With all the rain last week, Donna and Jim tried to take care of many of their errands (and take Irwin with them, of course), since they couldn’t work in the orchard. First, Jim took him with him to pick out new eye glasses, and then they headed to the Agriculture building, where Jim was giving a presentation on organic fruit. Irwin did great in the Agriculture building. All that hard work practicing “leave it” in the garden paid off! Irwin kept his focus on Jim. In fact, the gentleman who arranged the presentation was so impressed that he wanted to see if Irwin would give him the same attention if he was holding the leash. Irwin did!
After the presentation, Donna, Jim, and Irwin headed to Toys R Us to pick out a birthday present. Irwin has been doing much better staying in a sit, but he’s still more comfortable lying down. When Donna realized she was taking a while to decide on a gift, she cued him into a “down.”
They also went to Bass Pro to practice using the elevator. There’s an elevator at the back of the store that most people don’t use, which can make it perfect for practicing without too many distractions. As they waited for the elevator to reach their floor that day, however, Donna heard voices. Realizing that people were in the elevator, she cued Irwin to walk backwards and then sit. Turns out, it was our trainer, Amanda, and SSD Howdy and his partner. They were practicing for the public access test. Irwin did great—no pulling toward Howdy. And Howdy did great, staying focused on his partner.
They visited Kars, the mechanic, to have some work done on the car. The manager at Kars has said that Irwin is welcome anytime while their cars are being serviced. Irwin stayed nicely in the waiting room with Jim, while Jim took care of some book work.
It was quite the busy day for Irwin, because he also went with Jim and Donna to the dentist. Irwin and Jim waited while Donna had her teeth cleaned. Irwin drew the attention of the staff and other people. They had lots of questions, and of course, wanted to greet him.
Irwin had some time to go swimming, and then it was off for Donna’s eye exam. Although Jim accompanied them, Donna wanted to see what it would be like to have Irwin with her during her eye exam. He did very well, although his sleepiness may have contributed to his good behavior. He made good choices while in a down-stay. For example, he didn’t move when the optometrist came in and greeted him, nor did he move when other people greeted him. Since there wasn't a lot of space in the room, Donna laid a hand towel in one corner and cued Irwin to "go to bed." He curled up on the hand towel and slept the entire time!
Irwin finished out his busy day at Nail Clipping Anonymous (NCA) class and puppy class. NCA is a required class for all of our puppies. Puppies and puppy raisers work on nail clipping until the puppy raiser can successfully clip a nail in front of a trainer while the dog stays relaxed. Irwin may have had a full day, but he still managed to pass NCA! Irwin then slept the whole ride home and went right into his kennel for some serious sleeping time.
After looking at all the photos she and Jim had taken of Irwin, Donna realized that she has another thing to add to Irwin's list of things to practice. She noticed that when Irwin is in a down-stay, he tends to sprawl out, rather than tucking himself next to Donna. They'll be working on that next!