Friday, October 21, 2011

Better than the big box store

Today's adventure landed us at a local Feed Store. The store, property, barn, dog agility center, training barns, and fenced tennis ball field is huge. It is well known around my neck of the woods. However, I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I have never been to this store, even though a friend from our church owns the establishment. Today we checked it out. It was better than any big box pet store. We will be back!

The biggest positive difference for me is that it is perfectly clean with no random crickets jumping about for the pet critters they are trying to sell. That is my biggest turn-off to the pet store I usually shop. The R*Ranch is perfectly clean, with many isles of shopping pleasure and unique items. I have created my Wish List and will return to purchase some new fun items.

In addition, the staff was excellent and so welcoming of Haddie. I am sure it helped that one of the employees is a CCI Puppy Raiser. They were well aware of the program and the need for different training situations.

Finally, today's outing with a challenge! Haddie was a pulling machine this morning. I felt like it was a place where she could explore - as our trainer had mentioned that was appropriate for her age. But, unfortunately, her exploring was more all-pulling. So we worked on that - a lot! We spent close to an hour (with a bathroom break) wandering and learning not to pull in this high energized environment.

The good part of the story is that she experienced new items about her world, and was eventually able to walk the circumference of the store with a gentle walk and no pulling. We ended on a good note.

The biggest new experience were the cats in crates. It took a looooong time for Haddie to notice, partly because this was where she was not pulling and was staring intently at me. Finally, she found the cats after she backed herself too close to the kennel. The cat hissed, Haddie jumped and turned, and stared at the cat. I backed Haddie up to help the cat de-stress (it was not happy), and the farther away we got, the less interested Haddie quickly became.
This awesome kennel was stylish! I opened the door, said Kennel, and Haddie marched right in and turned around for a reward. As she was chewing, the plastic floor wobbled, she braced her feet - which made a loud scratchy sound, which caused her to tuck tail and run straight towards my leg and into a Down. I talked to her and encouraged her to try again. She went back about four times before she felt completely confident.
The stairs led to nowhere, but it was fun to have her try the first few with her front paws extending for a treat.
In a few weeks R*Ranch will be having an Adoption Day of farm animals. I will check their website for the details, but if we are free, I'd love to take Haddie back to see all the unique farm animals that are up for adoption. I'm not sure how close we will be allowed to get, but it sounds like a great training opportunity.

Yes, this Ranch is much better than the big box stores. They have a new customer in me!


  1. Ooo! I love that place!! Holls got her CGC at one of the events they had there over a year ago.

    Glad that Miss Haddie had a good time!

  2. oh wow - wish we had a place like that here!