Two Weeks With Patrick
Patrick is 39 weeks old and he weighed 31.3kg on the vet’s scale on Monday morning. He’s 57.5cm tall at the shoulder so he’s a big boy and he was 9 months old last Saturday.
This was his third visit to the vet for a weigh-in and a sniff around the vet’s office and he was very good, getting onto and then doing a beautiful SIT-STAY on the scale while I took a picture.
The vet’s receptionist takes 20 or so of her long-haired, show Dachsies to work with her – yes 20, she has 32 of them at home – and whilst they stay behind the reception desk and normally don’t make a sound (most people don’t even know they’re there), on Monday one of the younger ones was startled by a cleaner and Patrick got a fright when they barked. Instead of leaving when he was nervous though, I stayed and waited till he relaxed completely, lying down on the floor, and then we left. Leaving when he’s still upset would mean that next time we went back he’d associate his fearful reaction with the vet’s office and he wouldn’t want to go back in.
We are doing a lot of work on his suspicion issues.
Its one of the harder doggy quirks to “fix” so its a challenge, but I would really like to try in order to be sure he can work as a Guide Dog. And of course, all our dogs have qualified so far so it wouldn’t do for Patrick to be pulled from the programme!
The more exposure he gets the better it can be, so I am taking him with me as much as I possibly can –
- our regular walks
- going to put petrol in the car so he’s not spooked by the attendants
- dropping my husband off at the station so he sees people – pedestrians and vendors – around the car while we’re driving
- visits to nursery schools
- shopping trips
- sitting on the side of the road watching people go by, praising him when he ignores them
This last week he’s experienced thunderstorms without batting an eyelid, and then when Guy Fawkes came around I was dreading the annoyance of the fireworks but looking forward to a conditioning opportunity – but nothing happened. I was grateful for the peace and quiet though.
We’ve also had a puppy-in-training staying with us while her mommy is away on business – 11 week old Finley. She and Patrick bonded almost instantly and they are thick as thieves! If I’m looking for one I’ll find both of them.
He also took a shine to little Finley’s crate – sleeping in it at night before Finley went to sleep in it.
He’s eating Bob Martin’s Puppy food twice a day and he eats beautifully without choking and without any concern when I touch him or his food. He waits till I say “okay” before starting to eat, and there is no tension between him and the other dogs while I am preparing and putting down their bowls.
He’s lost the little bit of extra weight he was carrying and he now has the perfect build for his size. He’s a truly beautiful boy and he has the “puppy dog eyes” look down to an art!