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Friday, July 17, 2009

On the Road Again

Yep, Thursday's training walk involved a road trip. We drove down to meet Michelle for some work at a San Antonio mall. Dakota was very happy to get going...perhaps too happy! When excited, Duckie tends to get ahead and also go "wide." Once he's settled down he does better. Here, he's gotten ahead of me and I'm bringing him back into position with a "heel."

That's better!

Nice job on the stairs, buddy! Dakota indicates a "down" step by sitting.

Next stop: a little tour of Build-A-Bear. This is a great place for Dakota to practice manners and self-control around crowds of kids. There's a birthday party in progress, as well as several families shopping, so it's crowded.

Whatever they're doing over there, it looks like fun!

After hanging out for a while, it was time to go. Nice work, Dakota!

Moving on, we reach some "up" stairs. Dakota's demonstrating good form by stopping with his toes on the edge. His partner will be able to feel from the harness how high to step. Way to go!

Coming around the corner, we had a little surprise planned. Guide dog puppy Jethro (Twist's brother) was relaxing at Starbucks with his handler.

All the excitement was a bit much for Jethro, who gave in to a little barking fit. After all, he's only 16 weeks old! Michelle settled him down, then settled down the security guard who had come to investigate. After that we carried on with the walk, taking turns leading and following. Dakota much preferred leading.

Open stairs like these can be intimidating, but Dakota took them in stride.

He's also quite calm about walking near the edge of a 2nd floor overlooking ground level, like in this photo. He seems to know that he's safe and doesn't have an undue fear of heights.

I saw the sign for the restrooms and wondered if Dakota could "find the girls'" for me in a strange mall. Sure enough, he went straight to it, even though it was around a corner and down the hall. Scent finds seem to be the easiest for dogs. I don't know about you, but I'm sure glad I can't smell the restrooms that far away!

Jethro sits calmly just a few feet away. Isn't he a handsome boy?

Finally, with both dogs tuckered out, we headed outside. Dakota and Jethro got to sniff noses but by this time they were so worn out they didn't even try to play.

Dakota talked his new friend into giving him a little tummy rub. Funny how he always manages to do that...

But there was more in store for the Duck today. Before getting back on the road to Austin, we had to stop off for an appointment with Dr. Bonney, an ophthalmologist for dogs. He had to dilate Dakota's eyes and screen him for any eye problems. Of course, Dakota took the opportunity to make several more friends. I promise, you could never hope to meet a more friendly dog than this one!

The receptionist wondered what color she should call Dakota on his records. His original puppy chart says "red," but the color has really lightened up since then. I suggested "caramel," but I'm not really an expert. What do you think? At any rate, the appointment went well, and Dr. Bonney gave him the "all clear." Cool!

Nothing wrong with these eyes!


Erin,Bubs,Tex and Ben said...

Gret job Dakota!! I'm training a dog named Daniel who looks a lot like you!!

puppyluver said...

such a cute boy!! :) great job duck dog!