Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Learning pace quickens...

Mia is learning faster all the time.  We have taught her to bring her gentle leader and pack from a small stool with a compartment in the bottom at the beginning of each training session.  She has more new commands: under, my lap, rest your head, heel.  We continue to work on the old commands.  

For field trips the favorite so far is the local barber shop.  The whole class went to Mennards to practice and get more tips from the teachers.  

Helping Paws has many new puppies on the way and is recruiting more families, so if you are thinking about it please let them know.  It is lots of work, but pretty amazing!
Another fun thing we want to tell you about is what Mia does when George goes to work.  She asks for attention from me, like she wants to go out.  But what she wants is to find George after he has already left.  I take her to the garage door and show her his car is gone.  That's all it takes and she is satisfied and knows he is gone.  She sure likes that guy.

Saturday we went to the Mall of America for a volunteer event.  Mia was on Channel 9 Fox morning TV for just a few minutes along with Maeve...and Brenda Hawley.  It was great to see all the people who give to our community.

Can't wait for spring!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sisters swap families...

Mia just returned from a week with Keona's family and Keona has had a great week with us.  As part of the program the training families exchange dogs to help with their preparation to be a service dog, and of course the trainers learn a lot at the same time.  So Keona came to our house for a week and Mia went to Shannon's.  Sort of like sending your kid on a foreign exchange program...

Keona is the smallest dog in the litter, and she is totally sweet.  She was only nervous for a few minutes when she arrived.  She brought her toys to us when she wanted to play, and not once did she counter surf (Mia did you hear that?)  We worked on "over" 'til she was having fun with it, and she really liked Mia's two new bones pictured above.  Of course we called her Mia a few times.  Still, it was nice to have Mia back.
This week we are working on "under" and "take it" silently first, and later we will add the cues (the words that automatically trigger the response.)  And we'll have some fun field trips to Glen Lake strip mall small places like the dry cleaner and flower shop.  Happy Valentine's Day!