Getting to know you, Charlie!

Charlie is almost 9 months old. The more time passes, the more I understand his needs. I see patterns in his behavior, and his daily life is becoming routine. He is growing up. I imagine he has been watching me carefully and understands me better as well.

About five weeks ago I brought Charlie to a new groomer. The first groomer was booked up through November. That would not do, and besides, I wasn’t happy that no request was made to see shot records. Also, no masks were worn. So with a recommendation and a lengthy talk on the telephone, we headed up to Roseville. Shelly told me she would take it slow since this was his first time. After 5 hours Charlie left Backyard Pet Spa with a new look, and smelling so good!

Doesn’t Charlie look handsome!

Another appointment has been made for November 5th. That’s tomorrow. Wow, time flies and his hair grows!

Back to Charlie’s changes. He has outgrown his first harness I use for car travel. His puppy collar from Lupine Pets was a bit snug so I ordered an ensemble: a coordinated collar, harness, and leash. I was looking for a harness that I could attach in the front when we were out walking, and in the back when I wanted him secure in the car. The helpful person answering my questions at Lupine let me know that these harnesses would not do for car travel and suggested that I look at the Ruff Rider Roadie Harness. I started to research harnesses that were crash tested. I placed my order for the size 2.5 red harness. Charlie has been sporting this harness on our road trips for the past week, and he seems ok with the change. How can I tell? He doesn’t run away when I bring it out!

Training is continuing with Baxter & Bella. Charlie just started the six-week class called Canine Good Citizen. After he finishes and can complete all 10 elements he can earn an AKC Canine Good Citizen badge (CGC). That is as far as I went with training my Libby. Classes with Amy reinforces good behavior when out and about. Our zoom classes are recorded so it is easy to reschedule the lessons when life gets in the way. Charlie and I have plans to enjoy life together!

CoVid 19 prevented Charlie from developing his social skills. His anxiety when visiting Petco made this very clear. I needed professional help, and I thought of my friend Carly who trains CCI (Canine Companion for Independence) dogs. As it happens Charlie has lots of company, and Carly is starting a class for these CoVid puppies. For our first lesson. I was worried that Charlie may not want to get out of the car. I was pleasantly surprised, and the class was just what he needed! Carly’s approach fits perfectly with the zoom classes at Baxter & Bella so all is good. Friday, if weather permits, our class will move to a public space in a shopping center parking lot usually used for the movie theater. It is now empty due to CoVid.

We are working on loose leash walking. I ordered a Gentle Leader upon Carly’s recommendation. I use the Easy Walker around the block, but using it with a travel harness is a bit cumbersome. Maybe one day I will find a safe travel harness that also has a front chest clip for walking. Our routine of walking to the mailbox has morphed into walking almost halfway around the block. Carly gave me some tips to use when Charlie plants himself, and I am slowly making progress. I’m learning all about Charlie’s strengths and challenges.

The other command we are working on is “Wait!”. I must say I felt proud of the progress made when Charlie spotted a squirrel burying nuts in his backyard. Ch

Charlie can’t understand how squirrels can climb up a fence so fast!

Watching from inside he was ready to chase. I opened the screen door, and told him to “wait”. He did! Then I told him it was OK, and off he went. Impulse control is a Charlie strength!

The weather is cooling down slowly, and the air is improving. Time for a short road trip with Charlie. In the fall I usually make at least one trip up to Camino and visit Apple Hill. Usually, my husband and I stop at Boa Vista and pick up an Apple Hill map. Charlie’s reaction was one of high anxiety. I could see it in his tail. I was not feeling too good about the future prospects of traveling with Charlie. We decided to explore some off the beaten path ranches. We found a pumpkin patch and stopped to look around. Charlie’s tail was up, and he was using his nose to explore. Good sign. My daughter suggested we visit Bill’s Apples and Felice’s Dolls. I will make this a stop with my photo group in the future since this time I was focused on my Charlie.

3 thoughts on “Getting to know you, Charlie!

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