Yesterday our puppy raiser group met for our holiday social. It was at the home of one of our raisers, Tina. She has two labs of her own, besides the puppy she is raising, and a nice fenced yard. There were about a dozen dogs there running around playing. Most of the time they chose the muddiest part of the yard to do their playing and rolling around. We were trying to keep the dogs from running inside when the door was open, but Tina was saying to just let them go, it was okay. We all had a wonderful time, dogs and raisers alike, and planned our calendar for the next year. We also previewed our group's new website, which Tina is creating. She was a wonderful host. By the time we were leaving, the golden retriever looked more like a black goldadore, the yellow lab looked like a black lab, and the black labs and goldadores looked like-- well, they still looked like black labs and goldadores. And Tina's house looked like a dozen dogs had played in the mud and then ran around in the house. Sorry Tina.
Joey surprised me today with an act that I want to classify as a sign of how smart he is. I was sitting at the computer and he dropped something in my lap. It was a bow from the Christmas tree. The ornaments and bows he had been taking before were always chewed up under the dining room table. He brought me this bow intact, without a sign of any tooth marks. It was as if he was telling me that he wouldn't chew up any more, or at least asking me if this is what he was not supposed to chew.
There is one command we have been working on that isn't in the book, but if he learns it well, it could be the next greatest thing for a guide dog to learn. Joey likes to take his blanket out of his kennel and drag it around the house. He is now learning to "put it away". When I give the command, Joey is to put it back in his kennel. He is actually learning it! When he does it well enough, I will start using the command for his toys. Just think of the possibilities! A dog that picks up after itself. What next? Well, I did see a kitty litter kit that teaches cats to use a toilet. Hmmm, I wonder---------