Mom is really tuning into me and learning to understand dog language. When I circle around her she understands I am asking for something and she follows along saying "show me" as I herd her towards my desire. Usually I take her to the bin with chews, but today I took her to into the kitchen. I looked at the leashes, looked at the garage door and then looked at her. She was super excited about how I showed her I wanted to go somewhere in the car. She already had a plan to take me on an adventure, but I'm wagging my tail at how well we can talk to each other. Yea, awesome family I have here!
 
 
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Rocky and little sis visit a mall
Mom and the girls took me to a mall. This was a new experience for me. We didn't go into any stores, but walked through the halls and mom had me sit once in a while. At one point they sat at a table and I laid down on command, but mom noticed I need to get better at parking under their feet instead of sprawling out on the floor. We walked quickly past all the vendor tables with stuff on them. The vendors all smiled at me as I went by. Little sis wanted to check out everything and started getting obsessed with wanting to buy something, but she has to pay attention to me when I'm along.  Mom likes how I'm teaching her to stay with the group.  In the restroom, little sis got all silly by the noise of the hand dryer, but I stayed pretty calm. 
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Checking out a public restroom
After we walked all the way to the next entrance, mom noticed I had to go outside. She took me to the parking lot, but I insisted on going clear out to the landscaped curb. As we walked back in, mom asked a passing clerk if there was an elevator. "Not anymore", the clerk replied. "They closed the lower level years ago!"  We saw another service dog with a wheel chair person going to a coffee shop. Mom gave me treats as we walked by and I didn't even try to visit. After walking around a little more we went home. I was more than ready to go and took a long nap to think about my first visit to a mall.
 
 
Mom was cooking all sorts of yummy smelling food, but I was a very good dog and stayed on my rug every time she opened the oven door. Soon, all the relatives I met last summer came! They tied me to this brick on the porch while people arrived and brought in their stuff, then everyone came to greet me one at a time. They stayed just outside of reach and had me sit, sniff them and then they gave me a treat. After I'd met everyone and calmed down from the excitement, mom put me on a leash and I got to walk around the house. I only jumped a little, mostly when someone went outside and came back in. 
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Rocky confined on the porch
Dad put me back on the porch leash when mom started putting food out. I was right next to the dining room and could see everyone so didn't feel left out. Trainer lady had suggested filling a kong with stuffing and gravy and freezing it. What a great idea! One kong lasted about 20 minutes and then I took a nap. When I woke up I they were having pie and all the main dishes were put away. I got to walk around again and put my head on their laps for a pet.  Mom had me show off some of my tricks - pushing the ball, ringing the bell and carrying the basket. Later, mom and grandma took me out to play. She holds out two toys and I get to pick. Grandma smiled because I wanted her to throw the toy. When uncle came out, I gave him some turns to throw it. Everyone thinks I'm a very good dog.
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Yum! A kong stuffed with stuffing! Thanks, trainer lady!
 
 
Mom taught me this new trick. It didn't take me long to figure it out. Watch me go!
 
 
Look at all these leaves! They smell like squirrels and crinkle when I walk on them. I like to chase them when they blow around too. Here is little sis and I playing in a big pile she raked. Yea!
 
 
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Rocky the Wonderdog
I am one year old today! Little sis says she is going to make some special peanut butter cracker treats and sing to me when she gets home from school. Oh boy, I can't wait! I even got a new toy.

A BIRTHDAY POEM FROM THE DOG (Author Unknown)
You feed me when I'm hungry,
You keep water in my dish,
You let me sleep on anything, 
Or in any place I wish.

You sometimes let me lick your hands,
Or even lick your face,
Despite the fact I've licked myself,
In every private place.

You taught me how to come when called,
You taught me how to sit,
You always let me go outside,
So I can take a ....stroll.

I've been with you through oh, so much,
Through laughter and through tears,
I hope you live to be a hundred...
(That's 700 in doggie years.)
 
 
Mom took me to a new place today. She put on my gentle leader and in-training service vest. I did an awesome job walking right beside her at the home store and didn't sniff around or bother any people. Most of them just ignored me and went about their business anyway. Mom walked me up and down several isles and had me sit now and then. We went to the garden center after walking around the main store. Mom pushed several big carts around while I walked on her left side. There was a fork lift that went by and some guys drilling on the ceiling. Mom noticed that once I saw what was making the noises I didn't get worried. I even got to sniff a Christmas tree! The check-out lady smiled at me and said "have a great day." Outside, mom walked me up and down the sidewalk pushing some big lumber carts. She told me what a great dog I am. Now I need a nap to think about all this. ZZZZzzzzz
 
 
We play a new game with the basket now. Dad tells me to "take"  the basket and mom asks me to "bring it". She puts some stuff in it, tells me to "take it" and then dad asks me to "bring it."  I'm such a good helper!
 
 
I got to help mom today. She kept dropping things and asked me to bring them to her. She points to things and says "bring". I like this game. She gives me yummy treats and tells me what a good dog I am. 
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bring the basket
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bring the screwdriver
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bring the ruler
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bring the mail
 
 
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Service dog in training
Trainer lady gave mom this service dog vest. I wear it to the bus stop while little sis walks beside me holding her short leash. She walks next to the curb, I'm in the middle and Mom walks in the street. I'm learning to sit when I see a car and to pay attention to little sis's pace. Mom notices how well I behave when I have a vest on - I know I'm working and don't get to play or sniff around.  Everyone thinks I'm doing a good job learning to walk with a loose leash. I need to pass my Canine Good Citizen test before I wear it around town, but I'm getting close! I just need more practice meeting new people and dogs without getting excited and jumping.
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Little girl is my pal. She got new shoes that match my vest!