Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Boo! 2009

It is that time of year again when we all dress up like crazy ghosts, goblins, and gorillas! It is Halloween time and for our puppy club meeting this past week, we held our annual Halloween Party. We had costume contests, games, and tasty treats! It was tons of fun and everyone loved to dress up the puppies in adorable outfits. Here are a few of my favorites:

Raelyn made her appearance as a high-profile international soccer star.

One of our new puppies as a hot dog with accompanying condiments.

Roman paying homage to his namesake.

Nutella looking cute as a pumpkin.

Our resident artist Picasso.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Raelyn at 8 months!

Raelyn has been a part of our household for 6 months already! In some ways it seems like she has just arrived, but in others it feels like she has been around forever. The most exciting (in a bad way) thing that happened this month was she actually destroyed the first thing of value EVER. She has never shown interest in chewing on anything except her toys. She will leave the kitty toys and random power cables alone so nicely! However, a new power cord was utterly irresistable. Luckily it wasn't plugged in and she only managed to eat a small amount of plastic and copper wire before I caught her. No complications or lasting damage was done, so WHEW! We still went through the worrying and calling the puppy leaders and a really helpful vet tech who is a member of our puppy club. With all of their help, it all worked out fine.

Besides the random chewing on power cables, life with Raelyn has become so normal. She is picking up on our habits and knows our routine.
-She definately knows when it is feeding time.
-She knows when we are going to go on an outing and what she has to do before we leave.
-She knows when she has to go in her kennel for bedtime.
-She knows how to be patient and sleep in the car even for long periods of time.
-She knows when she has to behave not pay attention to people and walk without pulling.
-She knows how to curl up quietly under the restaurant table.
-She knows how to sit quietly through biology lectures and labs.
-She knows to relieve in her relieving spot and not indoors or randomly during outings.
-She knows she isn't supposed to sniff people's crotches, but she'll still slip every once in a while.

Even though she has learned to do and knows so many things, she is much the same dog as she was when we first got her. Happy, stubborn, headstrong, fearless, and most of all FRIENDLY. She just loves everyone and everything. She wants to go home with everyone we meet and wants to play with any fuzzy creature on 4 legs.

She is a joy to have around and is a very positive presence. During the next month, we need to work on some behaviors that are not very becoming of a respectable guide dog. We are going to work on not jumping and getting overly excited when meeting new people/animals. We are going to work on not chasing the kitties around the house and leaving them alone. We are going to work on her ability to sit and stay in once place without getting restless when not on tie-down or in her kennel. We are going to work on the whining when the alarm goes off or when Raelyn is frustrated in her kennel because she can't come see us.

Overall, things are going really well and we have made much progress. To avoid worrying too much or getting overly stressed out, my new mantra is that we will do the best we can with her and the trainers will fix her weirdness once she gets recalled! :)

She couldn't get enough of the box we hid all of her toys in. She had so much fun sliding it around and sticking her head in to find the toy she wanted then pulling it out after much effort.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The dreaded in-laws...

We have been a borderline boarding house for these past few months. Lots of fun house guests staying and visiting. Recently, Dale's parents Dena and Dave (the dreaded in-laws) came to stay with us for almost a week. Even though I threatened to take them back to the airport a few hours after they got here (completely joking of course...), we all had a great time. The weather was fantastic, so we were able to get out and show off our new neighborhood.

Out of all of us, Raelyn had the best time hands down. She LOVED all of the attention that was showered upon her and with new playmates to keep her busy, she was in hog heaven. Dave especially was her new BFF and would follow him around the house constantly dropping toys at/on his feet.

We were able to show off Raelyn's calm behavior and all of the awesome skills she has learned in her first 7.5 months. She didn't bark or make any noises (other than her usual groaning and occasional whining). She followed all of her commands, even when given by our new visitors. She came to a restaurant with us and everyone forgot she was there until we found her wedged underneath the booth seat. Her toughest challenge was on our visit to the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park. There were so many distractions with the crowds of people and lots of dogs both on and off leash. She so badly wanted to run around and play with the little Chihuahuas that were zooming around us. She was a bit all over the place not surprisingly, but she remained reasonably calm and did great considering the circumstances.

It was a great visit and everyone had a blast! We enjoy having people come and stay with us as it always forces us to get out of our routine and have fun doing something different. So thank you Dave and Dena for FINALLY coming to see us! :) You are welcome back anytime, unless you won't let me win at cards...

Monday, September 28, 2009

A few more fun things...

I forgot to mention that Raelyn knows when we are going on an outing and gets super excited when she sees we are collecting all of her gear. As soon as we are on our way out, she quickly goes to the backdoor and hurries to relieve. Then she will come back inside and wait patiently by the front door as we put on her vest and leash. She is calm and sits while we get our shoes on and get all our things together. Then we are off!

She is also doing MUCH better about greeting people when they come in the front door. For a while there, when someone new came in the door she would race over and sniff like a crazy puppy. Now she will wait a good distance away and when you come in the door and tell her to sit, she will sit and wait patiently for you to come to her. It is a work in progress, but getting better every day!

Her new fun game to try and play is keep away. She tries to play that a lot now. Whenever she starts that, we stop play and turn around and do something else while not paying attention to her. She immediately will stop moving away and come over to us as she really wants to engage us and play. She knows we won't chase her, but she still tries anyways!

Raelyn at 7 months (and I'm a total blog slacker)

I know, I know. I have been a total slacker this past month as I haven't posted a thing about puppy even though I was "hounded" by more than a few people for the latest Raelyn update! My lack of posting has been for two reasons: On e is because school has started so keeping the students in line takes away from my blog time, but really the main reason is because Raelyn has been doing so great that we are in a fantastic routine and nothing out of the ordinary has happened in a while!

Raelyn hasn't had any relieving incidents in over a month. Hurrah! She stares intently down the stairs when she wants to go, so she gives clear signals and will wait patiently for us to notice. She hasn't had any problems on outings either. When we go to Dominican, she has her potty spot and she'll go right on command without any trouble. She has also stopped needing to go so frequently, so that has really helped as well. She can hold her pee better and only poops 3 times a day (sometimes 2) instead of having to go pee every 2 hours and pooping around 6 times a day.

She isn't whining nearly as much as she used to. She really only whines when the alarm goes off since I don't let her out right away. Other than that, she is in her crate during class and does fabulously! She isn't a distraction at all. She will just hang out and either watch what is going on or just rest. She hardly makes noise and the students totally forget that she is there. I am so glad that it is going as well as it is. The students and the other staff love to see her around campus and always ask about how she is doing. They are all so excited about her.

A few weeks ago she had some weird blister/pustules on her chin that were coming out of nowhere. They were looking a little scary and we went to the vet and he said that she had a common case of puppy acne. It was most likely caused by a skin irritation that got infected by skin-dewelling bacteria. We just need to keep the area clean and she should grow out of it. It has gotten considerably better, so it looks like it is healing nicely.

She such a pleasure to be around. We have had a few overnight house guests and she takes right to them. She wants to play with them and show them her favorite toys. She has a very friendly and sweet disposition so she is a joy to take out and about. She has great self control and resists chasing things and meeting random people.

The main problem now is that whenever she meets someone new, she is SO EXCITED! You would think that is totally attention starved and hasn't seen a person in years. This is a problem when I let her meet people when we are out as she has to learn she just can't tackle them and stick her nose in their crotch. The funny thing is once the person is no longer new (like if we hang out next to them for a while), they aren't interesting and she could care less about meeting them. She is still very interested in other dogs and pulls on the leash when she is excited, but it seems to be getting better. She got approved to be on food protocol for distractions, but I just haven't had the opportunity to implement that training yet.

Raelyn is now 7 months old and HUGE! She has grown a ton since we first got her (duh). It was hilarous as we went to a puppy meeting recently and we met up with her older puppy friend Amity who used to be ginormous compared to Raelyn might be bigger than she is! Crazy. Her head is about mid-thigh level and she probably weighs around 50 lbs. Tall and sleek! She gets comments all the time from people about how she is "such a goregous dog with a beautiful shiny coat" (like she needs any more reasons to be a diva!).

She loves to play with her large hard chew toys which she never liked before. She will carry them around with her and then drop them in different places, so every night I have to go to her "drop off" spots to collect all of her toys and put them away. She also LOVES to do lab loops. These are where she tucks her tail in and then takes off and sprints around in a loop. She doesn't go anywhere special and there isn't any reason, she just likes to run around in circles. Then she'll get tired and as quick as she got possessed by the crazy, she stops and gets a drink of water and lays down to chew on the toy she was carrying around.

She has made so much progress just in the 5 months that we have had her and it has been so fun to see her grow and change. She is a fantastic puppy with a lot of potential! :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First day of school

Raelyn had her first day of school yesterday when she sat in on my biology lab class at Dominican. She did really well! She was pretty high energy while we were walking on campus and in the building since a lot of students were around and making eye contact with her. She was so excited to meet everybody. I tried to keep her calm and kept the greetings to a minimum since she couldn't handle it.

During a meeting with another professor she sat under my chair and hung out. She would whine, but stopped when I tugged on her collar. Room for improvement! Once we got into the classroom, Raelyn hung out in her puppy house (travel crate) during the entire class session and was calm and quiet the whole time!

Raelyn also receives a zillion gold stars for relieving twice on command in the appropriate area! There is hope for her yet. She will be getting lots of practice this semester as she will be going to class 3 times a week.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Fun at Fun Day!

Each year Guide Dogs puts on an event to thank all of the puppy raising volunteers called Fun Day. This year we were able to attend with Raelyn and we all had a blast! We were able to meet 2 of Raelyn's 10 litter mates.

Raelyn with her two of her litter mates (Roscoe and Raider) in a licking frenzy!

We also met the family who is the breeder keeper of Raelyn's mom that took care of her and her litter mates after they were born for a month. They told us that Raelyn was the favorite of the bunch as she was runt of the litter. Although she was the runt, she was always the one pushing everyone else out of the way and was always the "Queen of the Hill". That explains a lot! Apparently she was feisty, independent, and tough right from the beginning!

Raelyn getting attention from her first puppy raiser while the breeder keeper family looks on.

The girl who first took care of Raelyn when she was born holding her first ever collar. How tiny!

While we were there at the kennels, we obviously had to visit the ridiculously adorable puppies!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Raelyn at 6 months

Believe it or not Raelyn has made it to 6 months of age already! Time has flown by and she has grown into a big fun puppy. She must have hit a growth spurt during this past month as she is HUGE now! Tall and has started to fill out, so she doesn't look like a starving model anymore.

We have discovered that her all-time favorite activity is swimming. She is a crazy beaver and loves nothing more than leaping high into the air and then splashing down in the water. It is so funny to watch and she never wants to leave. I pretty much have to drag her away from the pool.

She also loves to push you around in circles when you are sitting in an office chair. If you hold a toy with a stiff arm, she will grab the toy and start walking with it in her mouth and push you around in circles. Sometimes she can get going pretty fast. Dale had to close his eyes once because she was making him so dizzy! :)

Her favorite toys (in order of preference) are: plastic jugs, the jolly ball, kongs with ropes, sterilized bones, nyla dinosaurs, and the nyla circle thing.

Raelyn is getting along pretty well with the kitties. She still tries to follow them around, but I think she has learned that no matter how much she tries, they are not going to play with her. Shadow will let her sniff and even bump noses sometimes before she goes into psycho-kitty mode.

Raelyn has been doing really well this past month. She is super well-behaved in social situations when she has her vest on and head collar. She will lay down quietly at restaurants and be calm in large crowds of people. She is very confident and nothing seems to bother her.

She is doing great, but she still has her issues. The biggest one is that she doesn't have the potty thing down yet. We went through a big intervention a while ago (read a few posts down for more details) to get her to stop going potty in the house. That is going really well even though we have had a few accidents here and there, but overall, she is doing MUCH better! I think she is getting the hint that she needs to go outside before she can relieve. Mardie, our puppy buddy, said that it takes at least a month for a new behavior becomes automatic, so we are keeping with it!

She is super dog distracted. She wants to meet and play/wrestle with just about every dog she meets. During puppy meetings, she is pretty good and doesn't go crazy, but that's probably because she is used to them and she knows she can't play with the other dogs. When we walk by other dogs in the neighborhood or while out and about she gets all excited and preoccupied.

She LOVES to meet and greet people. She does okay when I don't let her say hi, but as soon as she knows she can go get love from someone she is all squirmy and crazy. We are working on keeping a sit position and not letting her mouth/lick people.

She pulls pretty good on the leash. She is getting better and she doesn't do it all the time. She knows how she is supposed to be on the leash, but she just doesn't care sometimes and is more interested in doing what she wants. We are making progress, but it is just slow.

Raelyn can still be super whiny in the crate or on tie down. She knows when it is food time and will let us know at least 30 minutes before hand that she needs food NOW! Needless to say, she has to wait and doesn't get anything until she is quiet. Usually she complains for a while, but once she realizes that we are getting food ready she shuts up. She can also be whiny when she wants to run around and do something fun instead of being in the crate. Oh well. Deal with it puppy.

Raelyn is fun, friendly, crazy, energetic, but still can be calm and mellow when she wants to be. Overall, things are going great and we'll see how she does going to school with me for the Fall semester!

All of the pictures are courtesy of our in-house photographer, Dale!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Puppy and Parents!

I am finally getting around to post after taking a hiatus while my parents were visiting. We had a great time together and they had a blast meeting Raelyn. Although I think Raelyn was probably more excited about them since she LOVES meeting and playing with new people! My parents had a fabulous time playing with Raelyn and showering her with lots of attention. While they were here we playing around the house and had many successful fun outings! After they left, Raelyn didn't seem bothered much at all about her playmates not being there. Now she is back to her normal routine with her boring keepers and not having near as much fun! :)

Mom and Raelyn both on good behavior!

Dad, Me, and Raelyn enjoying the sunshine.

Raelyn enjoying Amity's pool.
She is a crazy water beaver and discovered she loves jumping in after floating toys.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Success!...sort of

Well it has been 2 weeks since we have been on our new "potty plan" and Raelyn has responded fantastically! Very quickly she caught onto the new regiment and looked forward to going downstairs to relieve and get to play with her favorite tug toy after doing her business.

She even started giving signals indicating that she wants to go downstairs and relieve. She will get antsy while on tie-down or will stair down the stairs if we are playing. Pretty cool! Keeping her on tie-down or in the crate and not letting her wander around if she hasn't immediately gone is key since she still will go pee in the kitchen if allowed to (unfortunately found that out yesterday).

She can easily hold it for more than 2 hours at a time and had no trouble switching to the new program. Yay! So we still have work to do and have to be vigilant about making sure we set Raelyn up for success, but things are looking MUCH better than they did just a few weeks ago. Hurrah! :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tinkle Tinkle Little Star

Raelyn is a great puppy, don't get me wrong, but like everything she isn't perfect. Her big issues stem from the main problem that she is a "bit" headstrong and independent and wants to do whatever she wants and gets unhappy when her demands aren't met to her satisfaction.

Whining: She still LOVES to whine when in the crate or on tie down when she doesn't want to be or if we left the room. She will make sad puppy dog eyes and will keep trying to convince us that we left her to be eaten by a nasty troll. She doesn't work herself up into fits, but she is very persistent and will keep at it for a while. She still hasn't figured out that the whining isn't going to get her what she wants, but she attempts it anyways. Eventually she will stop. By now, Dale and I are total pros at ignoring it and it doesn't even phase us. Kind of like an annoying car alarm that keeps learn to tune it out. Luckily she doesn't do it ALL the time. Just most mornings and some afternoons.

Pulling on leash: Raelyn has great leash manners when she wants to behave. If there is something she is more interested in, then she will make an attempt to go for it. She is WAY better on a headcollar than the flat collar, which is something we will have to work on and transition to, but for the moment the headcollar is plenty to keep my hands full. She has trouble walking right next to you as she wants to be out in front. She REALLY wants to meet birds and other dogs we pass by. She will turn and look back at them as we move passed them. Sometimes she will make eyes at people, but that is pretty rare. I correct her and bring her back into the correct position and try not to make any forward progress when she pulls, but it is giant pain and she still pulls. We'll keep working on it.

Potty problems: As a working guide dog, Raelyn will need to go potty on command and ONLY on command. Well being more than 5 months old, she should be able to figure this one out by now. Unfortunately, she isn't having much of it. She will go on command, but if you don't give her the command, she will go when she wants to go and wherever that happens to be! In a store, on the Caltrain waiting platform, in the house... She also doesn't like to relieve when there are distractions around. Duh, who wants to go potty when there are interesting things to look at. And she is REALLY resistant to going poo in new places. Well, we are tackling one issue at a time and with the help of our club's puppy buddy, Mardie, we have come up with a plan to get Raelyn back on track and make her get with the program.

I was taking her out to relieve about every hour which is sometimes how often she would want to go, but we know she can hold it for more than 8 hours, so she is just being high maintenance. Now I am taking her out 2 hours apart minimum, so she learns to hold it for long time periods. To keep her from going sooner than that, she had her house roaming privileges revoked and is constantly in her crate or on tie down unless we are physically interacting with her. She now has only 1 potty spot that is downstairs. A pain for us, since we have our living area upstairs, but we'll deal. After she relieves on command in her potty spot, she gets lots of praise and is rewarded by playing tug with her favorite toy. Hopefully she will quickly associate fun times if she goes on command in her potty place. To help cut down on her frequent peeing, we are monitoring her water intake and only allowing 16-20 oz per day with only 4 oz at any 1 time. This should help us control her relieving schedule.

Silly puppy. Wish us luck!

Choo choo!

Last week, Raelyn and I went for a ride on Caltrain (kind of like Amtrack) up to the city with Amity with Sandy and her grandchildren in tow. We caught the train at Millbrae (where Raelyn felt the need to leave her mark on the waiting platform...) and rode it all the way up to the last stop at the SF Embarcadero. We walked along the waterfront and stopped in at a diner for a snack. Then to the grandkids chagrin, more walking! All the way up to the Ferry Building. We spent some time wandering around the neat building and browsing the shops on the lower floor. Raelyn took in the crowds with ease! Although she did feel the need to leave her mark in the Ferry Building bathroom...

We were pretty tired of walking, so we caught the T back to the Caltrain station and were able to run right onto a train reving up its engines! The conductors on the train were so friendly and wonderful. It was a fabulous outing. Raelyn did great at socialization as usual!

Problems that cropped up: Relieving issues (going when she feels like it, not when she is told to) and pulling on the leash pretty bad even with the headcollar (too many interesting people, pigeons, and other dogs to make friends with)

Solutions: More about the potty problem later. Going to keep practicing good leash manners by only allowing forward motion when the leash is loose and keeping her in the correct position and not letting her wander out ahead. We'll get it eventually!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Raelyn at 5 months

Well Raelyn has made it to 5 months already! It is crazy how fast the time has gone by, but she has been a part of our family for 3 months now. Raelyn is doing amazing. She has made so much progress since she was 4 months.

Her biggest achievement is that she is now allowed to walk around our large common room without being on a tie down or in the crate! She doesn't chew on anything, she doesn't try to play with kitty toys, and she is very calm and well-behaved. However, she is not allowed to go in the kitchen still because she sometimes confuses that with her potty place, so she is still learning not to do that. We just keep the kitchen blocked off while she is loose and are trying to get her to realize that the kitchen isn't a place to go potty by playing with her and feeding her there.

Another one of her big achievements is that we take her to restaurants now! We were a little afraid at first, so we waited since she was so fidgety and had trouble calming down. We finally bit the bullet and tried it and she did fantastic! She will walk in and sit down under the table and lay down and then stay there. She will either sleep or just watch people as they walk by. She is interested in food on the floor, but doesn't try very hard to get it and she gives up and ignores it after a while. Yay puppy!

She is super friendly and wants everyone to pet her. She doesn't have any problems being poked and prodded by strangers big or small. A little boy behind us in line was enamored by Raelyn and kept petting her and playing with her paws and Raelyn didn't care one bit. Raelyn loves being puppy handled and will let anyone turn her over and pet her belly. So cute!

Now that she is 5 months, she has graduated from her weekly Baby Puppy Meetings. She will definitely miss them as now she won't get to see her friends as often. Raelyn is really excited about other dogs and thinks they are all her friends who want to wrestle with her. Crazy dog. She does okay if she just walks by, but if you let her greet and meet the other dog then she will get all excited and try to jump on them. She really wanted to wrestle with the life-sized plastic dog at Old Navy the other day. Needless to say, that dog wasn't very interested in playing, but Raelyn didn't care!

Raelyn loves to play around the house and will tire herself out quite easily. She loves to play with her jolly ball, ice cubes, a kong with a rope through it, and her ultimate favorite toy: thick plastic bottles/jugs.

She has been growing like a weed, but has finally seemed to slow down. She weighs about 38 lbs and is about 20 inches tall at the shoulders.

She is doing great and is a fun puppy to have around. She is very well-behaved and has great manners. She doesn't bark. She still whines when she is in her crate and she doesn't want to be, but that isn't too often and she will calm down after a bit. She relieves on command, but will still go when she wants to go if given the opportunity. As long as she figures out she has to hold it and cannot go in the house, we will be okay, but that is slow going. The silly puppy whines to be let out of her crate, but not to be let out to go potty. She just sits there quietly by the door and if we don't pay close enough attention, she'll just go pee. Argh! We'll eventually figure it out.

All is well and we are looking forward to Raelyn's next month! :)

Monday, June 29, 2009

We're on a boat!

The last few days have been HOT around here! I'm enjoying it immensely, but I'm not covered in black fur like Raelyn. Since it was so warm yesterday, our bi-monthly puppy club meeting was held at a leader's house who had a pool. Raelyn wasn't sure what to make of the pool at first, but soon was having a great time carefully jumping in after toys and swimming laps. It was surprising, but most of the other younger dogs in our group weren't that into swimming. Raelyn is totally fearless and doesn't give a lick about anything or anyone.

After the puppy meeting, Raelyn and I went over to Amity's house for more swimming and dinner. We learned at the puppy meeting that we can't let Raelyn and Amity play roughly and run around. The interactions need to be controlled so that the dogs learn how to behave and not to become preoccupied with wanting to play with other dogs. So this time we let the puppies play and interact, but in a much more defined matter and didn't let them get out of control. Raelyn and Amity had a blast swimming and romping around in the lagoon. They also enjoyed swimming in the nice warm swimming pool. Raelyn was jumping in after a floating plastic duck while Amity was a little more reserved, but eventually ended up enjoying swimming with her life jacket on.

After swimming but before dinner, we went for a little boat ride around the lagoon. Raelyn did fantastic! She sat on the seat or the floor and didn't care at all about anything. She looked around and was interested, but then decided licking herself was more important. She really is fearless about most situations as they don't seem to bother her one bit. Crazy puppy!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Total Water Dog!

On friday, we went on another fun outing with Amity and her raiser. We took BART from Millbrae up to downtown San Francisco. We walked around Union Square for a bit and had some snacks. Raelyn did fabulously! She didn't pay attention to people at the BART station. She didn't have any problem with the shiny reflective surface of the tile. She plopped right down on the floor of the BART train and didn't mind the noise or anything during the ride. She did fantastic. Once we got downtown, she walked around terrifically. She still pulls a bit, but she's getting better. She didn't have any problems with the crowded sidewalk and didn't try to pick up anything nasty from the ground. Once at Union Square, she was quite intrigued by the pigeons and wanted to play with them, but she finally figured out that was not in the game plan. We hung out for a bit and got some snacks and drinks and then went back on the train. Both Amity (11 month black lab) and Raelyn were so good during the whole outing, so Raelyn and I went to Amity's house after the train ride and they got to run, wrestle, chase, and play with each other in their backyard. Both of the puppies had a totally blast. They were so funny to watch. Even though Amity is about double Raelyn's weight, it took Amity a while to figure out she could push Raelyn around. Raelyn has finally met another dog that will put up with her energy and craziness! Yay for puppy friends! :)

Raelyn has Amity pinned on the ground, for the moment. Finally a puppy friend that can match Raelyn's excitement for wrestling.

Raelyn (sideways dog) playfully nipping at Amity as she zooms past. Amity is a crazy fast runner.

Amity's raiser lives on a lagoon on the San Francisco Bay and has a little ramp that goes into the water. It was a little warm, so we decided to let them go for a swim. I wasn't sure how Raelyn was going to act as she has never seen water before and isn't too crazy about the hose. Boy howdy did she take to the water like a fish. She was jumping and splashing around and swimming all over the place! She LOVED every minute of it. Now that we know Raelyn is a water dog, we'll have to find other opportunities for her to go swimming! :)

Raelyn the eager beaver!

Amity getting a head/body up on Raelyn while the two wrestle in the water.

Yay! Raelyn chasing Amity in the water. How fun! A puppy friend that never got tired of Raelyn's relentless chasing.

New Favorite Things

Raelyn is totally fascinated with the toilet. She loves to watch it flush and then drink out of it. Needless to say, we have to keep the lid closed now!

She also loves licking toes. Apparently my toes are tastier than Dales...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Busy times in Puppyland!

All is well in puppyland! It has been a while since I have been able to sit down and reflect on how things have been going since the last update.

Raelyn is doing really well! After her two weird episodes of pooing in the kitchen, she decided she wasn't into that anymore and promptly stopped. So no more poo in the kitchen. Hurray for puppy!

She has been losing more teeth. She has lost all her front 8 teeth. She hasn't lost her canines or molars yet, but those should be coming out soon.

She is growing like a weed! Her legs are so long. I need to bug Dale to get the latest pictures, so I can post them! She is still a skinny girl even though we upped her food to 4C a day per the vet's suggestion. She is just a little bit on the skinny side of what Guide Dogs wants, so we are okay. Better this way than have her be too plump.

We stopped training her during meal times because she is pretty food obsessed. She will do anything you want for food, but then not be very interested in following commands when you don't have food around. So we are just feeding her out of a bowl and then training during play times. That is going pretty well. She is terrific on Sit, Down, Stand, Come, Stay, and Wait. She is a bit resistant on the Go to Bed command, but she eventually acquiesces.

Raelyn is still a whiner. If she can't do what she wants to do then she will complain about it. She likes to be in the same room with you ALL the time, but is getting much better about dealing with not being able to always be with you. She will still whine a little bit, but quiets down pretty quickly and doesn't throw fits anymore. Which is fantastic! She doesn't bark. She was trying to get Shadow to play with her the other day and couldn't figure out how to get the kitty interested in playing with her so she tried barking. All that got her was the end of play time and in the crate. Bummer. I think she got the message.

Raelyn SO badly wants to play with the kitties. She will not leave the poor kitties alone. She will follow them around and stare. Go up to them. Try to get them to play with her and chase her around. Raelyn just doesn't get the message the kitties aren't interested. Both cats will growl, hiss, and smack at her. I don't think they have used claws, so puppy is creeped out and jumps back when they lash out, but just goes back in for more. Shadow finally has grown some balls and can become a truly terrifying cat. She can look just as lethal as Daisy and sound just as mean. We just try to manage the amount of irritation the puppy does to the kitties by not letting her run loose around the house much. When she does we keep an eye on her and pay attention to the interactions. It is good that Raelyn has the attention span of a gnat, so that she will finally stop bothering the kitties. Maybe puppy will just have to learn the hard way.

We have been out and about quite a bit. She is very well-behaved in public. She walks well with the head collar and doesn't bother anyone or anything on shelves. She is a bit antsy, but will sit still if we are waiting in line.

Raelyn is SUPER friendly with everyone and wants you to pay a lot of attention to her. Overall, she is a good puppy. She has a hard time calming down and sitting still. She is easily frustrated and doesn't have a lot of patience, but luckily she can figure things out quickly so she doesn't get too upset. We still have a ways to go, but she is coming along really well!

Monday, June 15, 2009

So many places to go

As part of our monthly puppy report, we keep track of all of the places Raelyn has been. In the past month, she has visited: Target, Old Navy, Safeway, REI, the library, an outdoor mall, Starbucks, a hardware store, friends' houses, soccer games, Macy's, and a farmer's market via the bus.

She been on great behavior (most of the time) and impresses everyone! We look forward to visiting more places this next month. :)

Raelyn at 4 months

Raelyn has some how made it to 4 months without driving us completely batty. She continues to be super smart and a fast learner. She impresses everyone in public, at meetings, and her puppy sitters with her calm demeanor and good behavior. Ha! Boy, does she have them fooled! Just kidding. She is overall doing extremely well and we are happy to have her around.

We just went for her 16 week shots and vet visit. She is about 30 lbs and a bit under weight, so we are increasing her food to 4C a day, but now only feeding breakfast and dinner. No more lunch. The vet said she is looking good and things are going well. There are a few things to keep an eye on, like her teary eye and dirty ear, but other than that she is great.

4 month update:
- She knows all of her commands (Sit, Down, Stand, Come, Go to Bed, Wait, Stay) and performs them perfectly whenever food or a fun tug play toy is around. She normally follows commands pretty well, but if you have something she wants then she follows directions much more promptly. She likes getting verbal praise, but not that much.

-She is eager to please when you have something she wants.

-She is impatient and gets easily frustrated. If there is kibble stuffed in a kong that she can't get out, instead of chewing and chewing to try to get it out she gives up after she realizes she can't get it and leaves it. Sometimes she will whine in frustration, but then quiet down.

-She is WHINY as all get out. She stopped doing her crazy whiny/barking fits and now has just gone back to being whiny.

-She has pooped on the kitchen floor twice in the past few days! Not a good puppy. So she has been back in her crate most of the day and we only let her run free around the house when we are closely monitoring her. We'll eventually graduate up to the tie down, but we are still working on the crate behavior.

- She okay with being in the crate now. She doesn't flip out at all. Just whiny if you leave the room.

-She may have slight separation anxiety as she whines and gets frustrated when you leave the room and you are far away from her. We are working on this and it seems to be getting better.

-She LOVES to play with thick plastic jugs. She will pick them up, run around with them, drop them, try to pounce on them, chase them, and generally go crazy. Super funny to watch.

-She lost her first 4 puppy teeth.

-She is great out in public. She doesn't pay much attention to people walking by if they don't approach her. She is quiet and calm, for the most part. She won't relieve on outings unless she really, really has to go.

-She likes riding in the car and looking out the windows. She stopped trying to climb onto the backseat, so she will just sit like a good girl on the floor of the backseat and stare out the window or stick her head between the seats to see what you are doing.

She has her issues, but she is a lot of fun and is a good puppy.

Visit from the Tooth Fairy

Over the weekend, Raelyn lost 4 teeth! They are the front top 2 and bottom 2. Over the next few weeks, she is going to lose the rest of her puppy teeth. Let the chewing commence!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Clean up on aisle 2

Accidents. Accidents are never a good thing...usually something bad or messy happens. The past few days have seen a few accidents from Raelyn. She is normally so good when we go out places since I never take her anywhere unless I know she is an empty puppy. She can hold it, but doesn't have extreme bladder control yet. A few days ago, we went to REI and after picking up my goods we walked around the store to practice good behavior. Somewhere near the bicycles, I noticed Raelyn stopped and squated. OH NO! And boy she did have to go. I don't know where all the pee came from. Luckily it was on a hard surface and I always take supplies with me, so it was easy to clean up. No one saw anything so we promptly left! I guess it was bound to happen eventually. This was the first time she relieved in a store and there is a first time for everything.

Then yesterday at home the back door to the porch was open and she usually goes potty on the porch without incident. She was hanging out on the porch and I was in the kitchen and she comes back in near the dining table and starts going poo! WTF! On the kitchen floor when the back door was wide open! I grabbed her by the collar and yanked her outside, but she was already done. Needless to say, she spent most of the day yesterday in her crate. Sad puppy. I couldn't believe it though as it was so strange. She has never gone poo in the house before, ever. Even when she was 8 weeks old. And she has gone out to the porch before and relieved herself when we weren't next to her. So weird that she would be on the porch and then come in and decide to go poo. Hopefully she is just testing and will learn that is not okay quickly. Else she will be a sad puppy and be stuck in her crate.

Other than those 2 incidents, things are great! She is doing all of her commands now: Sit, Down, Stand, Stay, Wait, Go to Bed, and Come. She is still testing and is a giant whiner, but she has stopped going ballistic while left alone in her crate. Now she just whines without escalating it. Crazy puppy! She does great when out and about in stores (when she is not relieving herself). She doesn't grab anything off shelves or try to solicit attention from people. On our walk today, we discovered she is fascinated by people on bicycles. She perks right up and wants to run after them.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Mexican standoff without the Mexicans

Well the puppy and kitties have finally come to a mutual understanding. Raelyn has figured out that the kitties don't want to play with her, but will tolerate being smelled up close as long as it doesn't involve any sudden movements. If she does get in their faces a bit much, then a warning meow-growl and threatening paw will come up. Raelyn will quickly back away and then start again, but approach slowly. It is great to see that the kitties don't hate the puppy anymore and will allow her to get close to them and they will willingly walk inches away from Raelyn. It isn't perfect harmony, but it is getting there!

Project Raelyn Tantrum update

Well, it seems like the conniption fits Raelyn was having may have been a phase. We think she may have been testing to see if they would help get her what she wants. We have been practicing by having her in the crate instead of tie-down when we are home. I have also been keeping her in the crate downstairs while I am upstairs doing things and she has quickly figured out that all of the complaining and moaning isn't getting her anywhere. We have also worked on going into the crate for short periods of time and then letting her out again. It seemed like what works the best is being strong and just outlasting her. She will still whine in the crate sometimes, but it doesn't excalate like it did before. She may still have some separation anxiety, so I'll keep leaving her downstairs in another room once in a while to nip that problem in the bud.

Friday, June 5, 2009


Today I took Raelyn with me to the local library. She patiently waited as I returned my book and was very well behaved when we went inside. I didn't let her meet anyone, so we just walked around the different book shelves and paused every so often. She was totally great! She didn't pay attention to people, didn't try to illicit any attention, didn't try to eat any books on the shelves, and obeyed the ultimate rule of the library by being totally quiet. This trip bodes every well for taking her there on future trips!

I also had to stop by a pharmacy in an outdoor mall. Once I did my shopping, we walked all the way up and down the mall and practiced walking by people and then letting them meet her. She did fantastic! There were some stairs that kind of creeped her out. She went down them super easily, but on the way back up they threw her off her game as the stairs didn't have backs to them so you could see through the individual stairs. Going up was a big challenge, so we took it slow and went up a few at a time and then went back down again. Went up a few more and then back down. Pretty soon she was able to go all the way up and down without any hesitation! Yay!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The wheels on the bus

I have been totally slacking, but I finally am sitting down to write!

On Wednesday, we went on a fun adventure with a 10 month old guide dog puppy, Amity, and her raiser, Sandy. Sandy planned out our entire excursion and we decided to take the puppies on the bus to a local farmers market.

Raelyn and I met up with Amity and Sandy at their house and Raelyn was so excited to meet another puppy! Their little tails were wagging furiously as they sniffed and tried to jump on each other. After we let them meet, we went on a walk down to the bus stop. Raleyn did really well on the walk and didn't pay too much attention to Amity. She calmly waited for the bus and when the bus did arrive, she climbed right aboard! The steps are big and steep, but they didn't faze her in the slightest. We sat at the front of the bus and Raelyn sat right down and quietly looked at the other passengers and watched out the window as we drove. She eventually became bored, so laid down and went to sleep! I was totally amazed. I wasn't sure how she would do on the bus and she was great!

We finally arrived at the farmer's market at the College of San Mateo, but first we walked a little bit around the campus. To get down to the farmer's market we had to walk down a LONG, steep flight of stairs. At home, Raelyn is a little skiddish about going down stairs, but by following Amity's lead, she just cruised right down the stairs and without a care in the world!

The farmer's market was really nice. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies and people milling about. It was a fantastic place for Raelyn to be on good behavior and learn to be patient. She does pretty well. She does a good job of ignoring people for the most part when we are walking. When I stopped to look at produce she would get a little antsy, but not too bad. She makes shopping a bit more difficult as she isn't totally mellow yet, so you have to pay attention to what she is doing and try to get her to do what you want her to do. When she was able to meet people she had great manners, so we are making progress!

The outing totally tuckered her out, so on the bus ride home she slept the entire way...I wasn't sure if she was going to walk on her own once we got off the bus. Luckily for my back, she drowsily sauntered back to Sandy's house. We put Raelyn in the outdoor kennel as she didn't relieve the entire time we were out and about nor once we got to Sandy's house. This way she wouldn't have any indoor accidents. Sandy and I went into the house and as soon as Raelyn realized we were out of sight, she didn't like that one bit and started on one of her fits. Luckily for the neighbors, she calmed down when she saw us walking around the house. We still have work to do!

All in all, it was a fantastic outing and Raelyn surprised me yet again. She is becoming calmer out in public and is starting to develop the "on/off switch" so that when we are out she "on" and is all business.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Raelyn at 3.5 month pictures!

Raelyn loves to run free around the fenced in tennis courts. Here are some pictures of our latest outing! She is growing like a weed.

When we get back from running around the tennis courts, we can all relax on our awesome new set of patio furniture! :)

OMG won't the puppy just shut up already!

Holy cow. Raelyn has been having total conniption fits. She has decided being in the crate is not fun (again). She will whine, whiny bark, bark, dig around, and just generally go crazy for more than 30 minutes. I know she doesn't have to go potty, so is just being difficult. It happened on Friday when I was home and had her in the crate downstairs for a bit. She wasn't having any of that. However, I left her down there and finally she went to sleep (after about 30 minutes of complaining loudly). This morning was a similar thing. She didn't want to be in the crate and wanted me to come let her out. Too bad sucker. She had to stay in there despite being very convincing that she was in throws of agony. Now she has finally given up and gone to sleep.

I think the problem is 3 fold. First, she doesn't like doing things she doesn't want to do. Second, she can be stubborn as all get out. And thirdly, she may have some separation issues. To combat Little Miss Sassypants' first 2 issues, we will just keep making her do things she doesn't like and just outlast her stubbornness. This is a total pain in the ass as she is so annoying. And we will work on the separation issues by having her in the crate in a different room from where we are. We need to get her used to being by herself and being okay with it.

Wish me luck! :)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Puppy Sitting Adventures!

Today Dale and I had tickets to go to the Maker Faire (crazy cool hippie DIY engineering and art fair). Needless to say we couldn't take Raelyn so she went to a puppy sitters for the day. This was her first adventure in puppy sitting that she will actually remember, so we were hoping that she would be on good behavior and not be a total monster. She spent the day with the awesome and active Farley family. They have kids 14, 12, and 10 and a cul-de-sac full of other kids just waiting to play. We knew Raelyn would have a great time and wouldn't want to come back as Dale and I are boring stodgy folk.

Dale and I had a great day sans puppy. We kept thinking, "Man we should do this more often!" :) So I think we will try to have her puppy sat at least once or twice a month so we can have some puppy-free time and it is a great experience for Raelyn to be with other people besides us.

Raelyn came back in the evening and was happy to see us. After she had dinner, she plopped down on her bed and didn't look up once. She was totally tuckered out. I think she had a lot of fun! The Farleys said they had a great time with her and would enjoy puppy sitting her again. Yay for Raelyn not being a crazy puppy monster! She was on good behavior and obeyed commands, but ended up having an accident in the house. (Not too suprising as it took us a month to figure her out and stop the house accidents!)

So thanks again to the Farleys!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Safeway survived the wrath of Raelyn

Based on her amazing behavior in the hardware store, I finally bit the bullet and took Raelyn with me grocery shopping into Safeway. She was amazing! We made a lot of new friends as she is super cute everyone has to stop and say hello. While on a head collar she walks great on leash and didn't pay attention to people walking by or try to eat anything off the shelves. When people would make eye contact with her and approach, that is when she would get all crazy, so I'd have to hold her down in a sit position. Stuff on the floor was also very appetizing, so we will have to work on that.

We went in the late afternoon when she is most calm, but her batteries only lasted so long and in the middle of the bread aisle she decided she had enough so she laid down on her slide and tried to go to sleep. I kept telling her Let's Go, but that just meant I dragged her along the floor and swept for the cleaning crew. I needed to go back and pick her up and put her back on her feet. When we were moving it was fine, but as soon as we stopped down she went again. Pretty funny really. :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Just another day at the hardware store

We have been hesitating to take Raelyn into stores because well, she can be crazy and pretty much all over the place. Today I took her into the Orchard Supply Hardware store and guess what? She did AMAZING! I had her in the head collar and she was so good. She walked right next to me the whole time. She didn't pay attention to the people walking by. She didn't try to get into any of the items on the shelves or even eat the plants in the nursery. Even while I was tediously deciding between which tree to buy, she sat and waited patiently. Completely astounding! Now I feel much more comfortable actually taking her into the Safeway instead of just sitting outside. There is hope for her yet! :)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Little Miss Sassypants

Well Raelyn has gone through her first "phase". We have regressed in training, which is inevitiable as she can't just have a positive learning curve (that is somehow mathematically impossible).

Maybe the problem is that she is too smart for her own good...She knows all of her commands (including "Stand"), but now she has decided that she doesn't know if she really wants to follow the commands. She seems to look at you and ask, "How seriously are you? Do you really, really want me to sit? Are you sure? Can we just skip all of this and just get to the food part?" After staring her down, she will eventually do whatever command she was supposed to do. Also it is really weird because sometimes she will just stare at you when you tell her to "Go to bed". That is the command that has food as the reward, so it is dumb that she would choose not to obey that command. Ah well. The phase seems to have lasted about a week and now she appears to be almost back to normal. She still won't lay down in her Go to Bed if you are out of the room because obviously you can't see her lay down, so why should she exert herself? Too bad there are 2 of us and only 1 of her, so we are always watching...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Raelyn at 3 months

Raelyn had her 3 month birthday a few days ago and we have had her for a little over 1 month.

Here is an update of where she is now!

When we are home she will consistently follow the commands: Sit, Down, Come, Go to Bed, Stay, and Wait. We are starting to work on Stand, but she isn't interested yet. She will Come and Sit when outside with a few distractions, but if there are exciting things going on around her, she has no interest in following orders.

She still sleeps through the night for about 7-8 hours.

She likes to hang out and sleep in her crate now that we figured out she likes something soft to lay on. Yay!

She hasn't barked in a long time, but she is such a whiner! It is mostly when she is frustrated that she can't go somewhere she wants to or you aren't giving her what she wants. At least she isn't working herself up into whiny fits anymore. She will stay relatively calm and eventually go sit in her crate and go to sleep. (Unless she's whining since she is already in her crate and wants out...)

Her favorite chew toys are a jolly ball (large bouncy ball with a rope through it), a flat plush rabbit, kongs, a nasty nylabone dinosaur, sterilized bones, and her green nylon leash. Also on her list is kitty mouse toys, but unfortunately those are not approved puppy toys.

She is getting better walking with a loose leash. If nothing strikes her fancy, she will walk very well next to you with limited small collar corrections.

She is VERY alert and interested in noises and moving objects. Sneezes always distract her. She isn't afraid or nervous about loud, sudden noises, more just very aware of them. She loves to watch things blow in the wind. Leaves blowing around are irresistible, especially when they blow towards her. She likes to watch cars drive by and people walking by. Unless the people approach her, she is pretty good about sitting patiently and calmly.

She really LOVES to meet people and other dogs. She doesn't have the best greeting manners yet. When excited, she will lunge up to greet and have to be wretched down back into a sit.

Her typical day:
7-8: Wake up, Pee, Eat breakfast, Poop (In that order)
9-11: Pee, Sleep
Noon-2: Pee, Poop, Sleep
2-3: Lunch, Pee
4-6: Sleep, Pee
8-9: Dinner, Pee, Poop
10-Midnight: Sleep, Pee, Bedtime

Between pee, poop and sleep times, Raelyn will play around the house, go for walks, hang around outside of Safeway practicing manners, run around in the tennis courts, or torment the kitties.

So far so good! Here's to the next month!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Team Kitty vs. Team Puppy

Round 1:

In the first corner we have Daisy, in the gray and white, sitting comfortably on a dining room chair minding her own business. In the other corner, we have Raelyn in matte black bounding excitedly over to play with the fluff ball on the chair. Raelyn goes in first with the nose and OH! there goes Daisy with a wicked right cross. Raelyn backs down for just a second and then lunges in for another. Daisy lays it on her again and OH! Raelyn is down for the count! She backs away slowly and sulkily goes to chew on her dinosaur.

Round 1 - Team Kitty
Round 2:

In the first corner we have Raelyn in a deep slumber laying quietly on her mat. In the other corner we have Shadow, the fraidy cat of all fraidy cats. Oh, what is this?! Shadow slowly creaps up on the sleeping form and carefully bends in to take a sniff. OH! and another sniff! Raelyn shifts slightly in her sleep which sends Shadow flying down the stairs to retreat to safety.

Round 2 - Team Puppy

Make sure to tune in for the next installment!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Good, Bad, and Not-so-ugly

So much has happened in the last few days in the land of Raelyn!

2 days ago Raelyn did not pay any attention to the "Down" command. Today she is doing it like a pro! She still needs to be prompted by pointing at the floor, but she knows what to do. Crazy how fast she picked it up. Just an all of a sudden thing.

She "Waits" so consistently now too. She will patiently wait in either a sit or a down while you turn your back and walk away from her. She will even remain in position when then kitties walk by her! We call her to the next command pretty quickly, so it is a temporary hold. She is still distracted by something shiny, so we will wait on the stay for now which is more of a long term hold position.

She also figured out that "Go to bed' just means to find one of her soft comfy things on the floor and lay on it, so she isn't tied to just her special towel anymore. This is a big step as she originally learned the command on her special towel, but now realizes the command doesn't mean go there, it means go lay on something soft and stay there. Pretty cool!

Our walk today went really well too. Switching to the heavier leather leash has been a HUGE help. She stopped trying to eat the leash and walks a lot better. She is still distracted by most things and doesn't want to pay attention sometimes, but she is improving a ton. At the end of our walk, she was content to sit calmly sit next to me as I stood in the driveway and watch the cars go by. She loved it!

Our big issue that remains is the vocalization. She is super whiny and sometimes barky when she is frustrated/bored/doesn't get what she wants. We will be asking the Guide Dog trainer at our meeting this week what to do about this as correction, ignoring, and flat out denying whatever she wants isn't working.

On a more positive note, we think we may have solved our crate issue! Raelyn has hated the crate with a passion and will whine, dig, figet, and just not settled down well. We thought about it and the bottom of the specific crate we have has 5 large circular lumps, so the bottom isn't flat. Maybe she can't get comfy! DUH! So I put one of her beds in the crate and VOILA she has been sleeping voluntarily in the crate with the door open all afternoon/evening. No whining, figeting, or digging. We will monitor to make sure she doesn't eat her bedding, but wow, what a difference. We also think that she is probably getting bored in the crate, so we are going to buy some more toys. This way she has more to play with/chew. Now that we know what kinds of things she likes, we can try to pick out good things on our next trip to the pet store.

All things considered, things are going smashingly! :)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sunday Soccer, Take Two

On sunday, we all went to watch Dale play soccer again and we had a blast! Raelyn had excellent manners and met lots of new friends. She didn't try to mouth or jump up on anyone. That's progress from our last outing to the soccer field!

She got REALLY excited when a ball came whizzing by us out of bounds. She wanted to chase after it and the soccer player who followed. She was surprisingly calm and was content most of the time to sit and watch the action. There is hope for her yet!

The secret to walking calmly on leash

We started the sunny weekend off with a bang! Dale and I took Raelyn to the fenced tennis courts at our complex to practice walking on a leash and to just have fun. Raelyn ate up every minute of it! We first worked a little bit on walking and that went decently well. Then we let her off the leash and holy cow she just tore around in circles and would dash back and forth when Dale and I would tell her to Come.

Finally, she had to take a break and pretty much collapsed in the pool of water she spilled from her water bowl. We thought she had enough, but NO she got her second wind and went around tearing up the place again. After that, we practiced walking on a leash again and she walked beautifully! We finally found the secret to making her have good leash manners. Too bad it involves completely tiring her out first which is impractical most of the time...

First Baby Puppy Meeting

Last Friday was Raelyn's first baby puppy meeting. When the puppies are less than 5 months old, we have to take them to meet with a club leader once a week.

She met her friends Roman (a yellow lab a few weeks older than Raelyn who goes poo 8 times a day, unlucky raisers...) and Joyce (a black lab almost 5 months old). Raelyn was very excited to meet everyone and was full of it.

First we practiced walking on a loose leash. Ha! Good luck with that. Raelyn wasn't really interested in participating in the lesson. She was having too much fun not paying attention and trying to play tug of war with her leash. She did well sometimes, but was all over the place the rest of the time. Over the weekend, we switched to using a thicker leather leash and that seemed to help a lot! She didn't chew the leash as much and responded quickly to small collar corrections.

The other thing we worked on at the meeting was the "Go to Bed" command. Because the meeting was at a new house with lots of fun and exciting new smells, the expectation for Raelyn's obedience wasn't too high. However, she got it right away! She ignored the distractions, laid down right on her towel and stayed there. She even came when I called her and then went back to bed. It was so exciting to see her do so well and remember the commands.

To spice it up at home now, we are making her run the gauntlet of much lusted after kitty toys while performing "Go to Bed" and "Come" commands. I line up the kitty toys and she just runs right past them! Sometimes she will stop and sniff, but then quickly remember what she was supposed to do. It is so funny to watch the gears in her head turn.

She is also rapidly learning "Wait". Before she would just go wherever it was she wanted to go, but now we can tell her to "Sit" and then "Wait" and she will sit and wait patiently while you move away from her until you tell her the next command. Pretty cool!