"Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you're not really losing it. You're just passing it along to someone else." Mitch Albom

Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year!

      I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas season and will enjoy the New Year holiday.  I have been missing in action on my blog the past few weeks.  It's not because we haven't been busy learning and training, but because I got a new phone.  I joined the world of smart phones.  I love it, but it has kept me away from my computer and I'm not going to type this blog on my phone!

    Here is what Jet has been up to this month.

     Every year I try to do a volunteer activity with my family.  It's really important to me that my kids know the importance of giving back.  This year we did an activity we have enjoyed in the past.  We rang bells for the Salvation Army.  Jet was NOT IMPRESSED!  At first I thought he didn't like the cold, even though I had taken a blanket for him to sit on.  (It was only 7 degrees the day I happened to sign up for).  But, I really think he didn't like the bells ringing.  I know dogs can be really sensitive to high pitched sounds.  Anyway, he whined almost the whole time and would not settle.  So, after about 45 minutes, my husband took him home.  I want his outings to be successful, not miserable for him.  But, here is a picture when we first got there and we were not frozen yet.

     Jet also enjoyed a trip to his favorite little friend's house.  She has loved Jet almost as much as I have since the day I got him and she frequently asks to come see him.  She's been known to throw fits if she knows that she's going to miss out on seeing him, such as when her older siblings were going to come to our house while she went to the ER because she was so sick.  So as soon as she felt well enough I took him over for a visit.  He does so well with her!

Jet also LOVED his first snow!  

  And he practiced some "office" etiquette in our home office.  He wasn't impressed with that, either, and he let me know by whining most of the time!  Pat runs his work from home now so he gets to hang out in the office with him every day.  I made him stay in a more restricted Down/Under while I was working on the bookkeeping yesterday.  It's safe to say he enjoys the free reign that Pat allows him.  He's not misbehaving by any means, but he gets to walk around where he wants to when Pat is there. I mentioned to Pat that he needs to stop spoiling him and make him practice this behavior as well, because someday he might have to have this restriction in a work environment.  Of course, later on that day, I had let him off his leash to have some free time.  When Pat came down and joined me, Jet went right under the desk where I had been requiring him to stay and laid down and went to sleep with no complaining at all.   Pat says Jet would just prefer working with him over me.  

    I didn't take Jet out too much during the crazy Holiday shopping season.  He still has some anxiety in crowds.  So, we spent a lot of time this month working on commands.  He finally "got" the Go Up command.  I had to use a lower counter to teach him than I used with Churry.  Something finally just clicked with him one day and he will do it for me anywhere now.  

     I took him shopping with me today.  I don't know that I would classify it as "shopping", it was more running lots of short errands.  He did very well.  There was the perfect amount of people for him.   As a reward, I got him a new rope.  He LOVES ropes and LOVES to tug on them, although he has not connected the command to the action quite yet.  Today, he showed some signs of hope!  He was very patient and didn't moan and groan at me for taking too long.   He visited PetCo and PetSmart, Office Depot, Office Max, Sonic and Best Buy.

    Have a Happy and Safe New Year!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Modeling Job?

    Jet decided yesterday that he should practice on his modeling career just in case being an assistance dog doesn't work out for him.  He knows that living in this house will require lots of posing for pictures, so he better learn to do it well!

I can look serious...

Or like I'm smelling something...

Or at other dogs walking along the street while I'm having to sit here...

or look annoyed at my puppy raiser...

maybe just flat out ignore her noisemaking...

Now on to a new spot while the other dog is having fun...

still ignoring...

she just doesn't get it...

Are you happy with this?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Deck the Halls! And Happy Thanksgiving!

Jet got to help out with some Christmas decorating this evening.  He was very very interested, but also very good.  I remember Churry had to be put in her kennel during this activity at her first Christmas, so I was very proud of Jet this evening.  Here are a few pictures to enjoy!

We worked on some "closer" this evening.

and some "leave it"

Being silly with Kinsey

He finally came over and just rested his head on me.  He's so sweet and affectionate!


These two and their true love for their dogs!

My greatest blessings in life right here!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


        I'm a little late in posting this, but it's better late than never, right?  Last weekend, Kinsey and I went to the KSDS training center for a day of training with all of the puppies.  I was really nervous about how Jet would do because he has shown some anxiety around crowds and other dogs.  Not so much I don't think he will overcome it, but enough that I thought it might be a miserable day for him.  I think it was a breakthrough day for him instead!  He seemed very relaxed!  Minimal whining from him!

So happy to see all of my work with people going behind him is paying off.  Absolutely no popping up and turning around or hugging my leg went on!

     We had many opportunities for hands on training with guidance from the trainers, which was very nice.  He did an excellent job during the sit and down training.  And I learned some tips for how to tweak his "down" position so he will lay with his hips close to me.  It's nice to learn how to improve on what we are doing.  We practiced walking through tight spaces with other dogs to ignore.

I love that he always works on a nice loose leash, even in distracting settings.

    We also practiced some Stays.

     Kinsey had the opportunity to work with one of the retired breeder dogs that was there.  It was a good character building experience for her since this particular dog hasn't had much formal training and doesn't like walking on a leash very well.  Kinsey did well maintaining her patience and determination!

     And we practiced appropriate entering and exiting doors.  I learned that I should have been using the command "follow" rather than "okay" to release him to follow me through the door.  But, that is corrected now.    And we also practiced what it might be like to have to recall our dog and put their leash on while wearing a sleep mask and holding a tennis ball in place between our shoulder blades and the chair.  Jet cooperated and immediately came when called and waited patiently while Kinsey put his leash on.    I love that he didn't make her reach or fuss with him!  She and I both performed this task without losing the tennis ball!

     My favorite part of the day was the obstacle course and the agility course.  Of course, Jet is too young to jump, but he did go up and over the A-Frame with no hesitation.  That's one major difference between him and Churry...Jet is willing to do absolutely whatever I ask him to.  He'd jump off a cliff if I asked him to.  Churry was much more defiant and willful.  She is a great dog, don't get me wrong, but she definitely made her own decisions!  They are both crazy smart, just different traits!

Patiently waiting our turn.

    And we finally got the picture I missed out on since Jet didn't come from KSDS, but rather came to me on a flight from Pennsylvania.  Every puppy needs their picture in front of the KSDS sign before they head out into the big world!  This was actually his first time at the training facility, while the other pups were all born there.  Hopefully, he's not lonely and left out of the dorm social life when he goes back since he's not part of a litter from there!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Jet's my superhero!

    Jet had a fantastic outing today.  We've been working really hard on doing short successful outings the last couple of weeks along with LOTS of practice with me walking behind him, over him, etc.  He's making lots of improvements!  Today, we had a challenging outing a PetSmart.  Lots of other dogs, including Miss Java, another KSDS PIT!  Some of the dogs needed to work on their manners so we steered clear of them.  We don't need any more anxiety with other dogs.  I'm still pleased to say that no matter what he always works on a loose leash and obeys commands.   Then, we headed over to Beauty Brands.  He was fantastic in there, too.  The very narrow aisles didn't allow for much tail wagging, but he did good staying close to my side.

Here's a few pictures:

My little superhero!

Stopping at Churry's FAVORITE spot!  He enjoyed watching the birds as well.

Practicing some down stays

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Just helpin' the mommy!

Jet's a big help in the kitchen!  Just an easy night at home practicing our kitchen manners...  He doesn't usually get to sit on a chair and watch, but I wanted to change things up a bit for him rather than him just snoozing away on the floor tonight.  He got bored pretty quickly!

All ready to help!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Jet's Debut at School

      This morning Jet went to school for the first time.  Not my school, though.  He went to High School with Tayler for her College Speech class!  She gave a speech about something that can change the world.  And she talked about KSDS and Jet.  (And a little about Churry, too!)  He did really, really well.  Especially considering he didn't get breakfast due to his surgery later in the morning.  He seemed like a natural sitting in class.  He stayed right where he was supposed to while waiting her turn to give her speech.  The only problem was about about 3 minutes into her speech started his whiny baby song.  Not too loud, though.  He was probably just asking them if anyone had a snack for him!   And then he got to leave.  Very proud of both of them!


      With the success we had a the parade on Saturday, I decided to press my luck and head out to Lawrence's Dogtoberfest on Sunday.  That outing was definitely more stressful for him.  Some of the positives that came out of that was that he would still do commands when he was stressed.  He also really enjoyed the Humane Society mascot that was there.  He didn't seem to mind the crowds of people as much, it was the other dogs who would get up in his face.  He was pretty jumpy and clingy to me.  Therefore, we just stayed for about 15 minutes and then walked up Mass street, which he enjoyed a lot more.  He seems to share my opinion of little yippy dogs!  Sorry to those yippy dog lovers out there!  Here are some pictures of this little outing.