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Monthly Archives: July 2014

Service Dog in Training

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Service Dog in Training

Nothing too exciting happening today….so far. The good news is that I found that our new dollar store sells hot dogs pretty cheap. So we are continuing with Moss’s service dog training. I am working on teaching him to be a hearing assistance dog.

Both dogs already bark when the phone rings, but I thought it would be cool to teach Moss to retrieve the phone, or anything, actually. 

The tube is what he’s learning to retrieve and we’re following a new method – for both of us.

The method is to work backwards from dropping something in my hand. He already loves to retrieve frisbees and balls, but he throws them at me. This training is to teach him to drop something in my hand politely.

So far he’s moving toward the tube and grabbing it in his mouth. Today I managed to get my hands under his chin so that the tube landed in my hands. He was profusely rewarded for this. I could see wheels turning in his head.

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The Phone Dogs

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The Phone Dogs

My phone was missing. The last time I saw it was that morning in the grocery store. Now it was late afternoon and I had farm chores to do. I was farm sitting and feeding animals came first. I did need to be available for contact with the farm owners though. I searched the house and the bunkhouse where I was staying. No sign of it.

I posted my dilemma on Facebook. My cousin kindly offered to call me so I could try to locate the phone by its ringing. The only problem was, I am hard of hearing and very often cannot hear the phone. Luckily, I had been training my dogs to alert me when the phone rings.

Sure enough, the dogs started barking when she called. Unfortunately, with all the barking, I still couldn’t find the phone. At least I knew I hadn’t lost it in the grocery store. It was in the same room somewhere.

I had just started teaching Moss to retrieve the phone but he hadn’t reached the point yet where he could do that. I did ask him to “find it” and he bounced around in one end of the room. That narrowed it down enough so that I did finally find the phone. It was buried under a pile of fluffy comforters. I never would have heard it, but my talented dogs took me to it. Bless ’em.

 

Guardian Dog

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Guardian Dog

The brave livestock guardian dog, Smokey, is hiding in the kitchen. He is terrified of thunder and loud noises and is rapidly becoming a house dog.

Can’t blame him. I was ready to hide in the kitchen too during today’s wild storm.

Moss is Swimming

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Moss having a grand time in the lake. I just realized, looking at this video that we have the perfect set up for trying dock jumping.

I’d love to get Doc swimming but I think he needs a life vest to keep him afloat. He needs the confidence.

 

Doc Swims

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Doc Swims

This morning as I was throwing a toy in the water for Moss, Doc ended up in the water. I don’t know if he fell or jumped off the pier, not realizing that he’d land in the water. He swam pretty good for his first time, but he was not happy about it. He’s a dog who doesn’t even like to get his feet wet.

Moss Gets a Swimming Lesson

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Moss Gets a Swimming Lesson

I’ve been feeling so guilty because the dogs have been spending so much time sleeping in the camper. It really has been too hot and muggy to do much. And yesterday I went to a jam session. I brought the dogs but they just slept in their crates in the van. Then to visit some friends. Again they slept in the van.

Today was a different story. We went to visit a friend’s farm and Moss worked sheep. It was hot so we had to do several short sessions.

Then a group of us went into the woods to clear some brush and trees that had fallen across the trails. The dogs ran around until tired and then rested in the shade. We were all tired after that.

After supper, I thought we’d do our usual short walk. We got down the block and a neighbor and her son were swimming in the lake. Next thing you know she was in the lake giving Moss a swimming lesson. He loves the water but was afraid to go in too deep. She floated him out and let him swim back to me. She threw sticks for her dogs and Moss to retrieve. Moss did cheat a bit. He figured out that if he stood straight up, he could touch bottom with his back feet and walk. Silly boy. But he was swimming part of the time. He seemed to get over his fear of the deep water.