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August 28, 2020: Shadow’s Dog Blog

Alys has a lot of interesting phrases. My favorite is “oh my dog.” It means that she’s amazed by one thing or another. I seem to amaze her a lot. When she sees me figure out something new, she tells him that I’m creating new neural pathways and that the creation of these pathways is going to keep me from developing habitual movement patterns. I have no idea what she’s talking about, but just so long as she continues to rub my belly and come up with fun games, I’m okay with it.

The latest game: She grabs the broom and I chase it. Yesterday she held it above the rolling chair. I put my two front feet on the chair and tried to grab the

Dog socialization

broom. The chair rolled and I pushed it with my rear legs. Way fun.

The last two days have been interesting but tiring. Yesterday, Pete, Alys, and I went to Better Companion for puppy class. I missed last week’s class because I jumped out the car window and ran away. Alys said that Ryder found me. Actually, I found Ryder. The class – it was inside a building. There were several puppies there. We were all attached to cables on the wall. Then we were all allowed to play. There was a safe zone, behind a wire enclosure, for those of us who felt threatened. I didn’t feel threatened. Rather, I felt more like watching the other dogs, which is what I did. Playing with other dogs doesn’t make much sense to me.

After playtime we returned to what Claudia called our stations. She talked. Then we worked on targeting. Alys had already taught me that if I touched her outstretched hand, that she’d click and give me a treat. Easy. Claudia next talked about recalls and told everyone to reward us big time when we return to our owners. This Claudia, I thought – she has the right idea. I’m not into playing, but I am into treats.

One of the other dogs, a lab, peed on the floor and barked the entire class period. I don’t think he is (as Alys would say) the brightest bulb in the bunch.

We had a final, short play period the five minutes remaining of class. I was glad this was short because I had had enough of other dogs.

Now today we went back to Better Companion, this time for puppy socialization training. We went there last week, so this time I knew the ropes. This took place outside, on a large, grassy lawn surrounded by a chain link fence. There were more dogs than in puppy class, and most were larger than me. Like last week, and like yesterday, I enjoyed watching all the other dogs run around. Can you imagine? There is even a dog, I’m told a husky, with three legs.

I made friends with a puppy that right now is about my size. He’s a boxer/German shepherd mix, so he’s going to get quite large. It was his first time in class, so he stayed in the safe zone. Me, I sat right outside the safe zone, in between Pete’s legs.

I gathered that puppy class and puppy socialization classes are going to be ongoing. Should be interesting. Sure beats hanging out in the yard all day.

Next: 238. 8/29/20: The Farming Life: Livestock vs. Pets

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