Thursday, February 26, 2009

Corona LRT Station

Today we joined Debbie's puppy class and met at Corona (indoor) LRT station downtown where we practiced a variety of obedience work, rode the LRT to a couple of other stations and went on an escalator. I am blogging today's class because today was the first day that Breton rode on an escalator! She has been an eager and happy puppy to hang out on the escalator platform for a couple of months now, but with a little nudge to her bum and encouragement, today she found herself leaving the platform behind. Breton earned lots of praise, yummy treats and bum scratches for a job well done and in typical Breton character, she returned the affection with tail wags and wiggles. I know we have more work to do to keep her comfortable and confident at going up them, but today was a big step! I have been waiting patiently for Breton to take the first step on her own as I know that without an experienced Dogs with Wings trainer to help guide us, that I would not have taken her up without Debbie being there to assist us with getting on and off. It is very important that Dogs with Wings show us when and how to introduce the escalator to our puppy and that we not take them on before we have been shown how. Thanks so much Debbie for your help and encouragement in getting Breton on and off of the escalator and for having us in your class today!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Morning Kisses


We seem to have a reoccurring pattern that has developed with Breton. As mentioned in previous blog postings, we have always encouraged the motto "four on the floor" with her. The only time it is okay for four to leave the floor is when we give her the queue "raise." There aren't a lot of rules that DWW asks us to abide by, but one of them is that dogs are not allowed on the furniture. Even when Breton was the tiniest baby we never even held her on our lap on the furniture, _ever_.

Now, in the morning while I am still sleeping, Breton springs up on to the bed and lands perfectly, right between Greg and I and starts licking and nibbling my ear while her tail wags at a joyous speed. I've sort of become used to this ritual in that my heart doesn't stop with fear when I feel her land beside me anymore, but my heart does ache when I concentrate on remaining boring and apathetic so she doesn't think it is fun to stay on the bed, all the while saying "off" so that she will get down.

I'm not sure when this behaviour will subside but I will remain steadfast in encouraging that she remain on the floor and will continue to ensure that she leaves the bed promptly. Allow me to say, this is not easy for me because it just feels so darn good having her sweet face so close to me first thing in the morning (Greg, you know I love you too).

I hope I am not the only one who will appreciate ear kisses from this poo eating dog?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Birthday Fun

Birthday treatsie

Morning run in the field with Bentley

Afternoon run at the off leash park

On Feb. 12, I spent the day with Breton doing most of her favorite things. I gave her a new tug rope for her and Bentley to play with in the backyard, but that was shredded before I had a chance to get a picture of them with it. We had a great day and she slept soundly that night. My biggest birthday wish for her is to have many happy, healthy years with lots of happy birthdays ahead.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Breton is 1-Year Old Today! Could Have Been a Better Birthday...

Breton spent her first Birthday under anesthetic at the Crestwood Vetrinary Clinic. Today she had her PennHIP X-ray to assess the quality of her hips. PennHIP stands for University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program. Before she can become a service/assistance dog, her hips need to be in good health and this is what the x-ray will tell us. This form of x-ray is an accurate way of predicting the onset canine hip displaysia.

I dropped her off at the vetrinary office early this morning, and picked her up at three o'clock. The anesthetic left her groggy and a bit confused. She whimpered and paced for the first three hours after I brought her home, but after a small dinner, she settled down and now is only crying occasionally. As I type this she is laying behind me sound asleep (passing gas).
We will have a fun day together tomorrow. Happy Birthday Breton! We love you.
PS - She weighs 55 lbs. now

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Gotta Trust my Dog

On Friday night's class at Waggin' Tails, Maria asked how our dogs are doing at loose leash walking without their Halti's on. I said Breton still pulls without her Halti and realized that meant we had home work to do. After class, I was thinking and just assumed she would pull without it and that I haven't really given her much of a chance to show me otherwise. Yesterday and this morning, we went to Southgate Shopping Center and walked with out the Halti. Breton did very well , and thanks to Andrew's tip (Rigger's dad) we practice the "watch me" cue as we walked. We spent time walking in the busy part of the mall with only a couple of minor distractions. By the end of our outing yesterday, I had her clipped on to my belt and walking beside me through the mall and out to the van with a coffee in my hand, and Breton's eyes focused on me. Way to go Breton!