Today was the first day of training!
We obviously already love Slugger. We found out today that he was fostered by the head trainer at 4 Paws (how lucky are we?), so he has been around 4 Paws for Ability the entire time and everyone on the staff are really attached to him. They all say that he is one of their favorites :) Along with Slugger, we got to officially meet everyone else. We are already a little family. We met a few others last night at a local restaurant, but it was really nice to put every ones names to faces. Slugger is probably the largest dog in the class. Very strong, perfect for Mini Hulk. I can already see him popping my shoulder out when we track. I'm going to need to invest in a heavy duty vacuum-long, gorgeous blonde hair-hey, one of us should be lucky enough! He is motivated by food (he sounds a lot like me)! He is a really obedient guy for still technically being a puppy. I can tell that he and Cole are going to make quite the pair!
The first official Meet & Greet. We got there early, before class started, so we could see him and get a seat in the corner. Cole said as we were leaving to take our seats, "Bye Slugger! Have fun in your cage!"
First kisses. Cole wasn't too sure about everything at first, but by the end of the day he was more than willing to let Slugger love on him.Slugger already knows that Cole is where to go for treats :) and Cole is more than willing to give them.It is very important to foster their bond. Slugger will be able to perform better alerts if his bond to Cole is really solidified. Food will help us with that! Cole wears a bag of special treats on his belt loop, so he is always ready to give them to Slugger. He keeps running out! Cole just said, "He's hungry!" when I asked where all of the treats had gone. Slugger should have been born in the 80s. The fur on his ears looks like someone has taken a crimping iron to it!We went over some very basic commands today. It is important for the dogs to transfer from working with the trainers, to working with us. So we practiced sit and down multiple times. Just like any kid, they test their limits to see what they can get away with. I am trying to get the logistics of all of the commands and when to pull, when to correct, etc. I'm getting the hang of it, I think it is from riding. See, 4H really does come in handy :) The closest I came to walking my dogs as a kid, was down our driveway, for fun. It kind of is ironic to walk a dog that has 5,000 acres to roam on. So, I'm sure heel will come in nice and handy. My great dane would sit, in the front bucket seat, like a person! This is going to be such a change. Even though I have had dogs my entire life, this is a completely different experience.Cole just kept working the room, going from little group to little group. He would tell everyone, "This is Slugger. He is my friend. I love him".Overall, it was a wonderful, exhausting, thrilling day. Something that we have been looking forward to for such a long time. Cole is finally beginning to understand to a degree that this dog is for him. He had plenty of small seizures, but nothing major.
He crashed within 5 minutes of getting in the car. He was so tired.I'm going to try and put all of the pictures on our picassa for all of the grandparents. Right now though, I feel a little like the picture above.
We're going to watch the local news to see if we made it on :)