This coming Wednesday I'll be driving across town after work to attend orientation at Field of Dreams. The plan is to check out the Levels Program for pet manners/obedience training for Zoe. I'm actually not overly concerned about Zoe's level of obedience, although there's always room for improvement. She still has an occasional "puppy moment," but I think the worst of that is behind us. I'm mainly interested in getting Zoe out of the comfort zone of her own house and yard to see new places, people and pets. I've noticed that Zoe seems nervous in new, public situations. When we took Zoe and Xander to the Dogtoberfest event at Saint Francis Service Dogs, she had a near "meltdown," when two Dachshunds came in our direction. After speaking with the owner of Field of Dreams, I hope we'll be able to work together to help Zoe overcome some of these anxieties. Thankfully, she's never shown a single sign of aggression, and is highly treat motivated. We had her sitting for treats during the first week she was here. My ultimate goal is to have Zoe accompany me to the Greyhounds in Gettysburg gathering at the end of April. I know, I know . . . Zoe is a Whippet, not a Greyhound! I still haven't ruled out taking Miss Roxie instead, but she's an 11 1/2 years old Grey, and tires very easily. I wonder if a trip like this would be too tough on her. Zoe and I don't have a lot of time to prepare, but I have faith in her. We have a good 12 weeks, and will see how things go. Whoever comes along for the ride will get to see lots of hounds, and meet some friends, not the least of which is Mr. Chester Hoover of For the Love of Chester! I, for one, cannot wait to get a great big chocolate Chester hug!! A special thanks to my new friend Christina at The World According to Lexi, for connecting us with Field of Dreams!! Her new dog, Nitro, just graduated to Level 2. Congrats to Christina and Nitro!!
Since we're on the topic of schooling this week, I'm happy to announce that Mike has finally taught Xander to shake with his paw for a treat. The process of teaching Xander to shake has taken years, and I'm ashamed to admit that is not an exaggeration. He had practically given up on the boy, when lo and behold, he appears to finally get it. I figure if Xander can learn to shake, Zoe can overcome her social issues. Hopefully it won't take her 5 years though! Here's a short clip, and video evidence that Xander did learn a new, or should I say old at this point, trick!
In closing, I'll share a little purchase I made this evening. As I mentioned, most of Zoe's puppy issues have dwindled. However, one that we're still battling is her desire to destuff dog beds. We've gone through a few since Zoe joined us last April, even despite spraying them with bitter orange. I quickly learned not to invest in expensive dogs beds while Zoe has a desire to "eat" them. Tonight I stopped at a CVS drug store on my way home from work and spotted a $10 dog bed in our very favorite "color," leopard print. Knowing that Xander has been sleeping on a fairly mangled bed of late, I figured I would give it a try. I think he'll get a good night's sleep, and if Zoe manages to sink her teeth into it in the future, it was just $10. Hopefully she'll appreciate the fine leopard print style and leave it be. (By the way, the package says it's for dogs up to 80 pounds. I don't think that's the case. Xander weighs about 35 pounds. You be the judge.)
We're excited to participate in this week's Saturday Pet Blogger Hop! Thanks again to our hosts, Life With Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers, and Confessions of the Plume. Happy hopping, and happy weekend too!