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.


  1. Yay, photos! Dupree is such a sweetie. Sounds like your family had a great time, and Dupree as well. What a good boy in the restaurant! My group leader always says to expect that your puppy forgets how to be potty trained when they're in a new place. Cabana usually takes a long time to go when we go somewhere new, especially if there's no grass. I think it's very common. As for self-consciousness, at first, I remember acknowledging people who would look at us and make comments about our puppy--but after a little while, I learned to tune it all out. It gets too exhausting to keep smiling and chatting with every stranger in public. I also think that when I ignore other people, Cabana senses this, and it helps her ignore them, too. Anyway, glad to hear things are going well!!

  2. After a while you get used to it, and don't notice least I don't!! :D

  3. Ahh, Dupree is so adorable!

    The car thing is typical, just keep encouraging him, but don't force him. When he gets a little bigger I'm sure he'll jump right in, but as for now, sometimes it's just not possible for a little puppy to get into a big car (even if they can get their front paws up)!

    He sounds like a good puppy, and it sounds like you are doing a great job with him! Typically, when you go somewhere, people are excited to see puppies and won't get mad at you. Usually the people who don't like dogs will keep their distance and just go about their business peacefully! The times that raisers have trouble taking a pup in is usually when an owner, manager, or employee makes a fuss, but that is rather rare (depending on the place - foreign restaurants are typically the place that people get upset at you, because they just don't understand).

  4. The car thing - Iverson (MYL we raised for GDB) didn't get in or out of the car until he was somewhere around 5 months old (this was an early 90's honda so short). He was fairly small and didn't have a growth spurt of any signifigance before that so it wasn't an issue for us to put him in and out of the car. One day he just decided he would do it himself and there were no issues after that.

    Being self-conscious is normal /grin/ I've been raising/puppy sitting on and off for the past five years and while it was fairly easy to get back into the role of puppy raiser when I got Eclipse I was extremely self-conscious to take him out in public since GDB pups are what's known around here and he originally had a silver jacket and then a dark blue one. It does ease especially when you have a pup out regularly. I'm getting over it but it's still a bit intimidating to hand Eola something to carry through the store since it draws soo much attention but you'll get to the point (especially when you're confident with his house breaking and behaviour) where you don't even notice he's with you in public.

    No worries, it's all normal /grin/

    Sounds like a great trip!

  5. I love that picture of him on his side, he really looks like a baby, I love puppy tummies! Like everyone else said you do get used to it, I really try to ignore most people, cuz with an adorable pup like Dupree you'd spend the whole day answering questions.

  6. We have gotten used to the stares and such, as my wife has had Guides from GDB for the last 10 years. But now, we have the pup AND her Guide along, and the questioning starts all over again.
    One good thing that comes out of it is that we get the chance to explain the difference between the working dog and the pup, and why it is important to know the proper protocol. It has been quite educational for some.
    The best complement we get is when we get ready to leave someplace we have been, and the dogs come out from under the table/seats/whatever....and folks comment: "Wow! I didnt even know there were dogs in here!" That is the best thing to hear.

  7. Such cute photos!
    Love the second one:)

    Toby's Trainer
    SEGDI Raiser