A Lesson Without Susie

Susie was away this week, so Arizona had her field lesson with Laura and Diane instead.

She did very well.

When Laura tossed the bumper with a wing attached, Arizona went straight to it, picked it up and after parading it around Laura, brought it back to me. We did this a few more times and then took a break to watch Diane work with Butler.

Butler is a 7 year old male chocolate lab. I think he has his Junior Hunter title and maybe even the next level, but I am not completely sure. He has been dealing with an ear infection, so Diane hasn’t wanted to work too much on his water retrieves.

When Diane was finished, we did a few more practice sessions with Arizona. It seems as though her limit is three tosses in a row though, because we tried to do a fourth and she was a lot more sloppy with her pick up and even more with her hold. She dropped the bumper several times on her way back to me and even on the return she was slow.

Despite the poor end, we were glad to have Laura and Diane see that Ari can actually retrieve. Until this session, I think both ladies were a bit unsure as to her abilities.

Group Training

Arizona in the grass wearing a pink leash paw prints in different shades of pink and brown

This was Arizona’s second group training class for field work.

There was a duck toller named Maverick, a black lab named Hank, a chocolate lab named Butler and two other golden retrievers named Striker and Buck.

Arizona was the youngest dog in the group by at least a couple of years, so she was also the goofiest. The other dogs all seem to have at least their first field title, so they were a lot more serious about following their owner’s direction.

Side view of Arizona lying in the grass wearing a pink bone shaped ID tag on her collar

This was Arizona’s first night seeing real ducks and was not going to pick one up. She had a bit of trouble settling enough to sit and she was overly excited to meet all of the humans when I gave her the cue to retrieve, but Susie didn’t seem worried about her progress, so we’ll just keep working away.

Once Arizona had her turn to attempt retrieving her duck wing attached to a training bumper, we stayed in the background and let her watch the older dogs work. She seemed quite interested and every time someone said “mark,” Arizona immediately stopped whatever she was doing and looked out towards where the duck would fall.

Susie sent two other training bumpers and duck wings home with us to work with. She is thinking that Arizona needs to practice with different equipment and also have a variety of people tossing it for her.

Next week we’ll attend group training again, but then we’ll have to take a couple of weeks off for other engagements.

Arizona vs. the Cat Ball

Arizona lays along the bottom step of tan carpeted stairs playing with a blue spongy cat ball

Where’s the Food?

Arizona standing wearing a plastic bib from McDonald's

I’m a Big Girl Now

Guess what everyone?

Arizona, face and chest

I’m a big girl now!!

I am now a year old.

My coat is still not as long as Canyon’s, but I am now just as tall as him. I am longer than Rogue and Cessna too, but I am only 52lbs.

Arizona laying on a dark brown love seat

I have learned a lot over the past 10 months of being with my family. I still like to see what is on the counter and try to help with the taste testing at dinner, but I know how to sit, lie down, target hands, come when called and play the “leave it” game (Mommy says it isn’t a game, but I sure think it is).

I am still doing field work lessons every couple of weeks, but for now Daddy has decided to stop showing me. He says the judges don’t like my looks for some reason…

For my birthday I was spoiled. I got a pool, as well as several new Nylabones and a couple of puzzle toys. I love to chew and I am very busy, so Mommy and Daddy thought I would like some new toys to chew and figure out.

I don’t know where my siblings are, but I hope they had a good birthday too!!

Hard at Work

Or at least Arizona thinks she’s working hard…

Arizona chewing pieces off the handle of a huge pink and black Jolly Ball. She has her paw through the handle so the ball doesn't get away.

Tug of War

Even though the dogs have tons of toys to play tug with, their favourite tug item seems to be socks.

Canyon and Arizona playing tug with a white sock. They are both a bit blurry. You can see their purple, brown and white tug rope clearly nearby and Rogue in the background.

Laundry Time?

Arizona peaking out of a rectangle cedar box while I stand to the side. I'm wearing a light blue hooded sweatshirt with a navy blue turtleneck.

It’s fun having a puppy who completely trusts you. Arizona has absolutely no fear, so we can usually convince her to try out something at least once.

Bubble Face

Arizona stands in a very large tub full of bubbles, she has bubbles all over her face, so she looks like a raccoon.

Goodbye 2014

2014 is about to come to an end.

And, what a year it has been…

Here are some of the highlights:
We bought a house
Aiden came to visit for 10 days
Huib was promoted to Assistant Director of Nursing at the Village of Riverside Glen
I was accepted into the Health and Aging masters program at McMaster University
Rogue passed the Assistance Dogs International Public Access Test in May
Arizona joined our family in July
Rogue and I started graduate school in September
Canyon earned another point towards his Canadian Championship title in October
Cessna officially retired from guide work

We can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store for us.

From all of us at ruled by paws, have a very safe and happy new year!