The adventures with Winslow continue on day 2 of my adventures as a part-time Puppy Raiser. Although many people think of socialization as meeting other pups or people – it has a much broader sense to smells, sounds, sensations… we mostly stuck to the typical meaning with a few extras thrown in today.
Winslow started the day meeting his temporary, human bother (28). He said a polite hello – good boy! (Mark, one of my two heroes, came to play with Beau while Winslow and I headed out to meet a potential puppy raiser.) So, I was warned that ‘getting dressed’ (putting on his vest and gentle lead harness) was not Winslow’s favorite thing to do so we did a dry run and ‘loaded up’ in the car (photo op here). Winslow was AMAZING. There was no treating/bribing or cornering (highly frowned upon but I was warned). Phew. Phase one down, even sleep deprived, we’ve got this.
Adventure awaits… we were greeted in Newtown by a lovely couple and their dog. The dog is not happy to meet a new friend. Oh man – why didn’t I ask Abby more questions? Ok, I’ve got this Courtney and Donna taught you so well while training Beau. (So, here I have a slight loss of focus and think how proud I am of Beau and his training.) Back on task Sandy, this is a great training opportunity for Winslow, act confident. So, I say 4,000 times, I’m not a behaviorist (just a volunteer), but Abby will certainly be able to discuss that with you. The absolutely wonderful couple keeps commenting on how well behaved Winslow is, how much they hope this works out, how they are excited to be part of this amazing program. Winslow is a proud SDiT and plays his cuteness and awesome temperament just perfectly.
AND THEN IT HAPPENED… the PART-TIME PUPPY RAISER FAIL. I was warned repetitively by his amazing High School puppy raiser, he will chew and eat his harness if given any opportunity. Oh yeh, no big deal, it’s not like I won’t be watching and working with him while he has it on. OMG he is a magician, seriously escape artist extraordinaire. It happened in a blink of an eye, 60, ok maybe 90 seconds. I was chatting and he just chewed right through it. PANIC – no it’s ok, he didn’t swallow it. Phew. The couple and I laugh (hard, lol, at my fail) – OMG I’m going to have to admit this to his raiser, oh no so much worse, I have to tell ABBY! (BTW she laughed at me just as hard). In the end, what I realized is this was a great training moment for us all. Relaxed in their backyard no reasons to expect any issues, and bam sharp toothed, sly, well behaved Winslow caught me off guard. To err is human and even Exceptional Sidekicks are dogs – we learn together.
We turned failure into success. Off to the pet store for Mark, Beau, Winslow, and me. Beau and Mark practiced saying a polite hi to new friends they met. Winslow and I practiced being a service dog and ignoring the world (once he was sporting is pretty blue new gentle leader of course). Exhaustion set in. All the kings’ puppies, and handlers too, needed to lay down and relax a bit too.
YEA! Wake up, Amanda’s here! Winslow meet your temporary human sister and her best friend Hank. The threesome ran and played and ran some more. Then they started to reach that bewitching moment so it was time for some intervention. Hank, Beau, and Winslow all played the obedience game with me. Sit, heal, down, paws up, stay, down, stand. Then we threw in just a few tricks – paw, twirl, high five, and sit pretty to mix things up. Still not sure if I had more fun or they did!
How’s Beau adjusting you ask? Well, I’ll admit there are moments when his nose is slightly out of shape, but, let me tell you – Winslow has made one of his lifelong dream come true! He will play tug of war with him! Beau has shaken and shoved a toy in MANY a dogs faces to no avail. No one is willing to take him on. Until his new pal Winslow… a match made in heaven. Sure, there are moments of juggling our ‘special’ times and it’s a work in progress, but we are definitely finding our way.
Winslow ended his day with a walk around the neighborhood and an invitation to the couch for some downtime. I even got to do some work on a puppy raiser newsletter and chat with my friend Andrea about upcoming TESSD projects. Most remarkably, his first full day here and he has adjusted to his vacation home and activity with grace and just a little puppy clumsiness!
Best part yet – we ALL got our 8+ straight hours of beauty rest and are ready to start today’s adventures! Part-time puppy raiser day 2 is a success!
See pictures attached of Winslow napping under the table as I write this blog and him resting his head on me.