Monday, September 29, 2008

Sedona is Two Years Old Today

Yes, Sedona is two today. She came into my life at 10 weeks old in November, 2006. Not really being much of a dog person before, I decided she needed to go to school. What follows is a recap of her experience at PupScouts in Nashville, TN. I hope you enjoy.

Week One-PupScouts 1/8/07

There were 10 dogs in class. All big, all puppies. Sedona was by far the smallest. First thing they give us was a Lowe's apron with 2 pockets, then they brought around 'treats" for us to put in the pockets, that would be the reward for doing good.

Next was the first command to the parents. Sit in your chair, take your dog off your leash and don't get up off the chair. OMG, do you have any idea how that made me feel. Teach assured me that they would not let anything happen to Sedona. She initially got out in the mix and then one of the dogs "touched" her and she let out the shrillest cry it made your toes curl. I immediately got up and Jane said, "sit back down, she's okay." I looked at her with sheer panic on my face I am sure and said, "Do you have any idea how difficult this is for me?" Of course she did.

Anyway, Sedona decided she liked to play with the adults and children better than those other dogs. Teach did tell me the others would leave her alone as long as she kept making those noises and sure enough, the big dogs/puppies just ignored her. Then my feeling got hurt as to why they did not want to play with my puppy. lol

As the one hour moved along, we practiced "sit"- of course Sedona already knew this one-go to the head of the class... "let's go" was a fav, each time they even attempted to try something, they got a treat. I learned that when they do something like, sit, let's go, down the key word is "yes." Not good girl, but yes. It's going to take some training for me too. I guess that's why I am going, right?

There was a German Sheppard who stayed in the corner the whole time. I talked to her owner and she is a rescue do who was abused. She was good but she just sat in the corner and observed. Teach said that was good for her to be exposed to sights and sounds and other people/dogs. She was beautiful.

Lab puppies, labdoodle, corgies, spaniel, mutt, all were there and it was such fun to see the interaction.

It was time to go "potty." See the thing about this is Sedona potties on a pad in the warm house, NOT in the outside on wood chips with all those other puppies around sniffing places they shouldn't. LOL She wouldn't go. Guess what, the minute she got back inside, she exploded and I didn't think she would ever stop peeing. They all loved that. Teach said that would be a problem if I ever wanted her to go outside. I'm thinking, why would I want her to go outside, that would mean I would have to go outside too. What was she thinking?

At the very end of class, they give us homework and an autograph book. Our assignment is to get our puppies exposed to as many different people as possible. When someone pets out puppy, we ask them to sign the autograph book. The puppy who has the most autographs will get a prize at the end of the class. Wish I had had the autograph book at Christmas, gosh, my family would have made up 52 names in the book. LOL

The last event of each training session is an agility course event. Last night was the tunnel. Puppies were going in and then stopping midway through, some owners had to go in after their little pup. Okay, we are going to the head of the class again. My little Sedona, prances over, goes into the tunnel by herself and zip, out the other end she comes. I said, "you don't understand, this one goes under the bed, behind the couch and other tight dark places, this is nothing." Then they made the tunnel longer, again, no problem. That was fun.

Did you know dogs get full of treats? To the point they don't want anymore? I didn't but she did. I have to not feed her supper next Monday.

Well, folks, this was probably more than you wanted to know but I wanted to share as much as possible. I would highly recommend if you ever get a new puppy to take her, if for nothing more than to socialize. PupScouts is an amazing place. Thanks, Pam for telling me about it. I can't wait until next Monday. BTW, did I tell you she slept the minute I got her in the car and went straight to bed when we got home? It was sooooo funny.

Until the next installment...

Week Two-PupScouts 1/15/07

Monday was such a struggle, do I go or don't I? 24 is on you know and it's MY show, MY show that when someone calls I won't talk...well okay, the decision is made, that's what they make VHS for right? (I am not in the TIVO world yet). I set my VHS and am ready to go.

Sedona has been excited all day and I know she can anticipate something big is going to happen today. We are both so excited that we get there about 30 minutes early. Oh well, can't blame me.

I thought it would be good for her to get her sniffing done and check everything out. Well, next week we probably won't get there so early and you will see why as I continue this little story...

...back on lead the other dogs are coming and Sedona can't be singled out as favorite (who says?) Oh my goodness I can see a change in some of the behaviors of the bigger dogs, not all but some. Same routine, everyone gets there, sniffs each other, paws one another and does the usual routine, I can only guess what they are saying to each other.

Sedona sniffs a couple and then goes to play with the children, she doesn't care a thing about the other dogs, she wants to be petted and played with, after all, that's how she has trained her "mother."

Ooh, who is this? Molly, spaniel, Sedona is actually playing with her and is letting her sniff her and is not making that gosh awful curdling sound she usually does when a big dog comes around her. Does she have a friend? Oh, they are so cute together.

Now enough, time for learning. Off lead and owners just sit and watch. Same thing, Sedona is looking for children, children are busy trying to watch their dogs. As they play, Molly as become Sedona's caretaker, she is watching out for her, it's so good to see that happen.

Now for the learning, Say name and when they recognize, give treat. We do this all around the room. We hear a lot of yes, yes, yes, yes, that's our word for doing something right. Of course they take Sedona as an example, she has done so well this week. I have practiced with her.

Next is sit, down (which is lie down, not off), go get it, let's go, you get the picture. Now it's time to go outside, Kristie tells me I can carry Sedona outside, she takes a little longer. We have a repeat of the outside from last week, what the heck am I supposed to do outside in the cold (and it was very cold and wet on Monday) with all these other dogs and people around me. Molly to the rescue, Sedona was hovered over next to the fence and Molly went over sniffed, and stood over Sedona like she was protecting her. Kristie is so proud that they have bonded. I am proud that they have too but would really like to see Sedona play instead of hover.

We go back inside and do a come, touch collar routine and that's it. This command is very important as they may have to have their life saved and need to know the COME command. You don't use come just to get them to come to you, I know, it's all different. But it's working for Sedona so that's what's important.

Before we leave we get to go to do an agility event. Monday it was about jumping up on a platform and then jumping off, duh, can you say, what's up with that, this is kids stuff? Sedona has been doing that as long as she could make it, I think she has springs in her back legs. Any way, they did this and then go to go through the very long tunnel. Treats are all part of this training, well, My Sedona, (did I mention how smart she is?) Jumps up on the platform and races through the very long tunnel but doesn't stop there, she turns around in the tunnel and goes the other way, and then as if that were not enough, she comes back to me at the end of the tunnel and I catch her. Ooh, how she loved that tunnel. Even though everyone laughed and her excitement and enthusiasm, Ms Kristie said we didn't want to condone that behavior and to not give her a treat. Well okay, what do you think I did? She was a good girl. I think she is meant for greatness.

I guess there are not a lot of exciting stories for her this week but it was fun and I'm glad we are doing it. Sedona was very tired so we won't be going 30 minutes early next week.

Btw, I asked about the patches...boo hoo, that's only for daycare and she won't get one when she graduates (hey, I already had the right bandana on which to put it.) but they promised what she gets will be special. Hope you all enjoy. Pix next week.

Week Three-PupScouts 1/22/07

Hard to believe that three weeks have passed since we started this little adventure. We got there a little later this week (Lady Vols, you know) and most everyone was already there. Sedona started out brave and adventuresome, until Molly (her friend from last week) decided she was soooo excited to see her, she scared the water out of her (literally.) Once she recovered from that, (do they really?) she was ready to check out the play room. Already off leash, the big dogs surround her so she goes over to Ally (little girl who would rather play with Sedona than teach her mutt.) and gets the love and attention she feels she needs.

We do the usual routine of sitting there and watching them play, well watching the others and Sedona sniffing the perimeter of the room hoping nothing will see her. I sometimes think she thinks she is invisible.

Now it's time to start the routines, we go around to each dog, say their name, have them sit, and give them a treat. By golly, Sedona has got this sitting thing to an art. Anytime she thinks she can get a good treat, she's down. It's so funny to watch her. Sometimes she gets distracted because she is keeping one eye out for the bullies and one eye out for the treat but that little bottom stays glued to the floor (sit) until she gets the treat.

We do the same routine with down, all the dogs have improved so much. The family who have the two Labs, Jack and Bonnie, are so cute. The mother and father let the boys do everything and you can tell that Bonnie's master has done much more homework than Jack's. Bonnie is a beautiful brown lab and Bonnie was Sedona's friend this week. She would come over and sniff and Sedona would even act like she was going after her when she would leave and then, STOP, dead in her tracks when she thought about what she was doing. It was so funny to watch her last night. Jack is the brother to Bonnie and he is a black lab. He is rambunctious and much to misbehaved to be around Sedona, or so she thinks.

Sophie, the Corgie, was full of herself last night. She was going around nipping at everyone; she had to be placed in time out. They are such cute dogs, stout dogs.

Oh, we had to go out side in the cold again last night, I don't know if they will ever figure out that this has absolutely no appeal to Sedona. Why they make her do this is beyond her! To get outside, we do a "let's go" with treats and turn left, turn right and then turn in a circle, all with treats but these treats are different, they are roast beef, real roast beef and the teachers are the only ones with these special treats. The evening was done for Sedona doing anything that had to do with me because I had just regular treats, not the roast beef. Did I say my dog had taste or what! It was funny because she just really got stubborn and wouldn't do anything; at least this was close to the end of our session.

Time for agility! Last night was the tire swing. I guess there are dogs that are intimidated by things like this but nooooo, not the A student, Sedona. She jumped up over that thing like it was nothing but hey; it was okay because she got one of those roast beef treats. So now it's time to put the whole agility thing together, there's the platform (no problem here) then the really long tunnel in an S shape so that the dog cannot see the owner at the other end and then they go through the tire. So it's, platform, tunnel, and tire. I let the leash go (I'm supposed to do that), up on the platform, through the tunnel and through the tire and I'm still standing at the platform. I couldn't move fast enough. She's a STAR, I'm telling you, she is a STAR. She loved that. Everyone laughed and then it was a small matter of catching her, she went back over to the tunnel and wanted to go through it again.

Time to go, everyone is crazy and then OMG, OMG, OMG, the big bully, Misty, some wiry ugly. high breed, misbehaving pedigree is coming quickly toward Sedona. She had the paw up and of course the "owner", the kid who is more misbehaved than the dog, doesn't do anything, down that big paw comes on Sedona, you talking about a cry, one any parent never wants to hear, came out of Sedona and I just about died. I told the kid to get his dog and he said I can she won't come, I bent down to pick up Sedona and the damn dog, Misty almost bit me. The trainers were busy so I just picked Sedona up, we are supposed to leave them on leash and not pick them up, well phooey on that, this is MY BABY. Anyway no harm, except to the ego I guess. It was not pleasant and it was sure scary for a moment. Not to worry, Sedona is fine and ready to go on my trip with me.

This week we are to play hide & go seek. This is so elementary to Sedona, we have been doing this since she was a little tot. Next Monday is graduation I need lots of autographs, I'll be bringing around her autograph book so that she will get a prize. We asked if there would be caps and gowns, etc, the trainer said we would pass on those until next time. Next time? Not sure there will be a next time. I need to look for a "little" animal class. Anyone knows of one. I love this place, just wished there were more small ones to play with.

Sedona went to a friend's house, Duchess. Duchess is a poodle who is about 1 yr old. It took about an hour but they started playing and acting like dogs. Guess I'm an impatient mommy and I want her to be such a social animal. I don't want her to be afraid of anything. She's so cute, I love her to death. Btw, she will be four months old on 1/29 so you all will get updated pix next week.

Later...

1 comment:

Teresa said...

Happy Birthday Sedona!!!!
From Fritzie
Your Cuz in Maryville