Tonight was the first night of puppy class, and we were supposed to come without our dogs. The location is 45 min away, so we decided to bring Felix in the car with us and just crate him in the car during class. (Pictures are at the bottom.)
We also decided to show up 30 min early to try to get him a little bit used to the location so that it wouldn’t be brand new to him during class next week.
There aren’t any chairs, so I brought my wheelchair to sit in.
Felix did a good job on the way there, only whining a small amount. When we arrived, he was happy to get in my lap and ride around. We sat near the pavilion where our class will be held. There was a boy playing basketball in the pavilion. We were also next to a playground with a little kid playing, and a gravel oval walking path.
Felix was a little stressed by all these things and wouldn’t take treats. So we just sat with him in my lap and observed everything happening around us.
We met the trainer, Kelly, who seems really nice and knowledgable. Right before class started, I put Felix in his crate in the van.
Class was good. We all introduced ourselves and talked about our dogs and our goals for the class. I said my goal was exposures. I know how to do the obedience stuff at home, but being in a class environment is what I’m really excited about doing with Felix.
I felt really naked being in class without a dog with me. I’m almost never without a service dog or service dog in training for the past 18 years!
Erin, who is an excellent assistant trainer and helped us during Alice’s puppy class, was there assisting today. After class I got to talk with her about Alice and Felix. She said she liked my wings and purple dog joystick on my wheelchair.
Then we headed back to the van to rescue Felix. He was howling a bit as we approached, but stopped as soon as he heard us. I got him out and we hung out while Brad went to use the bathroom. It was distracting with dogs from the next class being unloaded and people and cars going by. I had him on the ground, and was able to mark him looking at me, but he didn’t want to take the treat from my hand. I noticed if I dropped it, he ate it.
So I switched gears and worked with him on “find it” a little bit.
Then another person from class came over to talk with me, and Felix got to meet her. At first he was too riled up and jumped on her. So we stopped the petting and just talked while I occasionally did a find it. Eventually Felix was calmer, so she got to meet him and he was great with her!
Then Brad came back and stayed with Felix while I went to the restroom. The building at the Jewish Community Center is great with wave-activated automatic doors! Super easy to use and very germ-free! Not only the front entrance door was wave-activated, but also the bathroom doors were, too!
On our way home, Felix was perfect. Not a peep, and I think he might even have fallen asleep! When we got home, I fed everyone dinner and Alice actually ate even though we had just been gone (normally she doesn’t eat well after we’ve been gone).
I think we’re going to have a great time in class this session!
Pictures are below. In them I am wearing lavender and am in my power wheelchair. Felix is a sable and white Japanese Chin wearing a purple plaid harness. Brad is wearing a brown fedora, jacket, and bowtie, a blue shirt, and royal blue shoes and scarf with a brown puppy brooch.