RUNTRAILS' 2020 JOURNAL

 

  

Eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly feeding on Miss Huff lantana flowers in our yard

 

   
 
 
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  2020 PHOTOS OF DAPPER DON, p. 2 

  WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 30

 
 

Continued from the previous page

MORE OF DON IN 2020

One of the requirements when we adopted Don in early April was to get him neutered. At the time, most veterinarians weren't able to do elective surgeries due to a PPE (personal protective equipment) shortage at human hospitals.

By mid-May we were able to schedule Don's neuter with Dr. Jeff. Since Don was just eleven months old he recovered quickly and didn't mind his soft "cone" all that much:

He could even get into his silly positions comfortably!

Don turned a year old on June 4. Of course we had another photo shoot to commemorate that milestone. He was up to about 70 pounds by that age (topped out at 75# at the end of 2020).

 

 

Holly's birthday was two days earlier. The "kids" shared their treats, cookies, and Jolly Ball with each other and Casey:

Don has had lots of fun with that Jolly Ball, indoors and out:

 

  

FLOWER CHILD

Here are some other pictures of Don from our yard during the summer. I love to pose this handsome boy in flowers:


One year old


14 months old  (This was a day he was watching butterflies flitting around the lantana and day lilies.)


16 months old  (Most of our bearded irises re-bloom in the fall.)

PHOTOS FROM WALKS & HIKES

Most of our daily walks are on the network of cart paths and residential streets in our end of town.

Don is generally very easy to walk because he heels on a loose leash and isn't distracted by the abundance of wildlife around us. He'll stop to watch deer, geese, ducks, squirrels, and other critters but he doesn't pull toward them. He knows to return his focus to me and he'll usually get a treat, whether I say "leave it" or not.


What geese??   (age 12 months)


Mutual curiosity  (age 13 months)

Since Don's release from guide training he's allowed to greet other friendly dogs on our walks, when appropriate. He has several canine and human friends that make him wiggle on the approach. He'll whine a little bit when he really wants to say hi to another dog or person.

The only problem I have when walking Don is his high scent distraction where dogs or other critters have left their mark. I had to discourage that when he was in guide training but allow more of it now.

I have taken dozens of photos of Don on this long set of steps that leads to three kids' slides in one of our city parks, as well as a shorter set of steps in another park not shown here. It was a great place to train Don to heel going up and down steps when he was in guide training, since we have no stairs at home.


16 months old


18 months old, sporting one of the holiday bow ties I made him
( the girls have matching bandanas)

Whenever we walk through either of these parks Don lets me know he wants to go up the steps because he always gets treats for heeling perfectly and for posing for the puparazzi!

I also take Don to Sweetwater Creek State Park to hike on trails occasionally and more often to Line Creek Nature Area, which is just a few miles from home.

HIKING AT SWEETWATER CREEK STATE PARK

We hiked here with Don and Holly once in December, 2019 and once in August, 2020. I also took Don back for a hike with our friend Steve and his young female German shepherd, Buzzy, in December, 2020 and with Jim and Casey a few days after that.

These photos of Don are from the hike with Steve in early December. I'll include photos at the park with Holly and Casey in the next entry that features them (some have already been shown in the December 11, 2020 entry about the state park).

Above and below:  age 18 months

 


The look on Don's face as Buzzy kisses him -- Mo-o-m!!  

LINE CREEK NATURE AREA

I take Don for two- to four-mile hikes at Line Creek several times a month on random days and times.

We often hike alone but sometimes friends accompany us with their dogs. Don loves other dogs of either sex almost as much as he loves people.


Buzzy (L) and Don at Line Creek

Don still does not like getting into any kind of water, including puddles. That's OK. We discourage all three of our Labs from swimming in any of the streams, ponds, and lakes in Peachtree City because of all the herbicide and pesticide runoff in them.

Don followed Casey into Sweetwater Creek recently and did a little actual swimming, to our surprise, but usually he just gets to the edge and looks:

That's one of my favorite photos of him, for several reasons -- the look on his face, his cute rear end, the water dripping from his jowls like a moose. He comes out of his water bowl like that, too!

Here are a few other photos of Don at Line Creek:


He loves to jump over this large fallen tree trunk in the path.  (age 17 mos.)


Just a big happy boy!  (age 15 months)


Posing by the mule carving at Line Creek (age 15 mos.)

HOLIDAY PICS

Don used to love his paw pad when he was in guide training. From an early age he learned the cues to sit, stand, down, stay, and let's go in the heel position on my left side, with his two front paws on the pad next to my knee. See next photo.

A paw pad is a great target to teach a puppy the heel position. SEGD's puppies pick it up very quickly because initially raisers give them a copious amount of kibble treats each and every time they put their paws on the pad and look up at the handler! It's called "pezzing," treating with 8-10 pieces of kibble from their daily allotment of food. Treats are gradually educed and eventually given sporadically after the puppy obeys the cue routinely and is happy with verbal praise.


Three-month-old Don learning the use of a paw pad.

Our regional manager, Laura, loaned us a paw pad when we first got Don. After he finished Puppy Kindergarten I used it much less but even the older pups get excited when they see it again.

I gave the paw pad back to Laura when Don was released in April. I kept meaning to make one for him that we could keep, just because it made him so happy. It took me a long time to get around to it.

I finally made this one with new lumber, quilt padding, and a cute dog-print fabric I recycled from an old dog bed, and surprised Don with it right before Christmas:


His very own paw pad  (age 18 mos.)

As soon as I place it on the floor next to my left foot Don got excited and put his paws on it, even before I could say heel. He remembered exactly what he was supposed to do with that paw pad after not seeing one for almost nine months! It was cute. He got a big YES (marker word) and one treat.

In December I also took lots of pictures of all three dogs with some holiday decorations and the new bow ties and bandanas I made for them. This is one of the pictures with just Don. I'll show others with him and the girls in the next entry.

Next entry:  Yes, we have more than one dog!

I take more pictures of Don because he's my shadow and the one I walk with the most. I'll feature photos of Holly and Casey in the next entry. Some will have Don in them, too, since they're a pack.

 Happy trails,

Sue
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Casey-Girl, Holly-Holly, & Dapper Don

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2020 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil

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