise!), then the police cars and motorcycles made a procession that went right by the base of the hill with sirens going. He was facinated by that and moved closer to them to watch and cock his head. Several of the K-9's were barking and as they went by his ears would go back to that, but he wasn't overly spooked.

After they started the program, the AirCare helicopter had to respond to a call, so it fired up and took off. Still no reaction from Dazzle, but I was feeding him the whole time any way. A little bit later, another helicopter landed. Shortly before that, they had gotten to the part of the demo in which gun shots were fired (they warned the crowd.) I kept the treats flowing, but I don't think I would have needed them. The gun shots were way more quiet than the helicopters! And I know he has been exposed to gunfire already by the breeder.

Through this whole thing, he spent most of his time stalking/pouncing/carrying/shaking leaves, twigs, chestnut husks, acorns, etc. Between doing that, he was flopping down, rolling around and falling asleep. We also got in a bit of work on eye contact, sit and down.

We left right after the second helicopter landed, even though the demo wasn't over, I felt he had plenty of exposure and excelled. He was starting to sleep, so I knew he was ready to go back to the crate. He walked well on the leash down the hill to the van and went right to the door to go in, waiting for me to open it. Once in the crate, he curled up in the back and went to sleep. Just before we got home, he rolled onto his back -still sound asleep- and I had to get a photo. :-)

He slept till we got back home (about 1/2 hour) and when he came in he ran to Mike's chair and jumped in his lap giving him hugs and kisses and puppy wiggles. Then he was in "zoom mode" for nearly an hour, racing around, grabbing and pouncing on one toy after another. The boys were doing a good job listening to us when we told them to ignore him (and not bite him as he ran past) but when he tried to steal the toy out of Coyote's mouth, he got a lesson. As I expected, no injury just increased respect/manners. Coyote, for all his barking and bluster is actually a good teacher of manners. Every once in while, I'd let Dazzle outside to cool off and do his business. He's now on Flagyl (antibiotic), but still really loose. Definitely feeling more perky though!

Till tonight, I was only using his dog food as treats so I didn't risk upsetting his system. But I needed higher value treats for the police thing, so I fed him slivers of some "Carvers" real-meat treats.

More tomorrow.