|Passed out at TJ Rockwell's|
Doppler and Fire are over kennel cough! You have no idea how happy this makes me. Not only are they healthy, but now Doppler can come to work with me again. Since my coworker is raising a puppy, too, I had to leave Doppler at home while he was coughing, which means Doppler spent eight hours a day in a crate. Sure, he had a brief respite when I let him out at lunch, but then it was back in the crate. Let me tell you, when a puppy has been crated all day, sheer craziness ensues when you finally let him out.
The only good thing about kennel cough was that Fire got better a week before Doppler, so I could take Fire to work with me all day.
Since he had been quarantined, Doppler lost some of the ground he had gained in going up and down stairs. I took him to TJ Rockwell’s, a restaurant in Elizabethtown, and to get to our table, we had to go down 4-5 stairs. As soon as Doppler saw them, he backed away. Rather than spend half an hour trying to get him to go down the stairs, I just carried him down. Other than the stairs, however, our Rockwell’s outing was a smashing success.
My college friends and I always try to get together several times a year, at least every 2-3 months. When we were all at Etown College, we used to go to Rockwell’s every now and then for drinks. To be honest, it was really the only place in Etown we could go, but luckily it’s a pretty nice place, and they have an awesome deck, when it’s open. Now that we’ve graduated, it just so happens to be somewhat centrally located for all of us. Anyway, I decided to take Doppler with me for our dinner get-together.
We weren’t meeting for dinner until 6:30 (and my friend Allie and I didn’t end up getting their till after 7), which is right around the time Doppler starts getting really active. But I had a plan. Operation Take Doppler to Rockwell’s. Since he was done with kennel cough, I swapped dogs at lunch and took Doppler to work in the afternoon. Once we got home, I took him for a 30 minute walk. Then we did some training, and finally, I let him romp around with Fire. The last part of Operation Rockwell’s involved arming myself with one small bone, one bacon-flavored bone, and one bone filled with peanut butter.
As it turns out, our table at Rockwell’s was in the perfect spot for Doppler’s first restaurant outing. My seat was on the end, with my back to the wall, and there weren’t any tables next to us. Rather than force Doppler under the table, where it was very cramped and I couldn’t see him since I couldn’t push my chair back far enough to see under the table, I just asked him to lay down next to my chair. The sleepy little puppy just plopped himself right down on cue—something I wasn’t expecting since the verbal cue “down” is still pretty new for him. I gave him the bacon-flavored bone and he chomped away for a few minutes before falling asleep.
Let me tell you, I was so proud of the little guy. He slept or chewed on one of the bones the entire time. He didn’t even move when the waitress came to the end of the table to take our order. I was so impressed with him. Granted, I kept one foot on the leash so he wouldn’t have been able to get very far if he had tried, but he didn’t even try. He was awesome.
|Taking a moment to pose for the camera in between sleeping and chewing on the bacon-flavored and PB-filled bones.|
And just to add to his awesomeness, he went up the stairs when we left. He just jutted his head forward and plodded ahead. Success! I’m going to have to start working on getting him to stop on individual steps. Although he’s still walking on a loose leash when he goes up stairs now, I can tell that he’s just plowing ahead in his mind until he gets to the top. There’s no stopping him. But for now, I’m going to celebrate that he went up a flight of strange steps.
This is going to be a busy weekend for the little guy. This morning, I went to David’s Bridal with my friends Allie and Sarah. Sarah needed to get a bridesmaid dress for her cousin’s wedding, and she invited us along. Naturally, I took Doppler, lots of treats, and spray cheese.
I didn’t really know what to expect from Doppler, but I certainly didn’t expect the perfectly behaved puppy that I got. I was ready for him to sniff at every single dress, maybe even try to bite a few of them. But he was perfect. He walked on a loose leash through the aisles of dresses while we selected a few dresses for Sarah to try on. While she changed, he sat in front of me. Since he was being so good, we worked on “down” and “leave it.” Wouldn’t you know, I was able to put a piece of kibble on the floor and he completely ignored it for the first time ever! He also did two textbook greetings with people. He stayed focused on my while each person petted him behind his service dog harness.
|This is his, "I'm a guy. Stop taking me to girly places." look. I'm so proud that he didn't stick his head up any of the dresses.|
|We're working on "leave it." You can't see it, but there's a treat on the floor near Dop Dop's head.|
Oh, he did bark once, so I guess he wasn’t completely well-behaved. He tends to bark when he’s frustrated, bored, excited, playing… We’re working on it.
Tonight, my boyfriend and I are taking both dogs over to Sarah and her husband’s house. They have a cat, Tigger, and tonight’s the night that Doppler gets to meet him. Service dogs need to have zero prey drive, which means they can’t chase small animals, including cats. Dogs have been discharged from the program for being aggressive toward cats. So I figure it can only be a good thing to introduce Doppler to a cat at an early age.
Then tomorrow, we’re going wine tasting as a new winery that opened up, Spring Gate Vineyard. After our last two outings, I have high expectations for little Dop Dop.