Multi-Tasking Morning Walk

There's nothing I like better than multi-tasking, which is one of the reasons I love my morning walk with Cabana. It's much-needed exercise for me, but here are some of the other things we accomplished this morning.

The tennis courts near our house are a great first stop. No one is playing tennis at 7am, so we have the courts to ourselves. Cabana does a perfect down-stay, while I take a quick turn around the courts to make sure there's nothing dangerous or tempting for Cabana to put in her mouth.

In the video above, Cabana expends some of her surplus energy. She loves to run around with her Wubba in her mouth. After she's drained some of that boundless energy, Cabana is much more pleasant on leash for the rest of our walk. We also practice kibble-induced recall--Cabana's great at that.

Lately, Cabana has been getting me all discombobulated when we go through certain doors. Automatic opening doors are fine, but when it's a push-open kind, like here, she tends to go around behind me to my right and dart out in front of me, making the leash get tangled around the back of my legs. I've almost fallen down a couple times! Maybe Cabana is afraid of getting hit by the door? I don't know. Here as we leave the courts, we practice going through a few times, making sure that Cabana stays on my left.

We also practice sitting straight on our walks. Our CFR Celeste told me a few months ago that being near a wall or fence will help Cabana to face forward. Cabana is much better about sitting straight now, but I have found that if we don't keep practicing things, she doesn't always retain them. So even though Cabana gets it now, I still try to practice a few times a week.

Of course, there's nothing more challenging for Cabana than dog distraction. We pass this man and his dog almost every day. For some reason, Cabana is EXTREMELY distracted by this little dog. Maybe because the man doesn't make his dog heel, so his dog always comes RIGHT up to Cabana and WON'T leave. I do my best to keep Cabana in a sit until he can coax his dog away. Sigh.

The grocery store is a couple blocks from my house, and I know we need milk for our morning cereal. So I brought Cabana's jacket along so we could make a quick stop. This refrigerated section gave Cabana SOOOO much trouble back when she was 5 months old (blogged here). I'm so glad there's not even a hint of that fear left.

The grocery checkers all know Cabana now and love to see her. Today, we get in Donna's line. She says Cabana is the cutest customer she'll have all day. Ain't it the truth!

Emily and the Labradors  – (August 13, 2009 at 8:07 PM)  

Isn't it so nice when you see such improvement with something like that grocery refrigerator? One way or another, these pups always seem to grow up, gain confidence, and make us proud! Before we know it she is going to be ready for recall!!!

Martha G  – (August 13, 2009 at 8:22 PM)  

I love the video clip! What a great place to let loose!

Poppy The Puppy  – (August 13, 2009 at 9:43 PM)  

Love to see her in the grocery store looking so happy!! I almost tested that cutest customer of the day thing, but Cherish and I decided on another store instead.

Great work!

Brittany  – (August 15, 2009 at 3:43 PM)  

I puppysat a dog that had that exact same problem with doors. She would only do it when the door was on her it is in your picture at the tennis court. When it was on my side she couldn't have cared less. I think she had gotten a toe run over by the door a couple of times and was afraid of it.

It is so great when they make improvements and start to act like the guide dog's they will be....hopefully!

Becky  – (August 17, 2009 at 6:21 AM)  

Love to multi-task on our walks too! Again, I read this post and am reminded of all I just take for granted ... like walking in the milk aisle!

Emily  – (August 22, 2009 at 5:03 PM)  

I love the way she sits :) Pepe used to do that,too. But since he's grown into his legs, he's stopped. Cabana is such a pretty girl

Lauren and Spike  – (August 24, 2009 at 11:59 PM)  

Wow, she looks tiny in that first picture. How much does she currently weigh?
And that's great that she has gotten over her fear at the grocery store. It's a great feeling to know that your dog is improving and becoming a well rounded citizen!

Cabana's Puppy Raiser  – (August 25, 2009 at 6:54 AM)  

Lauren, at 10 months, Cabana weighed 51 pounds. Unfortunately, since that post, I think some of the refrigerator fear might be back! We had an incident recently at Safeway. I'm going to take her back there this week and see how she responds....

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