About The Foster Zoo

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We have decided to blog our adventures again. So much has changed since we last blogged. Bella and Shiloh both went to their forever homes and they are in wonderful families. June Bug got adopted. We quit fostering dogs after those adoptions because Tanker's epilepsy got bad. We quit doing therapy dog work because Tanker's epilepsy got bad. Tanker passed away June 9th, 2013. We adopted a senior border collie named Shania Tankerbelle in his memory. We still have our two cats, Sweet Pea and Little Bit. Wes has started rescuing pitiful bettas from Wal-Mart and we currently have seven. We have a camper. We camp. We have focused on giving our animals the best lives possible. We are The Foster Zoo Crew and we like to have fun.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Mental Stimulation + Physical Activity = Two Pooped Puppies

Today was a lazy day for us.  We went to the commissary, got the oil changed, ate lunch, took a long nap, cleaned up the downstairs, had our friend's brother over to give us a presentation on Cutco Knives, and then took the dogs for a walk.  We used the walk as a training session.  Once again, we are exhausted.  Not that Wes and I weren't alike already, but now we are even more alike.  Fatigue and chronic pain everyday.  The read event yesterday wore us out.  We have been exhausted all day. 

The puppies were not tired today before their walk.  They were out finding trouble this morning.

Romping in the woods, chewing sticks, and digging holes is a lot of fun.  Fun is what puppies are made of.

We only walked around the block. We worked a lot on the street that runs behind us.  Wes had Tanker and Bella; I had Topher and Shiloh.  Pairing them up that way proved to be a good fit.  Topher helped Shiloh be a little more outgoing and Tanker helped Bella to just take life easy.  Although we were together, we mostly walked apart.  I was in the lead some of the time and Wes in the lead other.  We could see each other, but were not close.  Each puppy did better when they were in the front.  They are still pretty attached to each other and they would pull more if in the back. 

Today's training focused on name recognition, loose leash walking, sits, waits, and learning that they can't release the command until we tell them to.  Like I said, each did better when up front because they weren't focused on catching up with the other.

A lot of our walking focused on each puppy being more focused on us.  Topher and Tanker are excellent on focusing on us.  While walking, when the puppy started getting ahead of us, we would call her name so that she turned and looked at us.  Then we treated her.  Once proficient at that, we added in a sit.  When we called the puppy's name, they had to turn to us and sit to give us their attention.  They learned that really quickly.  Next, we worked on wait.  The puppy had to remain sitting and focused on us until we gave them the next command.  They can't get up until we tell them "let's go." 

The puppies are slowly learning that when they are on a leash, they are working.  Topher and Tanker know that when we put their work harnesses and vests on that they have to be focused on us and that it is time to work.  That is the attitude I am trying to instill in the puppies.  It is slowly getting there.  For being 15 weeks old, they are very obedient dogs.  Hard work is paying off.

Tanker and both of the puppies walking in the driveway before we left.  Topher wouldn't walk up there with them.  He stayed by my side.

Wes is a great dog trainer.

Topher is in his default position (down) while Shiloh learns "wait."

Mental Stimulation + Physical Activity = Two Pooped Puppies

Little Bit lays in my arms while I type my blog.

Today was a great training session.  I think that if we keep it up at this pace, they will both be able to test to be therapy dogs by their first birthday.

My plants are all blooming and getting big.  I took time to admire them when we got home from our walk.

Two hostas my grandmother gave us on our anniversary three years ago.  We moved them from Maryland to Virginia when we bought our house.

I planted these last year.

The people we bought our house from planted this Japanese Maple before they sold the house.  It has gotten bigger every year.

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