The Letter has come that every Puppy Raiser had warned me about; confirmation of Haddie's acceptance to Advanced Training.
No surprise, the ream of paperwork that was shipped to us shortly after Haddie's arrival stated a Turn-In Date of February 2013. Obviously, the date sounded so futuristic when reading in August of 2011. That date now is right before us.
Haddie will enter just shy of 20 months, which is on the older side, therefore, I am thankful that The Letter did not come in July for an earlier November Turn-In. That was a possibility. We would have adjusted, but I can imagine it would have made for a harder transition.
I took Haddie to her all-time-favorite outing this morning. The feed store. While it is her biggest thrill, she behaves horribly. Her one down-side. The only social outing that gets her in a tizzy. Her tail can not wag fast enough, her nose can not smell more quickly, her pulling could not get any stronger. It is a mess.
However, today I shook up the training and had her walk on my Side (right). Ah-ha! Just enough confusion for this little squirt to have to focus walking on a side she is not used to. (side note: my fault - it didn't dawn on me until last week that Heel (left) is most natural, but she needs to also know Side while walking, not just sitting or standing. We are now playing catch-up before February). It seemed to help control her desire to Pull. It forced her mind to be busy; she had to think. It was not awful. Yay!
I can't go into her favorite store without buying her favorite treats, so we did that too. Tillman Treats and Charlie Bears.
The next official stack of papers will arrive the first week of January. There it will spell out in detail all the logistics, schedules, and planning for February 15th. Let the next 16 weeks go by extremely s.l.o.w.l.y., please.
Haddie has a swag about her that reminds us all of a Lioness. At first we thought it was a puppy-thing, but she has maintained her swag throughout her growing months. Look at a Lioness walk, and that is our girl Haddie; slow, methodical, with a rhythmic motion of left, right, left, right with a touch of a circle bump to keep it going.
So when it was time to figure out this year's Howl'oween Costume for the upcoming 4H CCI party, my girl immediately suggested a Lion. I quickly found one online, and it totally works!! Haddie will just stand still, not knowing if she should move or not, which adds to the hilarity of it all. Oh the fun we have with our Puppy in Training!!!
We purchased an RV in August. Haddie was away at the Kennel when we took our first trip in September, so this past weekend Haddie was home and ready to go. It was so fun having her part of our adventure, knowing it will be the last before she turns-in in February.
Originally we thought we'd be driving her to CCI College in the RV, but knowing the uncertainty of the winter driving conditions from our house to California, we have changed back to our original plan of driving her down in our trusted four-wheel drive vehicle, and staying in hotels (where she may or may not be spoiled with a sleep in a bed or two with her Puppy Raisers. Shhh.).
Haddie was in typical rock star status. No Puppy Raiser will ever really know what takes place in College, how their puppy will react to all things new and more demanding, but if she were to go through the test in our area - I would bet money on the fact that she would pass.
I feel as though sometimes my blog writing is nothing but awesome-about-Haddie of recent months, but it is the truth and I can't make up naughty because it just isn't there. I'm not sure if age and two heat cycles have significantly played a role to her mellow and cooperative character, or if all CCI Pups around this age just mellow-out and fall into place. Regardless, I am feeling pretty thankful at the ease of Haddie.
Selfishly, I think the biggest YAY moment was that she did her Hurry command in true Hurry Fashion. That was awesome because the weather was either raining in the evening, or windy during the day. Having to take her out while snuggled in our RV, not dressed for a walk, was a good-thing that she was a Hurrying kinda gal. We were in and out in 30 seconds. Good Haddie!!!
Walks with Haddie were adventurous. She enjoyed the Christmas Tree smells of the woods, and other smells that we didn't find, but she did. She walked the windy trails with us, and watching her ears flap in the wind made us laugh. She wasn't so sure about that one, but went with the comedic routine nonetheless.
If she didn't know the Under command prior to this weekend, I am sure there is no questioning it now. She held her Under the table throughout the times when she wasn't in her Kennel. The RV is not "that large" to accommodate the four of us and the large of her, so it was best that she enjoyed her personal space under the table.
Her kennel fit snuggly between my side of the bed and the wall. She enjoyed having her sleepover in the dark of the night, and quiet time when we wanted to go on hikes without her. It was good experience for her to be in the kennel, in a new environment, without us visible.
While we were driving we clipped her vehicle-harness to the table (just as she rides in our car). The perk to the RV was having my son at the table, playing with her and giving her back rubs until she fell asleep as we drove down the freeway.
Whomever her Forever Family is, I hope they consider future camping adventures with her - she really is a great companion no matter where we go.
Yesterday my son turned 12 years old and part of our day included socializing Haddie to the Bowling Alley, Pool Hall, and Arcade. She had her game-face-on during the entire adventure.
My girl was "in charge" of Haddie during this outing. I figured she would put Haddie in a Down and clip the leash around the leg of a bench while we played Pool. But rather she insisted that Haddie follow her around the Pool table, with a Sit in a Heal position whenever it was time for my girl to use the pool stick. Haddie got a work out; walk-sit-stand, walk-sit-stand, walk-sit-stand.
Haddie did great - and my girl wasn't too bad either with her first time playing Pool.
My son is a sucker for wasting coins away at the Arcade. Thankfully, Arcade use is always few and far between, and it was his birthday. Haddie followed my girl around here too, not phased with the noises and lights. Haddie had her biggest Arcade experience back in the Spring when my son and I made a field trip out of taking her to the biggest and loudest Arcade in our area.
For what it is worth, I am confident to say Haddie has been desensitized to Arcade life.
A fun 12 year old day with Haddie. Not sure what her future holds, but she has been a great first puppy in training ~ willing to go with the flow no matter what we do. Nice work, Pool Puppy!!!