November 11, 2008

11-6 First day of camp

We got up at 6:30 local time because I was tossing and turning and didn't sleep well. My cot wasn't as comfortable as I remembered it being and felt too much like a hammock, than the firm mattress I usually sleep on. Plus, there was a loud storm most of the night and the lightning flashes in the window made it hard to sleep.

Thankfully the rain ended before we went out. I took Dazzle to the play yard where he met Bailey and Keena (two aussies.) Keena was just a baby at the summer camp this year, but she was still very playful even though she was much more grown up now. Almost a bit too playful for Dazzle who was a bit overwhelmed by her play style.
I took some photos of him outside the play yard to document 14 weeks of age. Here's the best one:
After the play session we went to the warmer Rec hall and worked on his piano playing for the Band badge. He's doing well pressing the piano with his chin. On a break from that, I got on the 2-wheeled scooter and took it down and back inside the rec hall. He trotted next to it holding his leash in his mouth. NO issues with it moving next to him which I was happy to see.

Lonnie and I took a trip to the nearby Wal-mart for a few supplies and he did great (got lots of compliments on how well behaved he is.) Kozi got several comments on her boots. The burrs are bad at the camp, so doggie boots were one of the things I got on the shopping trip. They only had one kind (shiney vinyl) in either black or pink. We opted for the black. :-)

We still had some time to kill before lunch and the new camper's orientation session so we went down to the lake. He was really facinated by the waves! He ran up and down the beach and went into the water almost chest deep! He enjoyed biting at the waves and I was thankful it was fresh water and not salt water! :-) I didn't get video on this visit to the lake, but did on a later visit.

Here's some photos:
His first sighting of the lake where he could hear the waves.

He's not sure about the cliff, but there is a path down to the water not too far away. It's not a sharp drop off where he is standing, but it's pretty steep.

Nice portrait! I need a better flash so I can fill in the dark shadows on sunny days, but my cheap digital camera does a decent job.

Biting the waves...

Running on the beach:

On the way back from the lake, I put on his new boots. He had ZERO reaction to them, no high stepping, no chewing, nothing! It was like he wasn't even wearing them. I was very surprized. I guess there was just too much to see and do to worry about boots on his feet. Later, if we were sitting in one place for awhile, he would fuss with them a bit but was easily distracted. I found that they got pretty hot on his feet though, so later we switched to vet wrap to protect his feet, which he also didn't mind unless there was a burr that poked all the way through.
One thing he found on the way back was a hill with leaves on it. He had a blast rolling and burying himself in the leaves.

Who is that?... Who cares, I have LEAVES!
During lunch, he took a nap under the table. There were lots of people and dogs in the room with him (just not when the photo was taken) and he mostly ignored them.
After lunch, we moved to the Rec hall for the opening info and introductions. He took another nap on his blanket next to me.Then we got a can of raw food to practice "walk-by's" (a time for the dogs to meet without pressure.) He did great and since he was mostly ignoring the other dogs, I used it as a time to practice heeling with distractions (since several people/dogs were walking past him.) He did really well!
We got our camp photo taken and he got his Dog Scout photo taken in anticipation of his earning his Dog Scout title. It's really cute! But I don't have that photo yet because it comes on the camp photo CD and that gets mailed out after camp (when they get the editing on the several hundred photos done.)
Then since I had some free time, I introduced him to the backpack (empty.) At first, he moved away from it when I lifted it off the table so I did that again a few times and clicked/treated him for not backing away. Then I clicked/rewarded him for sniffing the pack and for letting me put it next to him. We worked up to him sticking his head through the straps for treats, then having it rest on his back, then getting it fastened on. More treats for taking a step, then another till he was walking confidently (see video in the earlier "test video" post.) within 30 minutes of first seeing the pack, he was walking across the baseball field with me.
Too cute in his pack and boots!
We worked on his "stand stay" to get this photo. He's starting to get proportional, so he looks like a mini-Malinois now. But given how fast he's growing, I know he won't be "mini" for very long! He was only a few inches shorter than Bob's 8 month old Mal.

The 2nd half of the free time hour was spent in the room- him napping and me updating my notes for this blog. During the backpacking orientation and safety class we went for a short hike with the group and he did great in his empty pack. I did add the items for a little bit and let him walk around for about 5 minutes, but that was the end of his pack wearing during camp. I didn't want to stress his back or joints, I just wanted to get him acclimated to wearing the pack and I accomplished that.

At dinner, he won two new toys from the prize drawing and spent most of the meal ripping the tags off the one I gave him. I tried to put him in his crate for a nap during the next class, but he was figiting and complaining so I waited for him to settle and be quiet, then I lt him out and took him with me to the class. He took a short nap next to me, but then he was clearly wide awake, so we worked on the target stick and then paw raises which turned into multiple strokes on a piece of cardboard (the start of his painting behavior.) I had his boots back in the room because I knew were we just going to be in the rec hall so I couldn't have him practice while wearing a bootie.

When he started playing with Kozi, we did a few more swipes then quit. He slept through the last session of the day and was ready to go again when I was ready for bed. He chewed on his bully stick for awhile as I got ready for bed, called Mike and updated the blog notes. It was an hour behind, so while the clock says 9:30, it feels like 10:30 and I was ready for bed!