Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dupree Explores the Rockies

Dupree's very first outing, other than to the vet and to our GDB monthly meeting, was on a weekend trip to the mountains with our family last weekend. We had no idea what to expect...

The first hurdle was to figure out how to fit us all in the van with luggage and Dupree's crate. So, we took out one of the seats to make room for the crate. No problem... plenty of room.

Dupree still doesn't want to get in the car - he never has. We give him the command, "kennel," and he just backs away. We gently nudge him closer to the car, and eventually lift his front legs into the car. Then he just stands there with his hind legs still on the ground, looking goofy. At that point, he isn't fighting it, and we just finish lifting him in. He seems just fine once he's in, and settles down right away. Is this a usual problem? He doesn't seem afraid of the car - he just would rather not bother. And it's the same getting out. He just stares at us with out moving. Huh.

Dupree slept all the way to the cabin - about a 3 1/2 hour drive. We stopped for a potty break, but Dupree got picky about the offered surface. (Ahem... where's my grass?) We've really tried to not get him used to grass, but I think the new smells distracted him. When he got out of the car, he just stood there wagging his tail, nose in the air, eyes closed, smelling the breeze. I can only imagine how exciting this must have been for him! It was really his first time he's been anywhere outside other than our yard.

He did great at the cabin, too. He was perfectly content on his tie-down, and had no problem settling down at night in his crate. What a great, dog-friendly place this was! It's a beautiful ranch with several cabins, animals, hiking trails, fishing, even an antique store. When we arrived, the owners had left us a welcome note (including Dupree), with homemade cookies. They also left Dupree a jar of biscuits (too bad he couldn't have any), biodegradable poop-bags, and his own towel. Wow. We're definitely going back there soon.

The next day we explored Aspen, and Dupree had his first experience in a restaurant. He settled down right away and slept under the table. We had more trouble with our squirmy 5-year-old than we did with the puppy.

Here is Dupree at the restaruant... quite a big event for a little guy. We were so amazed at how well he did. It's like this is old hat for him. If only he would behave this well at OUR table.

This is my favorite photo of the restaurant experience. He looks so little...

Here is Dupree walking down the long flight of stairs out of the restaurant...
And here is the family breathing a sigh of relief that we made it!
I'm surprised at how self-conscious I am bringing a dog into public places. I'm constantly wondering what people are thinking, if they're OK with me doing this, hoping I'm not annoying anyone... Of course there are lots of stares, too. I hope I get over this. Has anyone else experienced this early on? I'm sure I'll get over it.

Many, Many Firsts

Dupree has had so many "firsts" lately, I'm not sure where to begin... probably with getting his 4-month shots. That day really was a turning point for us, because it seemed to free us up - now we can take him out with us and not be so tied to the "no-more-than-two-hours-in-the-crate" rule. He was definitely ready... we think he was starting to get a little bored sitting around the house.

Dupree did great at the vet - he is such a people-loving dog, that anywhere that provides him with undivided attention is a great place in his world. He has so much extra skin, I don't think he even felt the shot. The trip was otherwise uneventful, other than the drive there with three kids and our 100-lb, manner less Bernese Mountain Dog, Clyde.

Dupree likes to puppy-play with Clyde. Clyde does not reciprocate. Clyde thinks Dupree is just plain annoying. So, we had no idea how the drive would go with the two of them together. The only reason we had Clyde with us at all was because the vet is close to my parents house, and Clyde was going there to spend the weekend.

The actual drive over went fine - we managed to keep them separated. Getting out of the car was another story. Trying to squeeze three kids and a puppy out of the van, with Clyde not taking no for an answer, was hilarious. The key was to make the door opening big enough for small children, but not big enough for Clyde. He was not happy.

After we got Clyde dropped off at Grandma and Grandpa's house, we went home to load up for a weekend in the mountains. Maybe that was a bit much for Dupree for his first outing, but it turned out great. He was an excellent traveller. YES! We are so relieved, because we love to take weekend-trips in the summer. Now we know Dupree will share our enthusiasm!