Saturday, May 14, 2011

monthly meeting...

This past Thursday was the monthly gathering of the service puppy folks. It is just so exciting to see more and more people coming to join us. The puppies have as good a time as we do, and each month they are getting a bit bigger. This is Chloe, Linda's puppy, I can't believe how much she has changed in just the month. Ginger did not attend this time, as she has just been spayed.. but I had plenty to keep me busy.

As much as this is a night to "work" with puppies, it's also a time to socialize. We have a nice "mix" of people.. puppy raisers, therapy dog owners, and folks who have service dogs, or are waiting for their service dogs to be matched with them.

We take ideas from each other, share experiences, and talk about future plans. New friendships are certainly being made and I have high hopes that this group will be together for many years to come.

Each month I try to come up with some sort of "theme" for the evening. This month was "wheels and small animals". Our little friend, Caleb was more than happy to bring his bike along and do some riding while the puppies worked on their stays.....

Ozzie was our guest of honor - well one of them - he is a corgi that belongs to my (other) friend Linda. About a year ago, Ozzie injured his back, not unusual for this breed. He is just a young dog, and has a real zest for life, so Linda had a cart fitted for him. He is the happiest little chap, and Linda still does obedience and rally work with him. One thing for sure, being in "wheels" certainly doesn't slow Ozzie down.

Our other "guests of honor" were.... Beeker!!!!

and the guinea pigs!!!!

This is Joe - he is the dog that was in Chester's class and turns out he doesn't live too far away. With the small animals, we practiced things like stays.. and then calling the dogs away from the little animals. I have to say, everyone did quite well.. I was pleased, as was their handlers.

Service dog in training, Rangley has this "thing" about motorcycle helmets ( his people discovered). So, we brought a few of those along as well. One thing about "training"... if a "problem" comes up, it is addressed... not avoided.

We put treats in the helmets to encourage Rangley to investigate them, and then slowly put them on and walked around. He still isn't crazy about helmets, but we can continue to work on that.

Caleb and Rangley taking a little break from training....

And as usual, the night flew by and we had some tired puppies at the end.

Kathleen and I have just realized that Ginger and Leo only have three or four more meeting nights and we'll be looking at turn in time.... "hate" to think about that.....