Friday, June 25, 2010

Velcro Dog

Velcro has been around for quite a few years. It is a handy little device created after someone was curious about the burrs sticking to their pants legs after a walk in the woods. It is actually a system of hooks and circles which are easy to open and close and used in many facets of our lives.

Velcro Dogs have also been around for quite a few years, and not everyone is fortunate enough to own a Velcro Dog, so we do feel blessed:) Just what is a Velcro Dog? It's a dog who is glued to your side for every, and I mean EVERY move that you make. A turn to the right? No problem for Velcro Dog. Gonna sit down? Velcro Dog is prepared to sit with you, in fact he'll sit ON your feet, just so you know he's around. Going to the ladies/men's room? "I shall follow", says the Velcro Dog. Trying to trick Velcro Dog into believing you are moving to the left with a swift "right about", Velcro Dog chuckles and assumes his respective position thinking "Now whatcha doing, huh, huh? Can I come? Here I am!"

Velcro Dogs do have a flaw or two, amazingly. The command "Come" for a Velcro Dog can fall on deaf ears. "Drop it", "Leave it" and "Give" still need a little work. Jennifer, our SEGD trainer says Trapper is probably needy. I'd have to say I agree. He needs to be with one of us all day, every day, for every move we make. I'd like to think this will make him a wonderful companion/guide dog for someone in the future. You certainly won't lose Trapper in a crowd...he'll be right beside you all the way.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Mother Lode of Distractions

"Eureka!!! I've landed in the promised land", thought Trapper as we entered the Florida Aquarium. Kids galore...big ones, small ones, curious ones, and of course, scared ones. Parents were everywhere. Lest you think that this was the highlight of the day....I'll tell you that was NOT the case.

There is a nice stroll, although rather long, just to get to the Aquarium from the parking lot. And the parking lot has a detour that takes you wayyyyy down around the old banana docks. A street Trolley passed as well as lots of cars and Trapper was quite interested in the cacaphony that ensued. We finally arrive and pay our dues for entry and are on our way. No one says anything about the dog at the entrance, or asks clarification if he is a guide dog, etc. I say that because at the zoo, they had to announce a code one niner or some other mystery code to let everyone know there was a dog in the park. OK there are a lot of other things WAY more scary than a dog at the zoo, but whatever:) We aim to please.

Trapper's nose was twitching as we passed the gate. His muscles were getting tense and I said to Larry, boy he is going to be tired today after all of this stimulation and scents. Tee hee hee, was I right or what? We entered the first part of the exhibit, which was the Wetlands area. Shazaaam, Trapper turned into a wild man! Holy moly, hopping and let out a bark and pulling and tugging. I was only glad that Larry had him instead of me, or we would still be chasing him today. There in front of us sat the mother lode of fish...and turtles....and swaying grass...and a shell (oh my!)...and great balls o' fire they were all moving this way and that. He could hardly contain himself and I worried we may have a busy right then and there!

He is distracted, and remember he is only 6.5 months old, by butterflies and moths in the yard. He'll stop a poop to catch a butterfly, honest to goodness. This must have looked like the biggest tank of butterflies and moths that he had ever seen. We passed the stingray tank, and POOOOF hopping and jumping, the rays bolted seeing his antics. They did come back for another look though, which was kind of amusing. Next tank, MORE fish, bigger than the last ones, and have mercy there were birds swimming on the top of the tank!!!!!!!! I checked to see where the defibrillator was since I was sure poor Larry was going to have a coronary with all of this yanking on his arm..and chest!

We didn't want to create a scene with the birds, so we moved around the corner to the next exibit and amazingly, it held fish too:) Who knew? And a group of people formerly listening to the lecture, and now watching as we try to tell Trapper "easy, drop it, leave it, good boy, bad boy, get me outta here boy"I'm sure were entertained. We had one lady tell us she had an 8 month lab and couldn't fathom bringing the dog to the aquarium and complemented us on his good manners.

It only took a couple of fish tanks and a good sit in front of the biggest group of fish we could find, to get him to settle down. There was a bench in front of a huge aquarium and pompano as big as my legs swam by, and then swam DOWN, as the tank extended below our level. That was entertaining as poor Trapper tried to figure out where did the fish go? He was sure he saw them go down under him but there was only carpet. It was a good exercise as he was able to sit and not be distracted by the end of our visit. He became disinterested actually and we realized it was time to leave while still in good favor with the nice staff of the aquarium:) Hi ho Silver as we press on to other attractions....and distractions.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Flip Flop Fetish Found Festering Freely

Took me a while to come up with all of the "F" words.....but here is the story...and the photo to go along with it.

Trapper loves to lick. He loves sunscreen, arms, hands, fingers, and oddly enough, toes. I don't have a big problem with it, I figure it is better than biting or mouthing, which he doesn't do thankfully. It is a little annoying when I put sunscreen on and have to fight him off until it dries. You would think I put lard on, or maybe peanut butter. And we will have to break him of this soon.

Anyways, Trapper will lick and lick and clean and lick my feet, or anybody else who happens to wear flip flops or sandals. No love nips, or shark chomps but eventually I looked at my flip flops and realized that the boy has nibbled at the edges of both flip flops and now chunks are falling off like boulders! All very quietly and discreetly. He looks up with those big "I didn't do it" eyes, so sad, after a mother's heart and gosh darn if my shoes aren't chewed up like little termites ate them!!!! Luckily these are not fancy flip flops that were freely found fetished...but basic house shoes that I wouldn't wear in public.
He is usually obvious with his antics and naughty finds in the house. For example, he loves Larry's head bands, sweat included at no charge. Instead of quietly going off into the corner for a quick chew, he proudly runs in front of mom and dad, white headband bursting out of either side of his mouth and seems to say "Lookie what I got"! And then the forbidden game of Keep Away begins, us trying to get the unknown object, and Trapper doing the crazies around the living room. At this rate, I'll be a size 2 by the time we turn him back in for training:)