Sawyer grew up a lot during the month of April. In the beginning, she was still in the throes of what tends to be the “worst” part of adolescence. At her worst, she still wasn’t very bad, just a little more willful, and a little naughty, and we had to close all the doors in the house again to prevent dumpster diving in the trash and stealing stuffies from the kids. None of these were done to be intentionally bad, adolescence is characterized by low impulse control, risk-taking, and poor decisions. Things have started to turn around, as we would expect. Our recall is still considered optional, which we’re working on, but we’ll get that tuned up between limiting options to practice not coming back and reinforcing coming back when called.

Some of the highlights of this month were:

– Went to our first movie in a movie theatre, complete with playing in the arcade afterward. She did remarkably well considering that we were in the rumble seats in the theatre, though she did struggle a bit with food on the floor. She was amazing in the arcade amongst the crowd and with very excited kids running around.
– Ball hockey games and practices. Sawyer is getting better and better at shutting down and resting while there’s nothing to do.
– Walk around the Sea Wall at Stanley Park with a bunch of breeding program managers from other schools who were in town for the International Working Dog Association’s Breeders Conference. Sawyer put her best paw forward – she must have heard that it was an informal huddle between all the breeding managers to assess her suitability as a breeding dog at this stage of her development. With the other candidates in the program, Jackie has some objectivity, but she has a bit of a blind spot where Sawyer is concerned. (She wowed everyone πŸ˜‰ ).

Submitted by: Jackie Clark