I just got Joey's progress report for September. He is doing very well!
He is now in phase three- polishing and blindfold walks. The comments by the trainer said---
"Joey was able to ride the bus this last month and we had a fun time trying to fit him on there since he loves to stretch out when he is in a settle. He has excellent obedience and very good turns. I can tell he truly cares about me because he is cautious when moving around obstacles and tight spaces. "
There is his extra large size coming into play. He is a big boy and can definately take up a lot of floor space when he wants to. The only item not checked off on his report is the one that says " Accepts physical handling/grooming." I know exactly what this means. Joey has NEVER accepted getting his toenails clipped. No matter what or how much I tried, he would not let me close to his feet when I had a clipper. I would lay it on the floor next to him while playing with him, and work up to holding it in my hand while playing with his foot with my other hand. But as soon as I moved the clipper toward his foot, he would pull away. I tried getting him used to a Dremel tool, and the noise never bothered him. But, if I got it close to his foot, running or not, the game was over. The only successful method of trimming his nails was to use an emery board. I even made my own Joey-sized one by glueing coarse sandpaper to a paint paddle.
Even with the board, I could only get one paw done at a sitting. He was just too fidgity. But, Joey seems to be doing very well with his training. I think if he was going to be career-changed, it would have happened by now. It looks more and more like he is going to make it as a guide dog. Keep it up, Joey. Continue making us proud.
In other news, our quiet house is back to what we have come to accept as normal. We have another pup now. For just over three weeks now, we have had another big black blur slipping and sliding around on the hardwood floors. He is a nine month old lab named Mick, that we have taken over the job of raising. He is a lot different from Joey, but we love having him. But, his name is a bit of a problem. I am sure that the Mick he was named for was a great person that meant a lot to somebody, but when doing obedience with him, I sound like a McDonalds commercial. Mick sit, Mick down, Mick stay, Mick switch, Mick in, Mick out---go ahead, say it out loud and you will understand.