Week #3 was a great week of learning. 4 pretty big outings which showed me what Bella needs to work on.
Bella’s nickname at work is “Bella San” because her eyes have an oriental shape to them A better nickname would be Canon Ball because she likes to launch herself at people. She took down a friend’s fiance because Terri sat down on the floor. Bella launched and put Terri flat on her back (and popped her in the lip). Then Barbara, my group leader from K9s For Warriors, stopped by for a quick visit Wednesday evening. Bella launched herself from 3-4 feet away from the couch and acted like such a spoiled brat that she ended up in her crate. Not a way to impress your group leader!!!
Wednesday, Bella was in the office with me, and I knew I needed to socialize her at lunch; however, I wasn’t in the mood to go anywhere. So, we went to the mall since it’s right across the street. We walked through the food court and into the mall for a little bit. Then we just sat at a table in the food court for about 15 minutes. Bella didn’t want to walk next to me; she wanted to explore. But in the food court, she laid down next to my chair and just watched the people. I thought for sure all the smells would have her acting like an idiot, but not so much. She was rambunctious in line to get my lunch, but it’s understandable. There was a french fry on the floor about 4′ away.
Thursday, Bella had her first visit to a real restaurant. We met my cousin and her hubs for dinner. For 14 weeks old, she didn’t do badly. We were seated in a semi-circle booth sort of away from other tables. Not sure if that was on purpose, but it really helped. Bella wanted to greet people, but most of the time laid by my feet and just gave everyone those puppy eyes!
SATURDAY morning was the best though. Our first Puppy Raisers / Fosters meeting with K9s For Warriors!!! I had no idea what to expect because Bella and I are sort of doing this thing in reverse. (Typically a potential puppy raiser goes to a monthly meeting before getting their puppy.) Bella showed her brat side again, not wanting to walk with me but tugging horribly. She wasn’t too bad around the other dogs, which was good.
Part of our meeting/class was a trip through Publix. Imagine 10 dogs with handlers following each other in this zig-zag pattern through the store. I know the workers knew what was going on, but the shoppers? Of course, Miss “I’m Not Behaving Today” was tugging so much that I couldn’t look at the folk’s reactions.
Distractions were planned. We came in and turned left where Andrew (Senior K9 Trainer) had a row of carts that he was pushing together and pulling a part. Bella ignored them, more interested in the dog in front of her. We walked through the dairy section, then got to the milk (which is behind doors like the frozen food) and there was a shopper standing there who says, “You want me to slam it again?” Huh? Didn’t know what that meant (then). Next was frozen food aisle and people were lined up along each side opening and closing the doors. Now I get it! Some of the dogs were startled or scared; not Bella. She’s like “Whatever.”
As we headed by the meats, we got to the seafood and they have a compressor or something underneath the ice holding the fish. Bella balked. Nope. Ain’t no way she was going to get near that noise. So, I let her have all 6′ of her leash and squatted down next to the noisy unit and talked to her. She ended up coming over to me, greeted with a lot of praise, then we headed for produce. Good girl!
Meeting with everyone down in Nocatee was great. It was good for Bella but even better for me. Getting to chat with other folks doing the same volunteer service; seeing dogs further along in their training; seeing future puppy raisers (one of whom is a friend of mine) watching, listening and learning, hopefully looking forward to when they get their puppy. With the stress of the past week, this refueled my soul.
SUNDAY morning found us down at Palencia golf course where they were doing a charity scramble to raise money for K9s For Warriors. Bella got to see some of her classmates from Saturday as well as get lots and lots of pets from the golfers.
And now for the rest of the week’s pictures.