Monday brought us to our first "official" puppy kindergarten class with Dylan. Three other GDA Labs were in attendance along with their adopted temporary owners. Nancy and Brian, who are our area leaders, hold the class in their garage. Brian again goes over the paperwork we received in Sylmar and then addresses any concerns we may have. Then it is time to cradle. Cradling your puppy allows them to get use to being handled by people. You check their ears, feet and teeth. (which are deadly sharp). They need to get used to this so when their eventual owners receive their guide dog, they can physically check them as they cannot see what problems their dogs may have so must feel for any problems.
Then we did the sit and wait game. Labs are notorious for being voracious eaters. If I could find a better word that describes how Labs eat, I would use it. So you have to get them to sit, wait and then eat. As a blind person feeding their dog, they need to be able to place the food down, stand up and move away so as not to be trampled by their dog. Dylan has been practicing this at home but did horrible in class. The other three were much better. It's early still!
Then we did the name game. Sitting across from each other, Brian would call out their name and then the dogs would come to him. Then we would call and the dogs would go to their owners. Dylan was much better doing the name game. She already knows her name. Mainly from us yelling, "Dylan, not on the rug...DYLAN!". However, she is becoming a bit more predictable in her habits and we are becoming more vigilant in observing when its time for her to relieve herself. All puppy owners go through this.
Dylan, not paying attention in Class
All in all, Dylan and we are adjusting to our lives together. Bailey, she just sees a puppy breaking bad!