Whenever I am traveling, I like to take my dog Blue with me. Blue is not the only dog I have, but he is the only one that travels with me on a regular basis.
Why do I often leave the other dogs at home?
The answer is not based on favoritism. Instead, it is based on the personality of the dog.
Blue enjoys traveling and is not easily frightened by new experiences. Blue is also obedient and has excellent recall, which makes it safer to travel with him.
Before you decide to travel with your dog, consider if the dog will enjoy the trip. How will the dog react to something they have never seen or done before? Also, what is the training and obedience level of the dog? How reliable is the dog when being recalled?
Don’t base your decision to travel with a dog on your desires. Base it on the safety and well being of your dog.
I had the opportunity to talk to a Girl Scout group today. I took Blue with me, so I can tell them about service dogs, dog training, and I wanted to explain the differences between how humans and dogs process smells.
I believe the girls are in Kindergraden and 1st grade, so they are really young. I thought I had it under control, but I am afraid I overestimated my ability to communicate with such a young crowd.
At times, the poor kids looked a bit confused. However, I think they enjoyed the presentation or at least they enjoyed watching Blue. I hope they learned something from it and if so I will call it a success.
Now that I sit here thinking about it and how I struggled, I have a greater respect for the adults that volunteer to work with young children.
Last night, Ben decided to start barking at something after everyone was already in bed. I told him to be quite, but he just ignored me.
I got out of bed, went to the window, grabbed Ben’s collar, and walked him to his normal sleeping spot. I told Ben it was time for sleeping and not time for barking. I pointed to his sleeping spot and told him to go to bed.
Ben plopped down and let out a loud pitiful sounding moan. He looked totally disgusted with the situation. However, he did go to sleep and didn’t say anything else for the rest of the night.
Ben and Buddy finished the second phase of their beginner training class and now are moving into intermediate level classes. Norton finished phase one of the beginner class and will start phase two next month.
I started taking Joey to a dog park and to a day care center, while I was at work, to help channel all that energy.
He was finally doing well in school and his social skills were improving by leaps and bonds. He became very popular every where he went. He was friendly and got along with all the dogs. He was even dubbed the official dog park greater at one point.
However, Joey did have a habit of peeing in the water bucket at the dog park. It was so embarrassing and I would end up going for fresh water at least once during each visit.
I decided to do a dog shaming photo, but Joey didn’t care.
During Joey’s first year with me, his ability to destroy things was astonishing. He caused thousands of dollars in damages within a few months.
Here’s a list of his damages:
- Ripped up the carpet in the living room by pulling it away from the wall and exposing the concrete subfloor
- Completely destroyed a couch and love seat by removing the leather and stuffing until the wood base structure was exposed
- Took curtains off the wall, ripped them into shreds, and bit the curtain rod into two pieces
- Took books off the bookcase and literally shredded them, including one book titled Good Dog Stay (it was a book about dog training, which I thought was funny)
- Chewed up a printer
- Ate a calculator
- He also destroyed an unknown number of pillows, shoes, clothes, towels, and other such items around the house.
I will admit during that first year, I felt overwhelmed. A few people recommended I find a new home for Joey, they said he was more than I could handle and I actually considered it for a brief moment.
Then I remembered, I make a promise to every dog that I adopt. I promise to love them and take care of them for the rest of their lives. I had never broken that promise before and I was not about to start.
Ben and Buddy completed the first phase of their beginner training program today. They get a week off, before starting the second phase.