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

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Jet Goes to Work

      This is that time of year when I start going into my classroom a few hours at a time...gradually increasing my stamina to actually attend work full time!  One of the many blessings of being a teacher is the breaks, even though I do so much work during my "time off" that it doesn't always seem like a huge break.  But, I can't complain because a break is a break.  And it is nice to ease myself back into my routine.  So, the last week I have gone into work several times.  And Jet has been able to go with me.  It's a nice training for him since he still doesn't have his cape.

     He has worked on lying quietly without whining when I walk away from him.  That was never an issue with Churry, but with Jet, that's another story.  He's making improvements, though, and today there was very minimal whining from him.  He's learning his role and his spot.

    He also got to hear the fire alarms today.  Luckily, they announce that they are going to be testing them, so I took him outside, and allowed him to reenter the building at his own pace.  He took it in stride, although he was mildly nervous when we were in the main entry where it is the loudest.

     He watched the copy machine, greeted several people, had toddlers/kids play with him for a bit, and practiced carrying things.  One thing I love about Jet is his enthusiasm for work.  He is SO PROUD when he is working.  He LOVES it!  He will carry absolutely anything I ask.  (at least that I've tried so far)  And he's learning to pick things up off the floor.  His only bad habit so far is if I don't let him carry something, especially the mail which he has deemed to be his job, he will jump up and try to snatch it out of my hand.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Summer Nights

      Almost any summer night you can find my guys either biking or messing around with their RC cars.  Usually, the dogs get to run around playing with them, but tonight I made Jet "work" during the RC car time.  He got free time later.  I worked him up and down the street making him work on a loose leash, sit, downs, etc. while the RC cars were zooming back and forth on the street beside us, neighbors were out and about, people walking their dogs, etc.  That's one thing that's great about our neighborhood...we are full of many of the things that our PIT's are supposed to practice around...toddlers, toys, dogs, people of all ages, etc.  He did really, really well.  He does a good job of not pulling at all.  If anything, he lags behind at times, but is making improvements on that every day.  When we were done walking we practiced him remaining seated while the car drove in a close circle around him.  He didn't really like the car driving behind him at first, but after a couple of times he remained seated while it went behind him.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Rain don't bother me!

     We had our first precipitation since we had Jet.   He LOVED it!  He went out in it and played and played and played!  Jacob, of course, didn't complain about needing to supervise him as it gave him a good excuse to get wet and muddy as well!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sit, Down, Stay!

      Being stuck at home for the first weeks gives us lots of time to work on obedience before going out into public settings.  Jet has learned the commands of Sit, Wait, Come, Down, Okay, and Stay.  We are also working on accepting the Gentle Leader.  He is making adequate progress with it.  He wasn't sure about it at first and threw a little tantrum, but he has since seemed to accept it.

    He is so cute when he does his Down command.  He seems very nervous about doing it each time and it's quite a process for him to get into the down position.  First, he stares at me for a long time to see if I'm serious.

 Then, he very carefully and gingerly taps the floor  in front of him with his paw, rotates his hips to the side (not sure if that's correct, but it's what he's doing for now) and very slowly and carefully starts to work his way down.  If I happen to be there close in front of him he reaches out one paw and holds my hand  as he's going down!

And, finally, we get the praise!  (Sometimes he needs cheering on through his entire process, but that's getting better!)

  It must be very scary getting into a down position!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Little Leave It Training

     Today was supposed to have been Jet's first puppy gathering with the KC/Lawrence puppy raiser group.  As it turned out, he woke up with a bit of an eye infection on Friday morning and the vet said he might be contagious.  It's nothing serious, but didn't want to cause all the other PIT's to look like they woke up with pink-eye tomorrow morning!  So, instead, Jacob and I went and helped with some distractions.  When we came home, Jet got a little training of his own.  Don't think I'd just let him skip class!  At class we worked on Leave-it with some noisy baby toys and Jacob's RC car.  We also worked on the dogs allowing us to pet them all over with the toys in hand as well as handle all body parts...ears, eyes, mouth, paws, tail, tummy, etc.   So tonight, Jet got to practice Leave it and got an all-over rub and petting including paws, tail, etc.

This little bumble bee buzzes and vibrates.

This particular toy he's looking at sings and actually barks

"What do you mean I can't play with them.  Why did you put them there then?"

Friday, July 12, 2013

Lunch date with some friends

     My lovely 1st grade ladies I work with had a lunch/pool date yesterday.  We all got together and let our kids swim while we ate and hung out.  I'm blessed that I love my job so much and the people I work with are a huge part of that!  Didn't get any pictures taken because I forgot my camera trying to get two kids, the dog, and food out the door.  Jet was a pretty good boy on this little outing.  He liked watching the kids splash and swim in the pool, yet never pulled to try to go jump in like I sort of expected!  He also had minimal whining.  This is good because the night before we had sat in our friend's driveway for a couple of hours and he whined the ENTIRE time.  :(  So today, when he quietly laid down at my side I was relieved!  He also met another dog, a little Chihuahua named Piper.  He did whine and bark at Piper some so we will work on that.  Although, by the end of the afternoon he had settled and didn't bark each time Piper came out the door.  Tomorrow, we attend our first KSDS KC/Lawrence area puppy gathering.  Hopefully, I will remember my camera!  Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Self-Entertaining Dogs

       Bailey has always had a deep love of the game of fetch.  And she begs to play even sometimes in the house, which we don't allow, of course!  So a couple of years ago she discovered that she could play fetch with herself by dropping her ball down the stairs, going to get it, and then repeating.  As long as she's using a soft ball we don't mind because she never gets wild playing the game.  Yesterday, I noticed that she and Jet were sitting at the top of the stairs looking down.  I saw her go down and bring the ball up like usual while Jet just sat there.  Then, when she got to the top, she dropped it down, looked at Jet, and he went to get it.  I don't know what sort of doggie communication they had going on, but it looked as if Jet was waiting for the "okay" each time before he went down to get the ball. This repeated about 4 of 5 times.  It was sweet to see Bailey "teaching" Jet her game.  And amazing that she wanted to share in the game!  She's a bit selfish with her toys!   Here are some pics...

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Remote control cars

        One of the first things we exposed Churry to that was noisy or potentially scary was Pat and Jacob's RC cars.  She loved them!  So we introduced Jet to them last night.  They are wonderful because they are an excellent way to wear out a puppy and set them up for sleeping soundly.  Jet loved chasing the car!  He barked at it quite a bit, but it was during free play time so I believe that is okay.  He is definitely more vocal than Churry was so it is definitely a skill we will work on....knowing when a bark is acceptable and when it is not.  Here's some pictures of the fun.
"Meeting" the car

Listening to the strange sounds

Watching it drive off for the first time

Jumping at the car

You can see the exuberance in this picture!  Ears flying and sprinting around as fast as he can!
      And, besides acclimating him to the noise and moving object, I accomplished my goal of a sound sleep!  Even some sleeping in this morning!

     Then, today, he was having the best time scooting around on the floor with Jacob.  Jacob had him on his belly and was sliding around the floor as fast as his feet would scoot them.  Jet seemed to love it!  He kept coming back for more rides!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Self-Control Starts Early

     Many people always asked  how I got Churry to be so calm in so many situations with so many distractions.  Self-control exercises start very early.  We have been working this week on sitting and waiting when we go through any doorway.  My little smarty pants has mastered that at our front door and is pretty much doing it automatically now.  So yesterday we started work on automatic sits as soon as I stop walking.   He has it down pat when I use a command and occasionally he will give me an automatic sit when I stop.  He is doing a very good job of sitting while remaining in the correct heel position and not swinging out from me or walking around me, etc.  Today, I added in a distraction while we were in a sit position.  I was using a favorite toy and bouncing it in front of him while we were sitting.  He did amazing!  This pup has phenomenal self-control for his young age!  The only time he broke his sit is when I missed catching the ball and it kind of did a crazy bounce right in front of him.   Good boy, Jet!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Pretty Boy pictures

     Little Jet had his first vet visit today to get some shots.  So tonight, he was pretty calm during playtime.  Maybe a bit sleepy from the shots...He sure is a handsome boy!  And he weighs in at 24 pounds at 11 1/2 weeks.  I can't remember for sure how much Churry weighed at that age, but I'm pretty sure Jet is quite a bit bigger!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th!

     Little Jet and the Smith family would like to wish all of our readers a very happy 4th of July and thank the service men and women who have given us all the freedom we enjoy!  We are very blessed!

     On another note, I'm also very blessed that my two canine kids are totally calm about the fireworks.  They could care less.  I know this is a day that many pet owners struggle with because their furry friends have so much anxiety.  We, fortunately, do not.  In fact, Jet and Bailey both enjoy watching the fireworks with us.  We do use extra precautions just in case, but we have not had a problem.  I knew Bailey wouldn't be scared, but obviously didn't know how Little Jet would respond.  I watched him very closely all day yesterday as the popping sounds happened.  He would look around to see where it came from, but in a totally calm manner.  He did not jump.  I think having Bailey there showing him there was nothing to fear helped.  I decided it would be safe to take him to our friend's house last night to enjoy some S'mores and small fireworks on their driveway.  Jet can't go many places right now because he does not have all of his shots so I use extreme caution in taking him places.  This particular friend has no animals around and we stayed on the concrete driveway, so I thought it was safe.  *Sidenote...It drives me absolutely nuts to see people in PetSmart or PetCo with their tiny little puppies walking around on the dirty floor.  You just never know about other people's pets, so please use care in exposing your fur babies!  They will still be adorable in 12-16 weeks when they're shots are complete and you can show them off then!*   Anyway, Jet did awesome!  He was not bothered by the fireworks at all.  In fact, he seemed to enjoy them.  He stayed right by my side on his leash until he got sleepy, then he curled up in my lap for a  nap.  So sweet!  I love that he enjoys a good snuggle!  And he didn't even try to sample my S'more once.  He very politely allowed me to have my snack in peace.  He's a gem!  He will stay home during the bigger party and fireworks display we will see this evening.  It will be a good chance for him to learn it's okay to be crated while I leave for awhile.  Have a happy and safe 4th!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Putting him to work already!

While we still spent the majority of the day today continuing to play and bond, Little Jet did get some work in, too!  I am helping a fantastic friend get ready to teach 1st grade with me next year and this morning we spent about 4 hours at my kitchen table going through some things.  Jet had his first experience at sitting at my feet or at my side while I worked.  It wasn't too hard because he prefers to be near me and he slept most of the time snuggled up with my foot.

He also has shown great interest in carrying things around in his mouth, so I took advantage of that trait right away and put him to work helping me bring in the mail.

Then, he practiced sitting at the door...

And, waiting for me to go through first...

Then, it was time for his dinner.  Working on our manners with food is extremely important.  I hand feed my puppies in the beginning to develop trust with them.  It also helps with them learning good table manners.  They are not allowed to eat anything off of the floor and they are supposed to eat slowly and chew their food.  Jet has learned to sit and wait for his bites.  He also is learning to ignore food on the floor, another skill I am starting much earlier than I did with Churry because it was a problem with her!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

There's only one first day...

Today has been so much fun!  Jet (yes, his name is now Jet, KSDS chose to change it because Indium was too repetitive with previous names of dogs) got to know his family, including Bailey.  We have all spent a LOT of time bonding with him.  He has had a lot of fun with some toys, the baby pool, etc.  He has also spent time in his crate, which I am pleased to report he settles very quickly in.  He went for a car ride.  If you remember, Churry was horribly car sick when she was little.  I want to expose him to short little rides right away so we don't repeat that problem, hopefully.  We visited Tayler at her job because Kinsey was modeling some clothes for their website.  Jet got to join in.  And guess what, he got his first taste of K-State football!  Yes, on his very first day!  You can't start that training too soon!  Aside from all the bonding and playing, Jet practiced sitting every time we went through the door.  He did awesome at this.  He has an amazing desire to please.  And the final thing to report about his first day....he was playing in the yard and within 5 minutes of being out there he presented me with a SNAKE!  Yes, a SNAKE!  It was dead and very short, but still.  If this had been Churry or Bailey, it would not have been a problem.  They know the "drop it" command!  Unfortunately, Jet did not know that one at all.  Kinsey just thought it was hilarious and wasn't helpful at all.  She said, "I'm sorry mom, I'm not helping with that."  Luckily, he was very compliant with me opening his mouth to get it out.  Enjoy some pics of our first day...