Cassie and Sully

Cassie and Sully
Aw! Aren't they cute together?


Sully enjoying the snow

Big Boy!

Big Boy!
Sully in his vest and Gentle Leader

Sully and the vacuum

Sully and the vacuum
Okay, so he's not so good with chores.

Getting Bigger!

Getting Bigger!
Such a handsome boy!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sully's Fabulous Weekend

Sully's long-time girlfriend, Cassie, came for the weekend.

Sully and Cassie have a history together, going back to the first few weeks after they went to their foster homes. Cassie's mom and dad are both teachers, so when Cassie was little, Sully and I would occasionally help out by going over at lunch time and letting her out, feeding her, and playing with her. Or, more correctly, let her pound lumps into Sully. But don't feel too sorry for Sully. He probably doesn't want anyone to know this, but Cassie was the smallest of her litter. He was the second - biggest. Yup. Sully got it handed to him by a runt.

Fast forward to this weekend. Sully is now enormous. Cassie is still tiny. (Like, 20 lbs smaller than Sully.) And she has him wrapped around her little...toe. First, they careened through the house like mad dogs. That lasted about a minute and a half. Then, Sully noticed that Cassie is, well - a girl. He suddenly became a teenaged boy. He couldn't stop staring. He was smitten. He kept sniffing her. Trying to engage her in play. Nudging. She decided that she really just wanted to sit and have her ears rubbed (by people). Sully could have been a part of the carpet, for all she cared.

Eventually, they did play. And Cassie had the upper hand. If Cassie wanted the toy Sully was chewing on, she would simply stand up, bark one time, and wait for Sully to sheepishly slink away from the toy, leaving it for her to gnaw on. They would wrassle - and Cassie usually was dominant.

Sunday, however, Sully figured out for the first time in their relationship that he actually is bigger. And heavier. And stronger. A LOT. While he knew from experience that he shouldn't make any amorous advances, (that got a big snarl from Cassie the first night) he found he could actually muscle toys away from her! And scrunch her flat as a pancake! Suddenly, Sully was confident. He pranced. He teased her with toys. He even attempted amorous advance #2. (Okay, so that didn't go so well.) But Sully became a big boy dog this weekend, no doubt about it. And I think Cassie is okay with it!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

We're Mall Walkers!

Sully and I headed to the mall this morning to do some training. This is going to be a great thing to do! It wasn't horribly busy, but there were enough people there to make it interesting. Sully is pretty sure that people exist on this earth to meet and greet HIM, so he's always a bit shocked when people pass him by without stopping. He did a fairly good job of greeting those that did stop to say hi - even shaking hands/paws with one man. We worked on Loose Leash Walking, Drop, Sit, Drop Stay, Sit Stay, Sit to Greet, Shake, Side, Heel, Front - and we attempted to do some retrieving, but he was too distracted. I got a lot of good eye contact (Watch) from him, and...he didn't lift his leg on anything, so I count the trip as a total success! Go Sully!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Is it spring yet?

Sully and I are SO ready for spring!

Wednesday night at Awesome Adolescent class, several people talked about dogs they knew that had blown out their ACL or a hip or torn this or that running in the frozen, pot-holed yard.

So, until it warms up, Sully is cooped up inside. His exercise comes from repeated "get-bring-gives" in the house. Or, all out "zooms". 66 pounds of muscle, tearing around the dining room table, careening into the living room, sliding and crashing into the front door, pushing off and running full-tilt back to the dining room for another lap.

I figure we can work on "over" today - we'll both get our exercise running back and forth in the kitchen, jumping over the step. Maybe I should wear more appropriate shoes this time. Slippers are not the best footwear for "kitchen steeplechase". (And, if I forget and leave my slippers out in the open, we can work on "bring" and "GIVE"! after he enthusiastically grabs one and dashes for the far reaches of the house with his "prize". We're working on returning the slipper without first "de-fuzzing" it.)

Stay warm, everyone! I highly recommend running and jumping in the kitchen. Much cheaper than turning up the heat.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I'm Baaaaaack!

Well. I guess I have proven one thing. Blogs are not my "thing". In fact, I had entirely forgotten that I HAD a blog, until I was falling asleep the other night. I have lots of strange thoughts just as I'm falling asleep. Just ask my husband. SO! I'm not going to catch up all the things that Sully has been doing since the last time I posted. But, I've decided to do a little bit every day. Really. No! Really!

I can tell you that Sully is nearly full grown - he's nine and a half months old and weighs about 66 lbs. The top of his head is about 3 inches above the top of the dining room table when he's sitting down.

This week, we're learning how to untangle our paws from the leash. That will become "fix it".

We're also learning the beginnings of "over". We're supposed to set up some kind of barrier for the dog to jump over, and as they do, click and treat. Sully is so big that nearly everything I've set up he merely steps over. Or, in the case of my aerobic step (which I thought was a GREAT idea!) he steps on it, then over it. But he knew I wanted him to do something, because I had the treats and the he would get on it, look at me. Nope, that wasn't it. How about, get half on, half off? Nope. How about....lay down on it? Poor guy. He was trying! Finally, I figured out that he'll jump over it if he's going fast enough. Which means I run full tilt through the kitchen with him right on my heels, trying to click as I watch behind me. It's very fun, if you're a dog. And pretty aerobic for the trainer!

Well, more tomorrow. No! Really!