(3 May 2008) Took Kaylee for her very first train ride today on the DART Light rail- she did GREAT.
Drove to the Skillman Station and waited about 10 minutes for the train- Kaylee did excellent while we were waiting, mildly curious but not overly interested in the people there. No vocalization, even when some kids running and yelling were playing tag on the platform. No reaction to the trains coming in or out of the station, and excellent job with boarding. She was a little unsure about the rocking of the train, but the noise didn’t seem to bother her at all. Some lip licking and slightly elevated respiration, but eyes weren’t dilated and no vocalization. 10 minutes into the ride, she relaxed, laid down, and took a nap. Wish I could have- there was a guy who was pestering me for my phone number that was really irritating- I mean, he was probably a perfectly nice guy, but I never know how to deal with that sort of thing. “I don’t give out my phone number, sorry.” seems pretty clear to me, but… yeah. Anyway, when we got to the end of the line where we were meeting Lindsay and her service dog Grady, we stepped off the train to find her, made a quick stop in the grass, and then got back on the train.
On the return trip, unfortunately, the car was much fuller. Because Kaylee doesn’t have a solid downstay yet and dogs are a significant distraction, I decided not to sit next to Lindsay and stood across the aisle in the standing area only, which worked fine. Kaylee wasn’t phased by the obnoxious, VERY loud teenagers at the back who made all sorts of weird noises (including barking, meowing, and a few other things) but my head was pounding by the time they got off the train. About 3/4 of the way through the ride, Lindsay swapped with me and stood in the standing section and I took the available seat.
After that, we got in the truck and drove down to the White Rock Lake Festival, held every year to raise money for the White Rock Lake Foundation. It was smaller this year than I remember it being in years past- maybe it was busier earlier in the day- we didn’t arrive until 6:30, and it ended at 8. Heard a few songs from a great band with a fantastic fiddler and a lady who does a GREAT cover of “Ring of Fire” and ran into a friend from a past obedience class and her Viszla Laney. We spent about 45 minutes walking around, during which Kaylee sniffed, stole a piece of hamburger off the ground (my fault, I didn’t see it at all), and generally was a cute, polite girl. Lindsay offered to sell her right eye for a million dollars to a guy from some church, or both eyes for 10 million, and he didn’t really seem to know how to deal with this. (It was his lead in to a “Eyes are the windows to the soul, what value do you place on THAT?” spiel; Lindsay and I side-tracked him into whether or not Ebay’s terms of service allows for the selling of souls (conclusion? No.) as they ARE body parts…) The WRL Festival runs tomorrow too, costs $2 for adults (free for kids!) and benefits a great cause, so if you’re local, check it out! The music was awesome, and if we’d been hungry, the food smelled DELICIOUS.
We made a quick stop by Half Price Books (and resisted purchasing anything, very tough!) and spent a bit of time in the dog section. The largest Half Price Books in the world is located here in Dallas, and while it’s got nothing on Powell’s, it’s still pretty good sized. It’s also dog-friendly, so it’s a great place to take service dogs in training to practice good manners without the higher stress (to the handler) of a ‘real’ access environment or the tempting distractions and smells of a pet supply store. The dog book section isn’t great- it’s pretty big but most of it is pet-oriented. Every once in a while, though, we find a training gem- I picked up a copy of “Off to a Good Start” here and am slowly amassing a collection of good breed books (mostly the “Complete (breed)” and “New Complete (breed)” series.)
Afterwards, we went out to dinner, but Kaylee is in NO way ready for that, so that was the end of her outing. Billy (Lindsay’s SO) picked her up at Denny’s (our favorite Denny’s is under new management and we’re not very pleased) and I headed back to the apartment with Kaylee. Did one more session- sits and downs again, this time doing speed trials. Like most collies, she seems to learn very well from watching other dogs, and it probably doesn’t hurt that there’s some rivalry between her and Malcolm- 3 repetitions of watching him get treats for sitting (he’s working on straight fronts at the moment), she shoved in and proved she could do it too. Go Kaylee!
Behaviors worked on: Leash manners, leave it, sit, down
Total Time worked: 4 hours