Bestest day ever ever

IMG_20130802_074300It’s great sleeping down here in Dec’s room. He is the smallest of the people, and my favorite. I sleep on his bed or on the floor or on some giant pillow. I love being in here. Wait! I hear something. It’s my favorite person. “YERP!” Get me out of here!

This small Declan person is so responsive. Now for my favorite part of the day. I get to say hello to my favorite person. Wait! I need something in my mouth. My stuffed animal, the long one with a rope on one end would be great. Where is it? Wait, here is a bunched up sock that smells of Declan. Perfect! My favorite. Hello, hello, hello. “Rrrrrwrrrrr. Rwrrrrrr.”

Oh this is great. Hello. Hello. You want the sock? That’s why I brought it. Here you go. Now why do you throw it downstairs. That’s where I got it. Stuffed animal! My favorite. Hello, hello, hello.

Morning walk at the river.

Morning walk at the river.

Wait! Here comes the big person. My favorite. He has the big coat on. This means we go for a walk. My favorite part of the day. I have to wait first, though. I leave the warm place after he puts my favorite blue leash on, and after he says “Okay.” There it is. Let’s go.

WHOA! I have to pee. Quick to the grass. Ah, what a relief. Now we walk. What? We’re stopping? Big tug on the leash. Tight on my neck. Growl from the big one means something. I’m still trying to figure this out. Okay, we’re walking now. Cold crisp air is great! Collar is a bit tight. Whoa! I guess we are going backwards now. Still trying to figure this one out, but sure I’ll back it up. Let me know when we’re ready to go.

Now I need some more grass, need to take care of number two. Looks perfect right there. Collar tight, back it up, okay. I didn’t like that spot either, how about this one? Okay? Phew, because I was about to explode. Hey there is a good smell over here. I can’t quite reach, just a little further, collar is tight. Whoa! Here I am suddenly looking over the big person whose crouching over that poop. Waiting. Waiting. Okay we can go again.

My favorite stick at the river. Found it three times in a row.

My favorite stick at the river. Found it three times in a row.

What’s that smell? The little one? Is he out here? There is the warm place. My favorite part of the day. Back inside and smothering Declan, the little one, on my couch, the one by the window. He is pretending to be asleep. He is under a blanket. I love this game. I have to try to lick his face. And if I lick it, then I need to try to lick it again.

Whup! I hear the can opening. I smell the food. Gotta get off this couch. I just realized how hungry I am. “Sit.” I know this one. Got it. “Okay.” I know this one, too. Sniff it out. Smells like the same stuff that was in the dish yesterday. Looks like it, too. It is. Few bites. Serviceable, but not nearly as tasty as that dish I can reach on the counter. But I sure am hungry.

IMG_20131007_131522My favorite part of the day coming right up. Finish the meal and off to my couch, laying belly up. Ah. I just realized how tired I am. Running. Running. Barking. Barking. River. What’s that smell? Reminds me of those yummy treats that are round. Smell still there. Back at the river. Running. Running. There’s that smell again. And is there something touching my nose? Blink. Oh yeah. I remember. The plastic tube with white inside. That’s the smell. Jump up on the big guy. Or bark. Or pull his knee with my paw. Yep. There it is. And now the yummy treat. And now I wait. I wait. I wait. “Okay.” Where is that scent? Not here. In the other room. I can sense it. Not sure where. But it is here somewhere. On the couch maybe? Nope. Sheesh. I am hungry. And I know the yummy treat is coming at some point soon. Is it on the chair? On the shelf? Ahhhh! I can smell it. Where is it. “Rerp! Rerp!” I can smell it! I want my treat. Oh, right there! Got it. I found it! I found it. Yummy treat! My favorite part of the day.

The big people are gone. Just the smaller ones now. Normally the smaller ones are gone by now. And I’m in that place by the door. And I have a dish of water and my favorite chew toy. But the smaller people are not leaving. They are still here. I can stay on my couch. I am so tired.

IMG_20131017_185344Kids here but not here. Two downstairs and one in the room. Time for my favorite game of find what’s on the counter. No way! A bag full of round bread with seeds on top. Quiet now. Quiet. I’ll take it to room with the one kid, the small one. The one named Declan. I like being around him. He is talking to that flat screen hanging on the wall. I like this brown long furry thing on the floor. Soft. Keep quiet, though. Pesky bag. I can see them, but they are trapped. Free the bread. Freed. Soft and squishy, and so easy to throw down in two bites. Six bites of this round bread.

What else. Pantry door open. My favorite place. What? Where is the chocolate milk? And there is normally a loaf of bread on this shelf. I can smell it. But it’s not here. And the pasta! I smell it, but it is also gone from its normal resting place. That stuff is fun to eat. Crunchy and small. They disappear in the brown furry thing in that other room.

Thirsty. To the white bowl that the people sit on sometimes. Refreshing.

Waiting for Ashley to finish eating my food.

Waiting for Ashley to finish eating my food.

Whup! Glass jar with something in it that smells a lot like bacon. Yep, there it is. A bit tricky to carry. Got it. What is this metal thing on top? New challenge. Whoa, it just popped off. Cool. Now for the jar full of bacon grease. Hmmm. Hmmm. Hmmm. Thirsty. Back to the white chair. Where did the water go? “Yerp! Yerp!” Here comes Declan. He is so responsive. And suddenly it is refilled. Lovely.

Couch. Tired. Sleep. Hungry. Ah, more treats on the counter. Best day ever. The little people stay home and leave treats on the counter for me.

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Parvo II?

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Attempting to escape from the back of the car.

Over a year ago Bear spent five days at the pet hospital in secluded ICU recovering from Parvo. They gave him fluids and nutrients to give him the strength to recover from the attack on his GI track. And since returning from the pet hospital I’ve been sensitive about the health of his guts. I always wonder after a soft stool if there is some lingering effect on his nutrient absorption capabilities, a continual reminder that when he was three months old his intestines nearly collapsed.

But I think we’ve gotten to the bottom of the lingering effects of Parvo. It started at dinner with the family. Heather asked if we should give Bear away. She got home from work to find another butter dish broken, another spatula chewed up, and the remnants of a Ritz cracker wax-paper sleeve. We sat at the table as Heather explained the continuing issues that Bear has chewing things and stealing things off the counter.

While we sat at the table Bear lay on the couch with pieces of the butter dish attached to his collar. Not sure if he got the message Heather was trying to get across to him, but he didn’t look to happy.

I wasn’t sure how to react to Heather’s question, so I just sat quietly, listening to the kids come up with ideas to help out. I enjoyed listening to them come up with ideas to help. Before Heather’s question, the kids would join in the chorus of complaints, so hearing new solutions from the kids was a nice new angle.

IMG_20131027_163314No decisions were made at dinner, but the message was delivered. Fiona and Maggie take him on walks occasionally. And Declan puts Bear in his confined room in the morning. Prior to Heather’s question, we set alarms and timers to remind Declan to put Bear in his room. He never completed the task. After Heather’s question I put a note taped to the door reminding Dec to put Bear away. And since the question, Bear has been put away during the day.

I asked Dec if the note taped to the door was all the reminder he needed to put Bear away. He said that it was really the question about giving Bear away, knowing that his inaction might lead to placing Bear elsewhere.

ICUNow that he is being put away during the day on a consistent basis our bread consumption has been cut in half. And the number of Tupper Ware’s chewed up per week has declined drastically. We’ll need to amend our food and kitchen utensil budgets. And suddenly Bear’s intestinal health has firmed up. There are no lingering effects of Parvo, there are, however, immediate effects of consuming Dave’s Killer Bread, lunch-size chocolate milks, and sleeves of Ritz crackers.

Training

Scent training continues. There have been two live alerts. The challenge of scent training with two people with diabetes in the home remain. Now that Bear’s intestinal fortitude has been reestablished, I’ve reintroduced hot dogs for high value treats.

Now more chewed up blocks of cheese found on the floor.

Now more chewed up blocks of cheese found on the floor.

Walking on leash continues to be one of the most frustrating things in my day. I took a break from the leash, letting Bear walk off leash in the dark of the morning walk. After two runs without reacting to my calls taught me that the leash is a must. The only time he is off leash outside is at the dog park.

Lacking sleep

Catching up on some sleep.

Catching up on some sleep.

The new routine is in place. By 745 in the morning everyone is gone except for Declan and Bear. Declan leaves by 845. Then Bear is home alone until Grandma shows up for the middle of the day river walk. Declan is supposed to put Bear in his room before he leaves for school. We even put an alarm on Dec’s new phone to remind him to put Bear in the room. From the daily updates I get from Grandma, Bear has been successfully placed in his room three times.

Capture

Part of the new  routine is getting daily updates from Grandma. The updates not only report the whereabouts and the damage Bear has done when she arrives at the house, but they also include how things went at the river.

CaptureReading the text updates from school can be a bit nerve wracking as there is nothing I can do about it. I wonder what mess will be found when I get home. We still need to replace that shin guard. 

In contrast to the benefits of Grandma’s daily visits is Bear’s new night time schedule. Though he is exhausted at the end of the day from multiple walks and a lot of running at the river, Bear has trained himself to wake sometime around 2 AM. I believe the main objective for Bear is to take advantage of a few treats that are more accessible at 2 AM. First he goes to the kitchen pantry, looking for granola bars and chocolate milks that might be on a low shelf. Next Bear ventures to the counter for a jar of butter. Though no butter may be found, he can generally snag a spatula or spoon to chew on. After exhausting the plastic on the spatula, Bear saunters back to the bathroom to clean the cat food dishes.

Playing with Homer.

Playing with Homer.

The regularity of night barks has decreased Dec’s sensitivity and increased my sensitivity to middle of the night commotion. So now I hear Bear barking in the Dec’s room. I venture downstairs, letting him out and placing him in his crate. Then I lay in bed trying to go back to sleep, which is about the time I realize that Dec or Maggie might be low. After a brief debate with myself, recalling the bedtime blood sugar number and the previous evening activity, I rise from bed and descend the stairs again, this time with a kit to check blood sugars.

Initially Maggie and Dec’s blood sugars were fine. But now that I am the one letting Bear out of Dec’s room, I now remember to take a kit down and test them before putting Bear in the crate. And twice his night time routine has coincided with a low. Or, optimistically, he was signalling the low with his barking.

And there was another time this past week that he signaled Maggie as she came upstairs. But there have also been the times when Dec is low and Bear snoozes on, signaling only after we’ve checked the blood sugar and we’ve called him over to take a sniff, which is turning out to be a signal for Bear to signal. Not our intention, but we’re working on it.

Training

We continue scent training, though not as much. More of the training is finding the scent now. I’ll hide the scent while Bear is in a stay. I’ll release Bear and then follow him around while he sniffs it out. Yesterday Bear did great sniffing out the sample. It was interesting to see him go past the sample, slow down, circle around, and then quickly zero in on it.

The smoking probably isn't helping the scent training.

The smoking probably isn’t helping the scent training.

When possible I hide the scents in someone’s pocket, or in a sleeve. I believe this will condition Bear to associating the scent with a person and signaling the person. After successfully signaling Dec after sniffing out the sample in his pocket, Bear kept going back to Dec and signaling. I’m giving Bear the benefit of the doubt on this one. I think he was smelling remnants of a low that Dec had earlier in the day. I don’t think Dec smelled like a low, but I believe his clothes still had the scent.

Initially I thought training Bear in our house would be easier because there are two people with diabetes. I now think that it would be easier to train him in an environment with no one with diabetes. It is much easier to control when the scent is out and when the training is occurring without any lingering low-scents showing up unexpectedly.

Back at it

Finishing up the entire new season of "Arrested Development" with Fiona and Heather. Very appropriate.

Finishing up the entire new season of “Arrested Development” with Fiona and Heather. Very appropriate.

After a long break from any formal training, Bear and I went back and had a training session with Kristin yesterday (the photos are unrelated to the training, instead they show what he’s been up to recently).

Kristin said there is still hope, that Bear can still become a service dog. I shared with her my fears that he signals when he sees the scent sample rather than when he smells it, and how he is getting better on walking and behaving in public places. I’m still not sure where we will land with Bear and how serviceable he will be as a service dog, but we did start moving in the direction of a service dog.

Oblivious to students practicing a dance performance.

Oblivious to students practicing a dance performance.

My inclination that Bear signals on sight of sample rather than on scent were confirmed. He is on auto pilot. He sees a sample container and he paws for a treat. Not only that, but he’ll signal when you just hold your hand out pretending to hold the sample. During the lesson we had one scent and one no-scent sample. We present the no-scent for Bear to sniff. He automatically signals before even smelling it. A quick “Nuh-uh” response and turn away with disappointment when he signals on a no-scent.

Cape Lookout with neighbors. Bear under table.

Cape Lookout with neighbors. Bear under table.

Bear needs to think about whether it is a low-scent or a no-scent. During the lesson he continues to signal the no-scent. We continue to turn away. He begins to not signal, to ignore the no-scent. He gets a “good boy!” and a treat. The hope is that he’ll do this three or four times in a row. This does not happen during the lesson and has not happened in the three training sessions since the lesson.

After time with the no-scent we switch to the low-scent. I can see Bear’s frustration and confusion here as he abstains from signaling yet does not get a treat. He needs to connect the scent with the signal and then the treat. He begins wandering off, checking out new corners of the room, sniffing the breeze blowing in from the window.He sits and scratches himself, a favorite of his. All throughout Bear’s attempts to find something else to do, we pull him back to the plastic tube that either has a low- or no-scent.

Chilling with Grandma on Bear's love-seat.

Chilling with Grandma on Bear’s love-seat.

We are reminded of how Kristin described Bear over a year ago, when she was visiting the litter from early on. She described Bear as confident and independent, that he was often the first to do things. A year out confident and independent translate to stubborn, bull-headed, and happy doing his own thing. In more able hands I’m confident Bear would be pretty amazing at this point. However, Bear is in our home, adding one more stubborn adolescent to our potpourri of teen-spirit.  In our hands Bear has become an independent minded dog, looking to satisfy his needs, which includes nutrition (food on the counter), jawing exercises (chewing shoes, books, and other sundry items), and playtime (looking for any dog to play with).

So we are back at it with more focus. We are working on distinguishing the no- and low-scent. After he masters this we will bring back the doorbell for signaling, having it present with and without the low-scent. And Bear will be wearing the “gentle-lead” collar on any walks.

Swimming

Always a good time with Dec.

Always a good time with Dec.

It has been hot here. The last few days we went to the dog park by the Willamette River. The first day he got in, but didn’t swim. Yesterday morning we went to a park with a casting pond with ducks floating in it. Thinking the grass and muck in the corner was solid ground, Bear stepped in only to be completely submerged in the water. He came out splashing hard with his front legs. Demonstrating his core strength, he was able to pull himself out of the pond after getting his front paws on Terra firma. Later in the day we went back to the river, this time with Declan and friends. We all got in and Bear was swimming after sticks and tennis balls. Once I threw the stick in the water from the dock. Bear dove in after the stick. He was under water for longer than I though he’d be. When he finally emerged, he was splashing hard with those front paws.

 

Still chewing

Bear checking out the new dirt in the planter box.

Bear checking out the new dirt in the planter box.

We near the third week of being attached to each other (most of the time), yet Bear still loves stealing away and finding something to chew on. Earlier this week Bear found Fiona’s Chemistry book and rounded out the corners of her text. This was the first book in quite a while, but likely an expensive one. His preference is leaning more toward recyclables, especially when the can is full, sitting by the kitchen door waiting to be taken to the big container. He’ll poke his head around, finding choice cans to drag out.

If it were just me, I imagine the chewing issue would be solved. Or at least I can hope it would be. The tethering is not completely consistent because I am not always at home, and I don’t always bring Bear with me. I ran to the store the other day and didn’t want to bring Bear. I ask Dec if he wouldn’t mind having Bear tethered to him. Dec loves Bear and of course doesn’t mind. But at some point while I’m gone, Bear gets annoying and Dec unties the chord. On the flip-side, if Bear is in his crate home alone, he whines and barks when anyone gets home, but especially Dec. So Dec lets him out to say hello. Either way when I get home there will be some chewed up cardboard and a cream cheese container mangled on his bed.

Alerting

Bear is becoming much more consistent alerting. Last night Dec, Bear, and I were down in Dec’s room getting ready for bed. This is after we all head out to the backyard and take care of business. Bear sits up straight businesslike and paws me. Sure enough Dec was low. Two days ago Maggie grumbled upstairs in the usual teenage fashion and Bear signaled her. Either not understanding what he was doing, or just being a teenager, Maggie yelled at Bear. But when she tested she was 64.

We are becoming more comfortable with Bear’s sense of low blood-sugar. The other day Dec was getting ready for bed and he felt low. I brought Bear in to see if he might sense it also. Bear simply walked around and gave Dec a hello lick. Not long ago I would have been disappointed, wanting Bear to signal. When Dec tested he was actually high, 340. There have also been times when Bear signals ahead of the meter getting the low, which is very common in diabetic service dogs.

Things are moving in the right direction and it is great to get the signal from Bear. It is not a sure thing yet. We are getting there.

Visitors

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At Jade with his new vest.

My mom and her dog, Mimi, were in town for two days. Bear was very excited to have a dog in the house. However, Mimi is about half the size of our cats, so she didn’t quite know what to do with Bear. In the end Mimi would snarl and snap when Bear’s massive mass was overbearing. And Bear does respond to that, settling down with the correction from a dog the size of Templeton.

I took Bear to a local restaurant with my mom. It was packed with the lunchtime crowd. Bear did great, laying below the table, watching as kids walked by.

Bear impersonating a hot dog at four weeks.

Bear impersonating a hot dog at four weeks.

We continue the scent training, walking without pulling, waiting at doors to go in and out, waiting on stairs, staying in a lie-down position. We need a LOT more work on “come”, however. I’m working on working on it. I often forget to work it into the rotation of drills when we are inside. And I think it has gotten worse as he was home bound for over a week with his split pad. When we finally got back outside he ran around like a wild banshee. He is in a full on sprint, running in circles, tail in a violent circle action, hindquarters slightly slouched down, and head up high. I don’t even think about calling him to me, and I just pray that there is not someone for him to annoy (like an annoying owner who wants his torn up tennis ball back).

Second group lesson

Attempting to get comfortable outside.

Attempting to get comfortable outside.

We have completed the first week of tethering and the second group lesson. To lessen tethering time, I’ve been outside with Bear working on a planter box. Unable to get entirely comfortable without his leather love-seat, the outside time wears Bear down. He does enjoy being outside, but I catch him looking longingly at the love-seat through the window.

Between carrying cinder blocks and bags of concrete to the side deck, Bear and I went on a field trip with Declan’s class. We went to the climbing wall at Club Sports. As we left I told the  teacher and another student to get near Bear if they felt low during the trip. They are both T1D. On this field trip I felt Bear would have some chances to practice live alerts.

Soon after arriving the teacher told me that he felt low. Instead of pawing, Bear started getting super playful, licking the teacher. He tested and he was 87 and probably dropping. I’m not sure what the signal was, but I am starting to think that Bear being super playful, out of nowhere, is one way that he signals. A little later the other student said that he felt low. He presented his arm out for Bear to sniff, and Bear signaled. Not so sure on this one. Bear may have been taking the cue to paw because of the outstretched arm. The boy was 154, in range, but he probably was dropping since he felt low. And here lies a giant grey area with this training. With the meter reporting 15-30 minutes behind what the actual blood sugar is, it is difficult to distinguish between an erroneous signal and a signal that is just perfect, which happens to be before the meter will register a low (or high).

And this also reflects some of the difficulty with type 1 diabetes in general. In training Bear there are many factors at play, making it difficult to nail down a definitive signal. In managing diabetes there are many more factors to consider. Why is Dec’s blood sugar low (or high)? It could be the extra running around at recess. Did he finish breakfast? Did some of the insulin leak out on the injection site? Is the insulin bad? Anxiety is also known to increase blood sugar a LOT. Did he eat a snack that we didn’t know about? And it could be any of these things, or all of them. Instead of focusing on why he is out of range, I try to remember the last dose and activity and give a shot or sugar to fix it. Then we start all over again with the next shot and meal.

Declan on a bouldering wall. Bear watches.

Declan on a bouldering wall. Bear watches.

Back at the rock gym, one of the difficulties I’ve had with taking Bear out in public is getting him enough water. Arriving back home from the store, Bear would sit at his water dish lapping up the water until it was gone and then continue lapping it up after I refilled it. On this trip I remembered. We went to the drinking fountain several times where I filled a water cup and he lapped it up. We went to check on Declan. He was on one of the bouldering walls without a belay rope. He fell back onto the mat underneath him; Bear lunged out onto the mat, meeting Declan right as he landed. I was surprised at this.

Declan treating a low at the climbing wall. Bear watches.

Declan treating a low at the climbing wall. Bear watches.

Bear continued to whine and pull towards Declan. The bell finally went off in my head. “Hey Dec, I think Bear is trying to tell you to test.” Sure enough, Dec was 60. Bear continued to nuzzle up against Dec while he had his juice. And this makes me wonder how many other times has Bear tried to tell us that something was wrong and we were unable to see or hear him? So much of this journey is about the human figuring things out and being more aware of what the dog is trying to communicate.

Which makes me wonder why Bear loves Tucker Max so much. Or maybe he really doesn’t like him. Bear was able to sneak around the house un-tethered while I was out on a bike ride, and he found Hilarity Ensues and chewed it up…again. This was the replacement book that he’d chewed already. This is another blow to the relationship building between Bear and Fiona as he continues to concentrate on grinding his teeth on her stuff.

Fiona's friend, Maddie, spending quality time with Bear on his couch.

Fiona’s friend, Maddie, spending quality time with Bear on his couch.

Though Bear is not Fiona’s favorite, her friends continue to adore him even though he is no longer a puppy, tipping the scales at over 80 pounds.

Highs and lows

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Bear and Dec sharing the new bed.

So last week we started noticing Bear signaling quite a bit more, starting with the time he barked at me with Declan sitting across from me (Late Update). I believe that he has been signaling at some level, but we have not been noticing. That said, Bear is not on all the time. Two nights ago Declan was getting into bed; Bear was on his trundle snoring. Dec said, “I think I need to test.” Sure enough he was low. We got Bear awake and he signaled, but at some point Bear needs to wake from the scent on his own and signal.

This morning Maggie rolled out of bed and came upstairs, sitting next to Bear. Bear pawed her and then she went and tested. She was low. The challenge in this case is twofold. First, it would be good for Bear to have to come to Maggie, but she is in tune with how she feels. So she will go to Bear when she feels low to give him practice, but the only time Maggie goes to Bear is when she is low. Bear needs to signal when she is low, not when she approaches him. At this point I am not convinced what Bear is signaling. The second challenge is to get Maggie excited after he signals. When he pawed her this morning, she simply stood up and went to her kit to test, quietly telling me that Bear signaled her. Now I wonder how many times has he signaled without any celebration or without any treats.

Bear wondering why Sam is trapped in his crate.

Bear wondering why Sam is trapped in his crate.

This afternoon I was running to the store when Dec and Sam got home from school. When I got home my mom, who is out visiting, told me that Bear pawed Declan. Declan quashed the signal, telling Grandma that Bear paws a lot when he gets home because he is so excited. And I agree with Declan, however, when I got home and heard this I told Dec that he needed to test. Though I was expecting the usual mid-afternoon 300+ blood sugar reading, Dec was 72. Though it was quite a bit after his initial signal, we had Bear signal Dec again before treating the low with a juice pouch.

Chewing update

After spending over $60 on chew toys and bones, things have improved. Bear now has a big basket of toys that is depleted throughout the day. (Need to teach him to pick up his own toys.) The basket is refilled as the house gets picked up throughout the day. In addition to more approved chew things, I put Bear in the crate whenever I leave the house. Needless to say, it is not foolproof. Yesterday Fiona stormed upstairs screaming, which is not out of character, but she was screaming that she MUST have a lock on her door. Bear chewed up a hanger and a leather-bound sketch book.

The fourth of six helmets destroyed by Bear.

The fourth of six helmets destroyed by Bear.

I am able to empathize with Fiona. I’ve had several shoes gnawed on along with books and notebooks. However, I had trouble not laughing with such a big deal about a hanger being chewed up. “It will have to be replaced!” she yelled. I’m fine with that. It is a bummer when Bear chews things up. Now whenever we drive past our local True Value, Fiona points to it and says, “Let’s go and get a lock for my door.” I respond by telling her that Bear doesn’t chew anything anymore. She rolls her eyes. He doesn’t chew as much, at least, it is going in the right direction. Guffaw. And I’ll do a better job of making sure the gate is up at the bottom of the stairs and that your door is latched. Another roll of the eyes.

Lessons

Jelly getting some quality Z's on the new bed.

Jelly getting some quality Z’s on the new bed.

We go to Service Dog training lessons this Saturday. I needed these classes to start a month ago, and it will be great to get started with Kristin again. Without much direction, and with an adolescent dog, I purchased a few books. My Smart Puppy arrived first. Turns out Bear being a big pain in my butt is developmental. This book should be attached to the puppy when you bring it home. Better yet, it should be mailed to you three weeks prior to picking the puppy up.

Grandma

photoGrandma came to town and helped out with some walks and teaching Bear to drop a ball at her foot. Not sure how she did it, but I haven’t been able to replicate it. Bear learned to retrieve a ball for Grandma. Anyone else and it turns into a game of keep-away.