Sunday, March 16, 2014

Hurry on schedule

Walkies?
Dog help us, has this been the longest Ohio winter we've seen in years or what, people?  Ask anyone around these parts and they'll tell you we've had just about enough already.

We actually had a day last week of nearly seventy degrees to be welcomed by a snowfall the very next morning.

I opened the back door to let the dogs out to conduct their business and cried out something like Oh c'mon! Really? into the howling winds.

My visions of flip flops are replaced by watching Micron belly flop into making a snow angel. Well sure, at least the dogs are happy about more snow.

I'm lamenting to the Favorite Kid today that there must be someone we can hold responsible for this, right? I mean, lookit, Alaska has majestic scenery and moose and stuff. Otherwise what's the difference between living in this Midwestern snow blighted nonsense and being in Alaska?

Mosquitos the size of flying housecats, for one thing, says the kid. Alaska has 'em all summer long. Everybody's anemic up there.

He knows this because he's been to Canada with the Boy Scouts. And Canada is real close to Alaska.

So despite the dogs loving this harsh winter we human beans have been suffering through, it has been rather hard on them. Mostly because we've been putting more emphasis on the Hurry command.

Did you know about this?

That puppy raisers for CCI train their young charges to toilet on command? And encourage them to perform this natural act on any surface - grass, concrete, gravel or whatnot?

After I found out the life changing value of this simple command, I vowed to teach it to every dog in my life then and since. It's rather handy, especially when important to avoid such situations where you're telling them they should have gone before we left home.

Like for instance when socializing your pup-in-training at the grocery and as you pass the dairy section the little guy gives you that look. You know, the yikes, I need to drop a package look. And now you're not just the chick in the grocery with a dog. Reminder: Everyone is totally aware of you being there.  Nope, you're that woman who's power walking to the exit repeating the mantra hold on little one we'll make it outside hold on we'll make it outside hold on we'll make it outside . . . 

from Raising a Super Dog
Wha choo mean I don't eat yet?
Two things the puppy raiser learns early on in this gig. First, don't take the pup into the public venue when they need to toilet. Oh sure, that's easy to say, right? You know what? Easy peasy lemon breezy to do as well.  You see, if you keep a strict feeding schedule of portion controlled meals for the pup, it gives a general idea of when to expect the next kibble recycling event.

The other thing we do is mark the biological event with a word command. Canine Companions for Independence asks us to use Hurry for this. And so we do.

And try not to enhance this simple command with adjectives, expletives or otherwise. For instance, we're not to say something like Hurry up darn it I'm freezing out here so quit sniffing the leaf and just go already hurry puppy and there's a cookie in it for you stop sniffing that i said. 

See, that's not good.

And why is this toileting on command thing so important, you ask. Because, people, when these dogs are teamed with a person with a disability, something that might have been a worry is now totally controllable.

The team can focus on more important things at hand without the black cloud of doggie do following them around.

from Raising a Super Dog
The only green thing in sight is the
moss on the rock.
So, so ready for spring.
Yeah, maybe I could have worded that better. Heh, too late now. But you get it, don't you? Hurry is one of the thirty commands introduced by the puppy raiser that we've talked about before. Truth be told, it's one of the more impressive ones. At least I like it a lot and it's saved my street cred in many a no-pets-allowed environment.

Well, that's enough potty talk for the likes of us. Micron and I have a date at the state park.

It's fifty one degrees this afternoon and we're desperate to shake off some of this cabin fever on a beautiful, yet short lived, sunny day.

Because the forecast tomorrow is an overcast cloud cover with freezing temps.

True story. Because, you know. Ohio.

O... H...

Don't leave me hangin' here, people.


from Raising a Super Dog
We encountered a red bellied woodpecker on our nature walk.

from Raising a Super Dog
And his woman.



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