Week 13 for Ulysses was quite boring. Just the usual restaurants and trips to the store. He’s closing in on 6 months old, and it sure does show! Selective hearing is getting worse. If I don’t have a treat in my hand, he just looks at me as if he has no clue what I’m saying. Pushing boundaries, the blonde boy is.
In a class some time ago, Kathy told us to work on impulse control. I finally did, and he finally got it. I can hold anything in my hand, even cheese, and put it in front of him and he ignores it. In the video below, I pushed him pretty hard and after 10 seconds, he finally tried to nibble the ends of my fingers. He’s doing really well with that. He’s doing really well with “Wait” both before and after I feed him. He’ll sit and stare at me while his full food bowl is sitting in front of him. I can walk away and he still won’t eat until I turn around and tell him it’s ok. I also make him sit in his crate while I pick up his bowl, then sit with the door open until I tell him he can leave the crate. One night last week, he decided to leave on his own. I turned around and told him, “No! Back in your crate!” He hung his head, walked back to his crate, sat and waited. Pushing….
We started last week on “Leave It,” and I’ll tell you, the impulse control made leave it much easier. He essentially just had to learn a new command for an action he already knew. A story about how important the Leave It command is: A few years ago, Diva (my Spaniel mix) had a nice, heavy, ceramic bowl with her picture on it. One morning while starting to place her bowl for her, I dropped it and it shattered! She was hungry for breakfast and immediately started to go for the food that was all over the floor. Leave it!!! She stepped back and sat down. I was able to clean up everything and give her breakfast in another bowl. Had she not listened to me, she could easily have swallowed shards of ceramic, and we would have been headed to the vets. As Kathy reminded us in last week’s class – Leave it and your recall command are the two most important for the pup to learn, and it could save your pup’s life! (Yes, we’re working on recall too!)
The blonde boy and his sisters…
Lady Bella Update …
Bella’s Warrior Melissa’s son had an opportunity to spend time at a local TV station and work with their meteorologist. Amber, the meteorologist, posted this photo and said, “I also met Bella, who is a black lab with K9s For Warriors! I got to give her lots of belly rubs which she was all for. Thanks so much for coming out to the science center and making my day!!” This photo reminds me of graduation and Lazer’s sponsor’s children. Melissa is such a natural “mom;” this warms my heart.
More Jumbo Shrimp….
While we were at the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp’s game (2 weeks ago), Kristen and I were interviewed on their radio broadcast. The interview is below, with a slide show that I put together to go with the interview.
22 has become my least favorite number. Why? Because an average of 22 veterans commit suicide each day in our country. If this were anything else, it would be an epidemic, but unless you read my blog or follow K9s for Warriors, you probably didn’t know this. Well, I’ll tell you this – it pisses me right off! I’ll save the soapbox for later, but I’m sure you can understand why.
This is a video of K9s For Warriors graduate Joe and his service dog Lily speaking about STOP22.
Much to my surprise (and yet I don’t know why I was surprised), I saw this video of my friend Erin on Facebook in her Stop 22 Challenge … 22 push-up for 22 days. Now ladies, you know that we don’t have the best upper body strength, so Erin’s challenge is pretty amazing. I think this is Day 15.
You can do your own Stop 22 Challenge. One of the ladies at Camp K9 did 22 pirouettes. I haven’t figured out what my Stop 22 Challenge would be, but I think singing 22 high-C’s in a row might drive the dogs too crazy! So, what’s your Stop 22 Challenge?
Another class graduated from K9s For Warriors; another group of veterans now have their battle buddies by their sides. This graduation was hosted at the American Legion in Palm Valley to celebrate their 5 year partnership with K9s. Before moving to Camp K9 2 years ago, this is where graduations took place. After graduation, they had live music and yummy BBQ!
At graduation, Rory Diamond (CEO of K9s) announced that Ross Creek Marines is donating $5,000 for every marine that graduates. There were 2 in the April class!
The picture below is of Steven with Lily, a pup that came up through the puppy raiser program. His comments above the pic are why all of us do what we do.
The pic below of of Edna and Sarge who were a part of the March 2017 class. If you remember back to last summer when Bella and I attended the private viewing of the new documentary Reinforcements, Early Times whiskey sponsored that documentary and sent a check for $100,000 to K9s for Warriors. Sarge is one of the dogs they sponsored. And good news! Reinforcements is supposed to be available online in May!!!
The Fletcher High School’s Interact Club from Neptune Beach were at graduation to watch their 6th dog (yes, that is SIXTH!!!) “Nelson” graduate with his Warrior, Derek. Nelson was named after their recently retired principle. Now, how cool are these kids?!?!?!!!
In Week 14, we’re going back to the baseball grounds to watch the Shrimp play, talk about K9s for Warriors and see Sgt. Scampi run the bases!
Until then, be safe.