Sam works daily with the puppies in and around our small town of Charles Town West Virginia. All the shopkeepers know him and expect him with whatever puppy is being socialized that day. I think the receptionist at our local vet office though had some doubts that he was playing a trick on her yesterday.
First he brought in Ruby to get weighted. This is a weekly routine for our puppies. We could easily have a scale at our kennel but then the puppy would miss out on the car ride and the chance to visit the vets office. We use the visit as a great opportunity to teach the pups how to have at the vets and not to fear going there. Usually by the second visit they will hop up and sit politely on the scale to get weighed. They also get use to the vet tech walking them away from us which prepares them for one of the parts of the AKC Canine Good Citizen test. Add treats to the picture and you have some very happy puppies. On this first visit to the vets Ruby’s weighed in at 14.8 pounds. Sam took Ruby out and came back with her sister Harley. The vet tech looked at Sam and said, “Did you want to weigh her again?” Sam replied, “This is a different puppy”. You could see the skeptical look on the young lady’s face grow even more skeptical when Harley weighted exactly 14.8 pounds too. To us, the pups are very different; we understand though that for many others they are nearly identical. Sam just smiled.
The girls have been getting quite a variety of experiences. This week they spent a hour at the airline freight terminal while I waited for a new dog to arrive. The girls heard the jets taking off, got to do obedience exercises around the forklifts and freight trucks. I think they enjoyed the open back metal stairs the most. It was quite the game to run up the stairs and loop around and run down a nearby loading ramp. Nothing in the freight terminal seemed to bother them, they appeared comfortable around everything.
They got quite excited though when our new dog Pearl arrived. Pearl is a 3 year old yellow Labrador. You could almost image them saying “Oh boy, another yellow, we are not the only ones!” as they energetically welcomed Pearl to our part of the country. Pearl seemed happy to see everyone and we hope in the near future she will be producing potential service puppies for us.
In doing some of the advanced obedience training with the girls they have had to learn 2 things that I find quite interesting. The first is how to work together. There are some things I insist they both must do together or no one gets a treat. So they have learned to work in tandem and simultaneously. There are other things we do that one will have to wait in the crate while the other works. This is no problem for Harley who has the patience of Job. Ruby on the other a hand feels there is no benefit in her watching her sister work. After all, according to Ruby, she can do it faster and better anyway; just ask her. She is learning patience though and more importantly self control. It is this latter trait that I wish to develop in all my dogs but especially in ones with personalities such as Ruby’s. A lack of self control can lead to all sorts of behavior problems down the road if not caught early enough. Ruby is making brilliant progress so I do not anticipate any problems.
The girls were very curious as Sam and I prepared the many boxes of materials we will need for our workshop in Florida next week. I told the girls to get their favorite toys to take with them on the trip because it would a long time riding in the car. They tried to understand what I was saying, but gave up and went back to playing with a rope toy. Little do they know what adventures lies ahead for them on this trip.