Cellopets is particularly busy with doggie stuff today. She has been asking me to blog about my experiences walking the rescued coonhounds. A woman in my town runs a rescue and occasionally keeps dogs, when she doesn’t have enough foster homes, at a kennel just up the road from my house. Keep in mind, I’m way new at this!
Last Monday, Chloe, my First got adopted! Very happy for her, but I do miss her. She’s going to make a great family member because she is so interested in people, so eager to be with them, and so eager to please, even if she does bounce around like a bunny rabbit sometimes! So, last week I walked Joe, my Second, four days in a row. In comparison to Chloe, at first Joe honestly couldn’t have cared less about being with me or even about the treats in my pocket. If Chloe was a bunny rabbit, Joe was a fullgrown hare on steroids!
But he has learned a TON in just the one week. Here’s my post walk update from today:
Joe did GREAT today. Pulled a little on the least in the driveway but then was pretty darn good with me both walking and running. One thing I’ve noticed: when we’re on the regular stretch between the driveway and Quail Run he’s much calmer (ie pulls less) than when we cross Quail Run and try to make it all the way to the end of the street. I figure that’s a normal tendency – more exciting to go somewhere new?
Much better at not running in front of me/walking around me/getting the leash caught in and around his legs. (“This way” for walk and “Run, Joe!” for run.)
I could swear, he might almost know the word “Wait”! I use it at intersections and at the end today used it to try to prevent him from lunging into the office through the open door. And he waited!!
Neither technique cellopets suggested for teaching sitting (waiting him out until he gets bored (he’ll wait patiently with me forever but is always looking around, sniffing the air, etc.); and doing that thing with the treat on his nose and moving it over his head to get him to back into sitting) had the desired effect 😉 In fact I’d bet you could train Joe to walk on his hindlegs before he’s going to sit down!! (He did seem more interested in the treats today. Throwing them in front of him didn’t work (the ones I have may be too small for him to really see) but he liked sniffing for them once they were on the ground.) One time he was really paying attention to the treat going over his nose and he DID sort of back up, pointing his nose to the sky, but then he stood up on his hind legs instead of sitting down! (Didn’t let him have the treat for that one . . . but maybe I should have because at least he WAS paying attention to it and his body was going to the right general direction.)
Also let him say hello to two people (without dogs). He ALMOST (with a lot of help) didn’t jump up on them, but then at the end (maybe when I had stopped being so attentive?) he couldn’t help himself.
And HE PEED OUTSIDE!! Yay! This was a first during my walks with him. And if he’s done it for anybody else, they didn’t tell me 😉 I know they’d REALLY like him to POOP outside too, but hey, peeing is a good first step! Of course I made a huge deal, gave him a treat and lots of enthusiastic petting. And we kept talking about it in a very excited way inside – like he’s going to notice??? “Blah, Blah, Blah, PEE!!!!, Blah, Blah, Blah”?
In other news, the hound-of-indeterminate-breed that I’m rescuing is waiting out her heartworm treatment in the kennel in SC. Transport is at the end of the month! Scared and excited at the same time. I REALLY do enjoy being with dogs, but we’ve never had one living with us. I know cellopets thinks that having her in the house will convince us that a dog is EXACTLY what we’ve always needed, but as much as I enjoy my time with Joe, it was also nice to NOT have to worry about walking him this weekend. So, no matter what cellopet says, the plan is that we’re going to FOSTER Mazy and then find her the right home with people who really DO need a dog 😉