Saturday, September 27, 2008

Loose Leash, Food Distraction and Recall

I believe Maria said that those are the three most important skills for a guide/assistance dog to learn. Today we practiced food distraction by putting a small amount of kibble in a container on our deck and some tasty wieners in my food pouch to reward her with. As I placed the kibble in the center of the deck, Breton watched me or actually, the kibble very closely while drool bubbles leaked from the corners of her mouth. We practiced by walking in a large circle around the kibble, and as she would look towards the kibble, I would say "leave it" and then reward her with pieces of wiener from my food pouch. After bringing her inside, putting the kibble away and praising her for what a good job she did, she went back outside to find that the darn bowl of kibble was gone. It had been sitting there so readily for her to gobble up too, "what the heck Mom, what the heck?"

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Today, I Got the Funniest Picture of You . . .


(Click on photo to have a closer look)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy First Day of Fall!

I took numerous pictures of them posing like this and decided to put this one up. It's not perfect - neither one of them is focused on the camera, Bentley is falling a sleep and Breton is intent on believing there is still one more piece of wiener on the step below her. I had to post this one though, because this one is the most real of all the photos I took. Happy Fall!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008

Then & Now

May 1
Sept. 19

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Breton Goes to School: y = f (x)

I have resumed math classes again on Mon. and Wed. nights at Metro Continuing Education. I asked Metro if it would be okay if Breton joined me, and they agreed with the condition that she wasn't a distraction to others and that no one in the class had an allergy to her. At the end of our first class together on Mon., people commented on how good she was and that it was like she wasn't even there. No body had allergies and the teacher told me she could continue for the rest of the semester. How surprising for me to find out that having her there would be so difficult for me!

Crunch, Crunch, Crunch:
I learned that Breton can chew one piece of kibble, three times (crunch, crunch, crunch) and also while doing so, be taking in a breath through her mouth similar to a Darth Vader sound. It felt like sitting in a room full of people who were in deep concentration, and having some one in the back ground eating carrot sticks.

Rich Puppy Smell:
Breton was sound asleep at my feet and I was taking notes when the all too familiar Breton smell began wafting its way up to me. This girl can clear a room and I know the people around us were all victims while she slept soundly. Sigh.

Feet Cuddles:
During the three hour class (with a 10-min. break), she would sleep for 20-minutes, and then wake up and move around my chair, and in to the isle behind us. She settled once on the feet of the man sitting beside me at my table, and he said that he enjoyed having her there. I had to bribe her with kibble to move her closer to me.

We were at the park for an hour that morning and an hour before class. She's coming with me again next Mon., as Greg is unavailable to take care of her.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

7 Months: Growing Up

We no longer have a baby, but a young dog. Breton's age is now compared to preteen/early teenage years in humans. We have moments when she looks at me blankly when I call her name, or instead of barreling towards me at an excited speed when called, she meanders a bit first before coming. On the plus side, I have noticed as she is getting older that we are sharing more of the sweet and calmer moments.

We are getting to know each other better and she is becoming much more of a partner. I feel this most when we are walking together in a public place and she is in jacket, right beside my leg keeping with my pace, as if she was always meant to be there. I feel so proud of her and know that who ever it is she is placed with as a future assistance or guide dog, they will be very honoured to have her as their partner.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Banff Cave and Basin

We walked from the Cave and Basin in Banff on the trail called the "Sun Dance Canyon" hike, and although we didn't actually make it to the canyon, we walked with the dogs for about an hour and a half. This was their first real on-leash walk together and "loose" leash walking would be a rather "loose" way to describe the walk (especially when the trail horses went by). Note to Self: Drinking Starbucks coffee while walking both dogs together does not work.

"GUIDE" not "GUARD" Dog

We had a great weekend in Banff, and we were so proud of our doggies who were exceptionally well behaved while we stayed at the Banff Springs Hotel. Not a bad first hotel experience for our little Miss. The first night when we were sleeping, Breton wasn't too sure of the sounds, and so when she heard someone passing by our room, we were awoken by her
"W-o-o-o-f - woof, woofing" and the bajeezes were scared right out of us. She was better the second night.

The two of them sure got us a lot of attention. One person asked if Breton belonged to the hotel (maybe they've stayed at the Fairmont Vancouver) and a couple others asked if I was the "dog walker" because they saw me walking Breton and then Bentley at separate times I guess. Nope, just a proud dog mom.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Playing Tug-of-War

Bentley is the growly one but if you listen closely, Breton is growling too.

Relaxing Together

Our Girl

Practicing Down Stay at Starbucks

Here is our girl focused intently on me while I enjoyed my coffee.


Scary, round, alien thing! She's never encountered a bush like this before, and who can blame her for being nervous of it? It is kind of suspicious looking, all round and prickly like, with the dead bits on it looking like little hands. She did conquer her fear and made peace with it by giving it a good sniff and a tail wag before we passed by. Funny girl.