Oh boy, I'm a happy dog. I have figured out that the beep means step back and I don't have to be scared and run all the way to the house.  When the girls came home we had a blast running around and sledding on the hill. I even got to pee on some snowmen! (wink)  I am a pretty easy going guy; tell me the rules and I'm happy to follow them. I am not driven to test the fence edges and am figuring out where it is safe to play. There was a couple of big distractions today - a dog on the street and some people walking, but when I heard the beep I backed up and sat down. And I love being able to explore all around the gardens and house. I went out back with mom while she visited the chickens, but then I got to choose to go up front and play with the girls! Yippee!
 
 
Mom opens the door and I walk right out. I know my potty area is safe and it sure is nice not having the cable. It often got tangled on the gutter and frozen chunks of ice.  So we played chase by the stakes several more times today. Mom would turn and go different directions, but I always caught her because I'm much faster. One time she walked around with a can of cheese that trainer Lynnda had given her and I trotted right beside her. I love cheese! But then, the can of cheese made a pfttt sound and I thought it was that shock thing, so I ran up to the house.  I didn't want anything to do with that cheese can after that. Mom shared some very yummy cookies and a tube of peanut butter for the next couple of tours around the stakes. There is one area of the yard that I am still very nervous about, so mom and dad are going to add a couple more stakes to help me learn. When the girls came home we played fetch, chase-tag and I got to run by their sleds on the hill. They loved running and playing with me!  I crashed right after dinner and slept the rest of the day. I sure have a lot to think about!
 
 
Mom and dad pounded a bunch of surveyor stakes in a big circle all around the house on Saturday. On Sunday, mom played a game with me where we walked to the stakes and when I heard a beep, she clicked as we jumped back towards the house and I got a treat. She played this game five different times all the way around the yard. By the third time, I pretty much understood beep means jump towards the house. On Monday, she took me out towards the stakes with a 16 foot leash on, but she let me wander past and I was so excited exploring that I ignored the beeping. She told dad it was on the mildest level of shock and they needed to move it to medium. I didn't  know what they were talking about. A little later mom took me out again. This time, when the beeping continued I got a startling shock and ran towards the house. I sat on the step for a very long time before I let mom lead me back towards the stakes. She had some extra yummy treats and she convinced me to run around the whole yard a foot or so inside the stakes. She told dad she turned down the shock level to medium/low and practiced running  around the boundary with me four more times over the afternoon. Twice I heard a warning beep and immediately ran all the way up to the house. I sure didn't want to get shocked again!  My old tie out areas are all inside the stakes but I am very hesitant about exploring the boundaries. When mom went to take care of her chickens I didn't leave the backyard patio. She sprinkled some kibble around and I came out to eat it, but then went right back to the patio. I even saw some dogs and some people out front but didn't want to venture out to the edge of  the yard. It is really fun to play chase though - when I was on a cable it wasn't safe  and I wasn't allowed to run with my people. I also liked exploring  the mousy smells along side the house. Right now I think it is safe when mom is walking with me. I wonder what will happen tomorrow!
 
 
Mom and Dad took down the gate! I get to go upstairs when ever I want all by myself. They keep the bathroom and girls room closed, but I can visit mom and dad and the guest room. Just a month ago they started leaving my crate open at night, but once I heard the neighbor's dog bark at 6:00 a.m I wanted the day to start and impatiently waited for them to come down. The cats and I conversed through the gate and that woke them up. So now, I can go up and see they are still sleeping. I laid down in the hall and waited for the alarm. On the week-end, I even waited 1/2 hour past the usual alarm time so they could sleep in. Then I went and pressed my nose on dad's face so we could find Erin to feed me. The girls like playing with me in their room too, but I did tear apart a stuffed animal so I can't be there alone. I ate one of Mom's slippers the first day too, but now she puts them on her dresser and I leave them be. 

Look at this gate. When I was a puppy I fit right through the cat door and they had to attach a block to make the hole smaller. Now, I 'm doing really well with my manners and get to go more places.
Picture
modified pet gate
 
 
Oh yea, my tail was wagging. Grandma and Grandpa came to stay last week-end and Grandma brought a box of cookies she baked  just for me! They are super yummy. She is my favorite Grandma for sure. I didn't even jump on Grandma and Grandpa when they stayed this time. Grandma likes to stay up late reading and she hung out with me for hours after mom went to bed. Grandma grew up with dogs on her farm and she likes me lots.  Here is the recipe for peanut cookie dog treats.
Picture
Mom, I'm drooling. Hurry up and say get it!
Picture
Peanut Cookie Dog Treats
 
 
Mom took me to the outdoor dog park today. This is my fourth visit to this nine-acre, fenced, off-leash park. I used my manners and walked to the gate and sat while she took off my leash. Once inside, I ran through the whole park to meet every dog there. Playing with other dogs tops my list of  favorite things to do, about equal to eating dinner of course. There are some dogs that don't want to play with me and prefer to play ball with their owners.  That confuses me, but I found lots of dogs who did want to run and play today. The first time mom called me she showed me she had a treat bag. I ran up to her, ate the piece of cheese she gave me, then she told me I was a good boy and could go play some more. Over the next hour she called me eight or nine times. She had a piece of cheese in her hand every time, tickled my chin, and then released me to go play. When it was time to go home, she called me one last time and I ran right up and sat in front of her. Another parent said "nice recall!"  Mom felt really proud. She fed me bits of cheese all the way to the gate and told me what a good boy I am. 
 
 
Mom took me to the library and County Service Center for training today. The first time she took me there we only stayed a couple of minutes. This time, mom walked me up and down book isles and asked me to sit or lay down while she paged through books. She kept dropping books on the floor, but I didn't even blink. Then she had me park under a bunch of tables, desks and computer stations. I understand she wants me to go under her feet and have gotten very good at it. She taps on the table and shuffles chairs, but I'm cool as a cucumber and lay my head down. She gives me a treat when it is time to get up. Next mom took me into the children's area. We sat by some big windows while mom played with some noisy toys. A lady and her daughter came up and asked if they could pet me. I sat very politely while the lady talked about missing their recently departed dog and how much the therapy dogs are appreciated in the hospital she works at. 
After going through some more book isles, mom took me to the service center next door. I did park under mom 's feet but wanted to have my nose towards the isle so I could see what was going on. At first the the funny voice calling out "now serving number X" made me a little bit anxious, but I got over it pretty fast. While we were sitting there, mom listened to a group of cognitively disabled adults in the coffee area talk about the cute black doggy-doggy-dog. They looked so excited mom asked them if they would like to pet me on our way out. We went from table to table and each person petted me with a big grin on their face. I can tell I made them very happy by letting them shake my paw and sitting when they asked. We could hear them talk about me all the way to the elevator.  I love meeting new people!
 
 
Every week we visit a mall to practice my manners. Mom doesn't take me into the stores yet, but we do go through the food court. So far we've been to three different malls and mom is planning to visit a new one soon.  Little sis never went walking in malls before they got me because she was afraid of crowded noisy spaces and often ran away screaming.  I help little sis with her anxiety because she has to focus on hanging onto a short leash and staying with the group. I am Rocky the Wonderdog!
 
 
What a busy week I've had. On Monday I took a shot at the Canine Good Citizen test. I passed almost everything! The one area I need to work on is not jumping on friendly strangers. I just love meeting people and get soooo excited and while I try to sit for petting, I can't quite contain myself just yet. But my family and friends all know I'm getting better every week. Trainer Lynnda predicted to mom last summer I'd probably pass when I am around 18 months old; I'm still a puppy at 14 months.  
Mom met up with Lynnda at a training club for open ring time. I'd never been there before and had lots to get used to. First of all, I wasn't allowed to meet the other dogs. I watched them though, they sure were doing a good job listening to their trainers.  I did my best to follow mom's directions and did some awesome recall and sit/stay work. There were some strange noises coming from the warehouse above the space so I got kinda spooked after a while. But mom knows the first time I go somewhere is the hardest, and as she brings me there more often I will get used to it. 
Mom also took me to the library for the first time this week. She had to pick up a reserved item and had me sit while she searched the shelf. Then we went through the self checkout and I parked perfectly under her feet. Next, she took me into the County Service center that is attached to the library. She sat down in some bench chairs that reminded her of a bus and asked me to park under her feet. There were lots of people waiting and a strange intercom voice telling people when their number was called. We only stayed a few minutes but I did a good job.
 
 
Mom found this wooden dog puzzle toy at a Bed and Bath store for $14.00. I love it! She hides treats under the sliding doors and I get to find them.  Watch me go!