This week our CCI class enjoyed a holiday outing at an outdoor mall. It poured rain sideways, catching some of us still under the overhang covering, and the wind was blowing some to add a touch of more bitter to the already cold night. But when you are surrounded by good people and amazing dogs, it is easy to continue to have fun under any weather condition!
The pups were expected to do a number of commands, similar to last year's outing at the same location. Last year Haddie was just shy of six months old and would not do an Up command on anything. It was a real struggle for her last year. This year, as it should be, she was breezing through all that was expected of her.
Minus one moment when she would not jump onto the bench with the other dogs. Had she gone up when it was commanded of her the first time, she would have had dibs on her space. But because she was lacking confidence and would not jump, other dogs were jumping up and taking her spot. Now, she had to jump and fit into a tighter space. Haddie likes her space.
The Trainer took over and made her get into position - and then we got this really cute photo!! Yes, Cat and Haddie could not stop lovin' each other.
We ended the night cozy'd into the St*r$ks with all our dogs underfoot. It was fun to overcrowd the coffee shop and have all the dogs flopped here and there in neat little piles at our feet. What a fun experience to take our puppies everywhere together!!
It has been stated that I am not really sure that my pet Beagle, Cora, likes our CCI puppy. While Cora is older by six years, she certainly is not the one that controls the rules between the two. Cora is a lover that just wants to cuddle and that's it.
Haddie is a lover too, but she'd rather jump around Cora and get her enthused for a roaring game of chase. There have been countless times when Haddie will give up her favorite ball to Cora, encouraging the girl to pick.up.the.ball. to have no response from Cora. It is visibly frustrating to Haddie, you can see her look as if to say, "Are you serious? I am offering you my most prized possession and you won't even accept my gift?!" Then Haddie starts the crazy dance and takes back the ball all the while Cora continues to stare at her.
My son had been playing around with an App on the iPad that allows you to take single photos, and then stitch them together to make a video. He captured this moment while Haddie was on a tie-out chilling with her bone, and Cora's blanket. It is only during tie-out moments that Cora initiates the love to Haddie. Perhaps it is a sign that Puppy Play is not her style, but a more mature sharing of time is.
When I first saw this video, I admit to getting an eyeful of tears. The sweet music, and the genuine love that the two share comes through. Even in this video, Haddie is offering the blanket to Cora and Cora does not respond. One day, I keep telling Cora, you will miss this yellow, energized, furry friend.
Haddie was one special puppy this week when she got to visit with the big man in the red suit; twice. Santa Claus came to all CCI Classes in our Region as part of a community service project (we all donated a huge amount of non-perishable foods for Santa's favorite food bank). I am chuckling as I say that Haddie was the only puppy to kiss Santa. The. only. puppy. Sigh.
I think she just wants something extra special in her stocking this year. Probably much bigger than a bone or toy; perhaps the perfect forever family match!! Okay, I can't really mind her kissing Santa for that idea.
Yesterday, we were invited to attend a two hour block at a Special Santa event for disabled children. It was a huge event held at a large church nearby our CCI Classes. One of the women on the board of this organization who hosted this event is a recipient of a service dog for her son, and so she had the connection to invite our group to this event.
It not only was the best kick-off to the Christmas Season for us, to see all the adorable children dressed up to see Santa, and "wait" in a highly organized room of activities and crafts (and puppy petting), but it was a real treat to know we were making a difference by educating the parents about CCI, and sharing the love of Haddie with those that wanted to pet and love back.
Haddie was a little keyed up for the first twenty minutes at our station, but she held her excitement with consistent four feet on the floor and head positioned at a correct level to not interfere with personal space. She was wiggly and wanted to break her downs and sits, but once she settled, she reallllly settled for the next hour and forty minutes. I know this picture makes it look like she truly passed-out, but she was still breathing, I promise (smile).
From there, any person coming to pet and love Haddie received a very mellow pup - the pup we are used to handling out in public and around our house on her best of days.
Before we left, we were invited to Santa's workshop for a photo. My kids and Haddie had their photo taken with the big guy, and we will receive a copy in the coming days. I will share when it is received; it is adorable.
However, Haddie, once again, went crazy over Santa Claus. She wanted to jump in his lap, whisper her wish, and give him a kiss again, but this time we were prepared and corrected her with a to sit on the floor with minimum wiggly-buns. It worked, but only after she tried so hard to get her way.
(Looks like I will be mall hopping to get her used to Santa's this holiday season. At least (?) she isn't fearful, just overly enthusiastic. Nothing high value treats can't fix, right?).
I love Haddie. I am going to miss her personality of high toddler energy, and her extra calm manners when it matters most.