November 11, 2008

11-7 Dazzle is a DOG SCOUT!

Our day started about 7 when my roommates alarm went off and a second room mate got up with her. There were 4 women and 4 dogs in the room (including myself and Dazzle.) I fed him breakfast while I got dressed and ready to face the day.

Once outside (thankfully) I found that the canned food I fed him yesterday must be different enough from the food I had been giving him to cause a very loose stool. :-( So we stuck with kibble and string cheese as treats and I gave him the re-constituted freeze dried raw during meals. He played in the big field with me doing the 2-toy retrieve. I wrapped his feet with vet wrap today hoping it would breath better than the vinyl boots. He was really hyper and wanted to bite the leash, my leg, whatever he could grab. I had to stop a few times and do some hands-on calming/stroking to get him to stop and get back into a thinking mindset.

We went on the 1 mile hike (but I don't think it was a full mile) and we brought up the back of the pack since I was moving slow. He was attached to his harness and was allowed to pull in that. But he was pulling a lot (which helped me up the hills) so I took the leash off so that he wouldn't be over stressing his muscles and joints hauling my fat ass around :-) He really enjoyed the off-leash time and checked in often (he didn't get out of my sight, but would come close to me frequently) and he recalled away from the other dogs really well.

Back at the Rec hall, we did a bit of practice, then got checked out for the Sit, Down, Stay and "leave-it" with food part of the Dog Scout test. Then we went to the lake to play. He scrambled up and down the hills, ran along the beach, chased some sticks I tossed into shallow water and had a great time. During his high speed play, he lost two of his foot wraps, so I took the other two off. He played in the leaves again.

Playing on the hills:

Running on the beach and biting the waves:

Almost swimming! He went in past his belly after a stick but couldn't figure out how to get the stick without getting his nose under water :-)

Playing in the leaves. Not sure why the sound went away when I merged the two videos. Just imagine lots of swishing leaves. He was having WAY too much fun!

I thought about putting him in his crate for a nap, but he was still wound up so I took him with me to the Directional Control class. He laid down and watched the other dogs closely. He must have been paying attention because at the end of class I did a bit of practice with him and was able to send him between 2 "bases" about 20' apart. That's exceptional for the first time he has seen these targets to go to and get on.

He slept through lunch, and when we walked out of the cafeteria he found a patch of shady grass, laid down and refused to move. So we went to the room for a 1 hr nap. I decided to lay down with him and we both slept. Lonnie snapped a photo with my camera. I had my hat over my face to block out the light.

We woke up in time for water class. I was hoping to get the Puppy Paddler badge but it wasn't happening. I even went into the ice cold water and called him and lured him with cheese, but the waves were as tall as he was and when a wave hit him in the face, it was all over. He refused to get back in past his knees. I was numb from the waist down after just 10 minutes so we went back to the room. I found it's hard to walk when you can't feel your feet! But he did try really hard and I think if the water had been as calm as it was this morning, he would have swam no problem. He did run and play on the beach with other dogs between attempts so over all he had a good time. I think getting him to swim in calm water will be easy to do.

After I dried off, thawed out and changed clothes we went shopping for more vet wrap. I found an old feed store and bought out their supply (and sold some of the extras to others in camp.) Dazzle slept the whole drive out and back. I let him sleep in the van while I went in and got the wrap too.

We had an hour before dinner when we got back, so we practiced his piano and then he did his very first painting using his newly learned painting skills (pawing the board on cue.)

His first painting:

After dinner, Mart finished checking him off for the rest of the behaviors needed for the Dog Scout test (heel, leave it with an animal (fake bird), recall and good with people and dogs.) He PASSED!! He is the youngest dog to get the Dog Scout title!

Right after he passed, Judy came in and was willing to check him off on the First Aid badge, which he passed with flying colors (letting me wrap his leg in a bandage, wear a muzzle, get picked up and carried, be restrained, etc.)

Then it was time for games. We did recalls with distractions and 2 out of 3 times he flew right by Mart who was tempting him with food. On his second pass, he had to stop and sniff, but was easily called away. Fun and games continued outside with a game involving 2-liter pop bottles with a bit of water in them set-up in a grid. The object was to see how many bottles the dog could knock down in 15 seconds. Dazzle got 8, mostly with his dragging leash :-) but the winner got almost all 20 of them! He was getting too jazzed up by the other dogs and people running/calling so we called it a night. I leashed him to his crate so he had the option of being on my bed.