LEARNING NEW THINGS EVERYDAY…

 

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At SA Guide-dogs we have puppy class for 13 weeks on Wednesdays.  In January we got our microchips the one week and  immunizations the following week. 

The next week we went to an important company who is one of the wonderful sponsors of SAGA.  The people were all so friendly and everyone wanted to touch us and told us how beautiful we are.  The ladies were dressed smartly with high heels and corporate clothes but they did not mind one bit about getting our hair on them.  They brought us big bowls of refreshing water and some of us even lay down in it a bit to cool off.

On weekends I also go to puppy class to make friends and to get used to other dogs of all shapes and sizes.  My handler is very proud of me because I can already do many of the things the other “ordinary” puppies still have to learn.  Some of them are not even housetrained yet, man!  One of the first things I learnt was do a “busy” on command.

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Some of the “fancy” breeds seem a bit slower to realize the more you please the humans by doing what they want, the more eager the humans are to give you treats.  Mom says some of them are mostly ornamental but it is important for all dogs to be trained on some level.  Dad calls dogs that are carried everywhere “armpit dogs” and says some of them look like shoe brushes.   I suppose e they will always be pets and will not grow up to be working dogs like me and my brothers and sisters and their owners do not expect so much of them.

I find it easier to walk with a human on a leash now that I know what they want me to do.  My next challenge is to learn not to pull on the leash because the puppy supervisor says I pull on the leash like a steam locomotive.  Oh boy, so many things that you have to learn…  At puppy class we also have to get used to lie in a comfort position and to be calm while we are groomed, and while our ears, teeth, paws and bodies are inspected all over.   My humans also clipped some of my toenails the other day so I get used to it from a young age already.   

I love the attention, but one of my dog sisters apparently has to learn to tolerate being brushed.  She just cannot stand it I heard her puppy walker share with the puppy supervisor.  So they will work on that with her.

Last week we took turns to go up and down open stairs for the first time at a shopping centre.  And let me tell you, it was quite an experience.  Going down was better, but going up!  Man, that was nerve-wrecking! 

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You can see right through the steel and SEE the ground and the cars and plants way below.  Mom and the puppy supervisor stayed with us all the way and gave us treats for encouragement.  It helped to know they were right there, even lifting our paws and holding us to make us feel safe.  And there were little bits of treats on the steps that you could eat as you went up the stairs.  Before you know it, you made it to the landing and everyone made a big fuss because you were so brave.

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We also visited a pre-school where many miniature humans move around all the time making high-pitched noises.  Took a bit of getting used to that place.  Us puppies stayed close to our puppy walkers for safety and protection.  The small noisy humans gave us treats to eat out of their open little hands for us to get used to them and for them to get used to us in turn and to learn about us too.

 

Well you will hear from me again in a few weeks’ time as we grow and learn everyday.

 

Tenille, Guide dog puppy in Training.

 

What adventure can we have today?

What adventure can we have today?

Pretend we are just sniffing around.  I know a secret place.

Let’s pretend to sniff around.  I know the perfect place!

When I say "go" you follow me quickly.  Don't let Sam see, he will tell mom.

When I say “go” you follow me.  Don’t let Sam see us, he will tell mom.

Quick!  Follow me.  It's in here.  They will never find us.

Quick! Follow me and don’t bark!

Joss?  Where are you?  Where did you go?

Joss, where are you?  Where did you go?

I am coming.  Bit dark in here, but nice and moldy...                                                                                         I am coming. Bit dark in here, but nice and moldy…

Cool man!  Nobody knows where we were!                                                                                   Cool man! Nobody knows where we were!

Why must I go out and you can stay?

But why must I go out and you can still stay there?

Now it's my turn!

Now it’s my turn.  

Like this?  What else can you do here?

Look at me! Is this how you do it?  What else can you do here?

oh I see, you can prune the tree.

Oh I see you can prune the bushes and hang on them

Tenille, get out!  Mom saw us!                                                                               Tenille, get out! Mom saw us!

Tenille, I said come!!  Mom is looking.

Let me help you down!  

No nothing mom, we are doing nothing.  We're just looking for our toy.

Nothing mom, we’re doing nothing.  We are just looking for our toys. Hehe 😀

Till the next adventure.

Tenille and Joss (in cohoots!)

Fun! Fun! Fun!

Good day to all my friends out there!

When I am not playing, I am sleeping 🙂

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The humans, Zoe, Joss and Sam take turns to supervise my whereabouts.  Here Joss is on duty.

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                                 Playing under Zoe’s watchful eye     

It feels as if this has been my home forever.  Mom says we have established a routine now.  I eat three meals a day and the big dogs eat twice a day.  I have no food aggression and I do not mind being touched while I eat.  I get groomed or stroked while I eat.  They can touch my ears and lift my paws, move my bowl around, even pick it up.  At 10 weeks I can now eat 100 grams of puppy food at every meal.  At lunch time when it is so hot I often leave about half of my food, but mom is not worried about that as I am apparently growing like a weed.

What I have realized, from the first week already, is the other dogs have nicer food than me.  Puppy food is b-o-r-i-n-g.  Sam has tasty food for mature dogs, Joss has the “lite” version for his Labrador weight issue and Zoe has special small bite-sized cubes for fussy eaters.  Me, I would rather have any of the others’ food than puppy food. 

The humans laugh, they say Joss was exactly the same when he was small.  So what happens now, is I get benched to stay at my bowl until I am finished and especially until the others are finished.  Unfair, I would say that the smallest of everyone is chained against the table foot while the big ones are free!                    

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 Exploring the front yard with my friends when the humans are on that side of the house.  Paradise!

 

As soon as I am unhooked from the leash I run to each of the three other bowls to inspect them.  Sometimes I am lucky and find a few crumbs.  I lick all their bowls and dream of the day when I am finished with puppy food and when I can also have adult dog cousine…

Apart from “sit” and “leave it”, I am now also learning to ”wait” for humans to go through any door before me.  This is quite hard as I would love to rush ahead, but I am not allowed to.  The latest thing I have learnt, is “fetch”.  They throw a toy into my crate and tell me to fetch it.  I then run after it, pounce on it like a snow fox and come out.  I hear “good fetch!” and then we can do it all over again.  Great fun!

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                                         Following the big dogs everywhere.  Me and Sam

 I must tell you something else I find unfair, is this thing about not getting on to couches and beds.  Guidedogs in training are not allowed on furniture.  It sure looks comfy up there.  And only Zoe and the cats are allowed to lie there.  At times the humans lie on the grass with me or sit on the floor so I can climb all over them and they can cuddle me.  I like that, but if I start chewing on them, they get up.  I am also not allowed to “mouth” them and if I do, my lip gets curled over my own teeth to teach me not to chew on them.  So mostly I just chew on my toys, the cow hooves and on Joss.

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As I told you when we are not playing, we are sleeping.  Here I am sharing Joss’ bed with him.

 

Well that’s all for now folks!

Tenille, guidedog in training

 

A picture says a thousand words….

First puppy class at Guidedogs in January, when we got our microchips

First puppy class at Guidedogs in January, when we got our microchips

The siblings happy to see each other again after a month

The siblings happy to see each other again after a month

Sit!

Sit!

down....

down….

and stay.  Easy!  and then you get a treat!

and stay. Easy!  and then you get a treat!

After playing outside in the rain

After playing outside in the rain

my muddy paws

my muddy paws

At the shopping centre.  Shopping trolleys are a bit s c a r y!  they sure make a noise!

At the shopping centre. Shopping trolleys are a bit                    s c a r y!   they sure make a noise!

just being a clown -:)

just being a clown -:)

me and Joss waiting for dinner

me and Joss waiting for dinner

Christmas come and gone!

So another 2 weeks over, my first Christmas come and gone and I hear it is now a new year!

Life is good, so much fun, so much to experience…

I had my first bath at home the other day.  Nothing to it.  I was not scared at all.  After a while I had enough and started to complain a bit.  But Joss was there all the time watching closely.  On the photo you can see his head over the side of the bath reassuring me it was going to be over shortly. Joss likes having baths, but Zoe, the border(line) collie was lying at a safe distance in the passage.

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Me looking like a little worm with my fur all wet.

I met some cats too.  Interesting creatures!  If you sit still you get a chance to look at them, but if you move too fast they disappear quickly.  If you chase them you get in trouble with the humans.  If you nuzzle them when they are sleeping or get too close when they don’t want to, you get a smack against the nose before you know what happened that leaves you smarting.  Mom says Joss and I must learn to respect the cats.  They have sharp claws and make mean warning sounds when they are upset.  I think I understand why they need to be respected.

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Me and Dude getting acquainted.

The other day I met the neighbour dogs who always look at me through the fence.  There are two super large grey Great Danes called Xena and Monster.  Huge, man!  There is also a yellow Labrador like Joss and a strange little white one with wiry hair sticking out in all directions.  So we all sniffed at each other and I explored their yard.  No problem, size and numbers don’t intimidate me.

Back home Zoe has now decided I am okay and mom made a video the other day of me and Zoe playing tag.  I have watched closely and see Zoe is the Boss, not uncle Sam.  Zoe sleeps on mom’s  bed and she can make really “ugly teeth” when she curls her upper lip.  Zoe is the main bitch (if you know what I mean) and I know I must stay in her good books.  On this photo you see her beautiful long haired coat and she is with the alpha human in our house.

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I am learning the command: “Leave it!”

This is really serious.  When you hear those words said in a stern way, you listen! No two ways about it.  Just like your dog momma used to growl at you when she had had enough.  You stop in mid-air, you stop digging mud, you stop eating cat food (good stuff that), you stop chewing the carpet.  If you listen immediately, the humans are very pleased and life carries on.

Till next time then.  There is another adventure waiting around the corner…

Tenille, guidedog in training

Hi everyone!

My name is Tenille.  I am eight weeks old  and  I have been living with the Bakers, my puppy walker family for one week on this photo.  One day I will be a guide dog or maybe even a service dog.  I will be living with my first “temporary” family for one year before going for formal training.

ImageThis is me on the first day when I came home, Friday 13th Dec.

On the way home that day I was very good in the car.  I just got comfortable and slept, peeping at the humans every once in a while.  I hear some puppies get motion sickness in the beginning or howl all the way home, but not me. 

Let me tell you, life in a crazy household filled with humans and animals is quite an adventure and very different to life with your siblings in the puppy block at the kennels! 

Joss is one of the dogs in my new foster home.  He is one of the J-litter of puppies and I am one of the T-litter.  Joss was going to be a guide dog who was withdrawn from the program in August due to health reasons.  Well now Joss is my new, best friend! We mock fight and wrestle for hours and hours every day.  In between we take long, luxurious naps.  We get lots of cuddles and admiration from the humans.

ImageOn this photo you will see me and Rebecca from the house next door.  She fell in love with me instantly

There are so many new things to explore.  This week it rained quite a bit.  By the way did I mention I love the rain?  Mom says I have the potential to be quite a gardener.  I helped Joss and uncle Sam, the Belgium Shepherd to excavate a few existing holes in the lawn because it was so soggy and muddy.  When mom carried me in from outside to show my muddy paws up to my elbows, my muddy face and ears I just hung there like a limp ragdoll and made my “innocent” face doing the slow-blink with my long eyelashes.  I have found that works well on humans!

This week I have already learnt a few new things.  One of them is to sleep in a canvas doggy crate that looks like a human tent.  The first few nights I woke up every two hours.  But the last three nights I “slept through.”  Jennifer is my night mother.  She takes me outside to do a “busy” on leash every time I wake up.

ImageIn my new life grass is one of the most fascinating things ever!

I sniff it, roll in it, pull at it with my teeth and pounce on it if it moves.  At night when we go out I even lie down on it with my legs sprawled out because it is such a good feeling.

I am also learning to walk on a leash although I am still struggling with this a bit.  Sometimes I just stay sitting while the human is already walking.  But mom says it will get better in time.

Another thing I have learnt is to “sit” and look cute with an intense expression on my face when the humans are busy with the food bowls.  The moment they put the bowl down, sitting goes out of my head and I dive in, but the fact that I sit down expectantly out of my own seems to please them.

We will share with you from time to time how I grow up over the next year.

Image  My imitation of the puma logo.

Till next time!

Tenille, guidedog in training