Sunday, April 18, 2010

Trapper the Student

Trapper is a student in Diane Anderson's Puppy Boot Camp. As you can see in the picture, he is very proud of his handlers who are getting smarter every day. He can't believe they can be so dumb about not figuring out his needs and wants.

Trapper especially wants to thank Diane for her efforts to get these two on track.

Friday, April 16, 2010


As Trapper's budget is, well, puny, he can't get good help. The last blog entry should also have included his travels to Ft. Desoto. While there he inspected the very long fishing pier. Word of his arrival must have leaked as many, many people were there. They were pretending to fish so their staring would not be blatant. But he wasn't fooled. They were there ONLY to see him!

During his stroll of the pier he had the chance to meet various fish being hauled over the rail. They were most excited at making his acquaintance and absolutely could not control themselves. He was almost embarrassed for their enthusiasm.

After a snack of various rocks, twigs and perhaps the odd truffle dug up while his handlers lunched at a shady picnic table, it was off to the beach! There were quite a few tasty morsels in the sand followed by a bit of a romp. The deep sand was a curiosity but not a huge distraction the first time around.
More recently, Trapper traveled to the Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park. His first adventure there was a pontoon boat ride down Pepper Creek. Since he was wise enough to direct his handlers to park on the far end of the creek, the boat was not overcrowded as it is coming from the visitor center to the park. The ride was interesting as he was fixated on the water flowing past.
Once at the visitor center, Trapper guided his people to the open tram for the ride back to the park entrance. That went well but there was a lot of clanking and groaning from that tram!
Strolling through the park was a different experience. There are a lot of sights, sounds and smells there. From Lou the hippo, past the densely populated gator pond, Trapper took it all in. The wolves and foxes noted his passage warily as did the eagles and other birds of prey. He and the flamingos ignored each other but he was captivated by a swan and a Sandhill crane. The Roseate Spoonbills were a bit wary of him and burbled their concern to one another as he passed.
The bears snoozed through his passage but not so the panther! It was razor eyes locked onto his furriness as he strolled past. He was curious as while the panther looked somewhat like the kitties he has at home, there was somewhat of a size difference. We decided to make haste away from the panther habitat as the critter started to dig at the bottom of its fence. 8-o
The bridge over the spring water gave Trapper a good view of a huge school of snook and ladyfish with a sprinkling of mullet and sheepshead. Then it was off to a shady bench to watch, of all things, a yellow lab repeatedly jumping from the bow of a pontoon boat to retrieve for his master. The pooch swam around to the back of the boat each time and climbed the ladder. It was entertaining.
A visit to the spring observation deck wrapped up this exposure. Trapper was interested in seeing the huge schools of fish that mill around the head of the spring. We got there too late to hear the manatee lecture but that was fine. It meant we also missed the busloads of elementary school students that were leaving as we arrived. We would likely still be there doing "greets"...
More later!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


It's been a busy stretch here resulting in the blog being neglected! (No, not THAT kind of "busy"...)

Let's see...where to begin?

At the April puppy meeting Trapper showed just how distracted he could be. The meeting was held in the side yard of a kennel so smells and sounds abounded. There was apparently "puppy cocaine" sprinkled in the vegetation underfoot since he could not get enough digging/chewing done. Luckily not much was asked of him in the way of obedience drills.

He had his first overnight with his family as he went to the Space Coast for the latest shuttle launch. It was decided the noise might be too much for him so he stayed at his aunt's house in his crate. As luck would have it, there was even a younger puppy (in coat) at the launch viewing site. His/her reaction to the launch noise was not noted.

Trapper entertained Buddha, a three-year old Lab mix, for Easter. They met previously and romped to no end then. This time, with Trapper being nearly as large as Buddha, he received only well-needed discipline. Buddha bared his teeth and rapped Trapper with his muzzle whenever the playing got too intense. It was good to see the natural process at work. Trapper eventually settled down.

Trapper is also a student now! He goes to puppy boot camp once a week. He seems to be "getting it" as his handlers are being trained.

Trapper also made his debut at the Lowry Park Zoo. It was quite interesting to see the zoo animals' reaction to him! The penguins were quite taken with him. Several came to the glass to have a look. They scattered when he couldn't contain himself any longer and lunged at the glass. The rhinos were very interested in him. As they were quite close to the visitor area fence, they had to keep turning their heads from side to side to bring each eye to bear on this curious, furry visitor. There was also a mom rhino with a two-week old little one. Mom was VERY watchful.

A Lions Club White Cane event welcomed Trapper and his folks to a local Publix supermarket. We sat outside a very busy store and he charmed the patrons out of most of their grocery money.

That should about catch us up on what's been going on. Until next time, as Trapper likes to say..."To infinity and beyond!"

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Shrinking Furniture

OK well my furniture only SEEMS like it is shrinking, since Trapper is growing like a weed. He still hits his head on the coffee table while running through the area, just can't remember to duck sometimes. We took him to obedience class this week, along with his littermate Duke and several other much bigger and smaller dogs. He was not very good at the end of class and nearly ripped my arm off while trying to travel through the grassy area. I am guessing it was all of the dog smells, or just the excitement of the class but before I knew it he was wrapped around the sign, hence the loud noise of his head clinking the pole, and the arrival of my husband to save the day. We did learn that he probably needs a lot more walking than we have been doing and have been consistent in walking him every day since.

The week before last, we left Trapper with Drake, a new puppy raiser, for a couple of days of R&R for us and party time for Trapper! He must have had a great time since he wasn't all that excited to see us when we got back. Drake took him on a few outings and to work and let him play in his backyard, so he was pooped by the time we picked him up. Thank you Drake if you are reading this! Trapper says he would love to come stay with you again:)

We are very blessed to not have some issues with him, like chewing and whining(a lot), begging, etc. Some things we still have to work on, like paws, counter surfing, and the poor cats. He just wants to play, but boy oh boy, they have given up on that one. Maybe when he calms down a little.....

Happy Easter to all and have a good weekend!