Keisha’s new backpack and patch

Keisha’s backpack
Keisha’s new backpack from Ruffwear

Keisha got her new backpack yesterday.  I had ordered it last month, along with a patch.  The patch came weeks ago, and I like it a lot.  It says “Service Puppy In Training”.  I didn’t want a “generic” patch saying “service dog” and another saying “in training”.  I wanted something different.  I attached the patch to her backpack last night, and now it’s ready for her to use!

service puppy patch
Service Puppy In Training

The backpack is the Approach Pack II.  It is made by Ruffwear.  I have a collapsible bowl from them for Sophie and it is really well made.  I’ve had it since Aug. of 2000 and it’s still in great shape! 

When I opened the package today, I was suprised because the backpack was so small.  I was expecting something much bigger.  I had my doubts for a minute or two that it would fit Keisha, but after getting on the floor and holding her I realized that it might fit after all.  I gave her a treat to chew on and started the task of actually getting the backpack on a hyper husky puppy!  Not an easy thing to accomplish!  I had to hold her with one of my legs wrapped around her to keep her still enough to get her head through the opening.  She wasn’t impresed with this at all, and tried to push it away with her paws, chewing on her treat the whole time.  Sophie was watching the whole thing while she layed next to me.  Once I got her head through the opening, the rest was easy.  I clipped the two belly straps shut and she didn’t notice she was wearing anything!  She layed on the floor eating her treat, and I took a bunch of pictures before taking it off again. 

I think part of the reason she didn’t seem to mind it was because of the design.  There are cut outs in the back of the harness where her shoulders are to allow for movement, and the straps are covered in fleece.  The packs are also only attached at the top, so she can lay down on her side without having to lay on a pack, and it is very light weight. 

There’s a handle on the back of the harness, nad a pulling loop along with an extra loop.  It’s a very well made and well designed backpack.  The packs are also not too big and bulky, so they don’t get in the way.

Keisha explores the depths of the dryer

Keisha in the dryer
Keisha in the dryer

I hope everyone had a happy new year!  I haven’t written an update for awhile now because I’ve been so busy!  I mentioned last year (that sounds so odd because it was only last month!), that I was going to teach Keisha to take clothes out of the dryer.  Well, it turns out that she was still a bit too short, but just before I started this entry I managed to “introduce” her to the dryer.

 She is still a bit too short to reach the bottom of the dryer, but I put some towels in the bottom and used a bright pink sock for her to find.  We all know how much husky’s love socks!  I wasn’t worried about if she was going to pick the sock up or anything this time, and just rewarded her for putting her head in the dryer, and then for touching the sock with her nose or mouth.  I didn’t use a command, but just clicked and gave her a treat to get her use to things.  I also hid some tiny bits of treats through the towels for her to find.

Well, Keisha, being the curious puppy that she is decided to explore the depths of the dryer!  Of course if putting her nose in the dryer got one treat, putting half of her whole body in must get a whole bunch of treats right?!  I couldn’t resist.  I had to take a picture.  She climbed all the way into the dryer to hunt through the towels and all that was sticking out was her tail as she wagged it around!  I managed to take a quick picture of her as she poked her head out to see what I was doing!

Now that I know she’s not affraid of the dryer, or the loudness of sounds when she pokes her head in there, I will continue teaching her to help me do laundry! 

Keisha’s first Christmas

Keisha toy
Keisha opening her toy Christmas morning

I haven’t written in awhile.  Christmas went well.  The tree was left standing, and I only had to re-decorate the bottom of it because Keisha runs under it sometimes, and the only ornament that was broken was by me!  I don’t think that’s toobad at all!  I even decorated the side of the kitchen counter and Keisha didn’t bother it at all!  I’ve been very impressed!

On Christmas morning my mom called and I sat in front of the tree while I was talking to her to open our gifts.  I helped Sophie open her stuffed snowman that my mom gave her, and then I let Keisha out of her crate.  I put the short leash on her to keep her from diving into the gifts!  She had been wanting to get at them when I was putting them under the tree the night before!  I gave her the gift my mom sent her and she ripped it open herself.  She tore at the paper and then shook her head really fast so the paper flew off.  It was a stuffed gingerbread man that smells like gingerbread!  She loves it!  It actually smells really good.  My mom also sent them a huge box of treats in the shape of a dog house.  It has ten bags of treats in it.  That should last them awhile!

On Boxing Day my uncle and cousin came to visit.  It was the first time Keisha met them and she was so excited I had to keep her in her crate for most of the time they were here.  Sophie was really excited to see Uncle Glen again too! 

I’ve noticed that Keisha is growing out of her biting stage lately!  I’m so glad!  She use to try to bite everything!  Now when she’s really excited she will still bite at my hand a bit, but she mostly licks now.  I think some of it has to do with working on targeting with her.  I use my hand as the target because I thought that I could teach her both the targeting and teach her to not bite at the same time.

She has also learned “sit”, “down”, “come”, “stay” and we are working on “heel”.  She will have “heel” completed really soon and we are continuing to work on staying for longer periods of time.  I know it might seem like a painfully slow process, but I am making sure she knows one command and has a really good grasp on it before moving onto the next.  I need her commands to be “solid” when I start teaching her guide work.  Over the weekend I’m thinking about teaching her take clothes out of the dryer.  I thought this would be fun for her, and that it’s easier to start with than teaching her to pick up something and bring it back to me.  It’s in a smaller area and she is just the right height to reach inside of the dryer now.  I’m trying to decide if I want to use “get” or “take” with her though.  I taught Sophie with “get”, but I’m thinking I will use “fetch” with Keisha.  It will also be a word that sounds a lot different than “give”.  She will also learn to “find” things, but I think “find” and “fetch” also sound different enough to use and not confuse her.  She love playing fetch and will bring her toys back to me, so it shouldn’t be too hard to teach her to do the same with other things.

 It’s almost 3am and Julian will soon be calling me, so I guess I better go for now.  I’ll write more about how Keisha is doing with the clothes and dryer later.  I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

The Christmas tree is up!

Sophie and Keisha under the tree
Sophie and Keisha under the Christmas tree

I put up the Christmas tree on Dec. 15th.  I would have put it up earlier, but I was sick for 4 days!  I’m feeling like a human being again now, but I spent over 3 days on the couch!  Keisha was really well behaved when I was sick!  She usually whines and howls if I’m out of the room for any length of time and she is in her crate, but I guess I madesomany trips to the bathroom she got tired of moaning about it!  I don’t let her out of her crate while I’m not in the room with her because she is tall enough to get things off the table now, and I usually have my laptop there.

So far, Keisha hasn’t been too interested in the Christmas tree.  She still dives at it every so often, but I think it’s mostly for attention.  She’s also a lot better around Sophie now!  She still wants to play with her, but when I call her she will come now.  That’s really helpful!  Now when she runs after Sophie I tell her to “come” and instead of nipping at Sophie first, she turns aroudn and comes running toward me!

We also had a snow storm on saturday and sunday!  Keisha loves snow!  She digs in it, leaps around and buries her nose in it.  She even barks and howls when it’s snowing and she’s in her crate because she is suppose to be sleeping.

She’s sleeping in her crate right now, and Sophie’s sleeping on the couch.  It’s nice when it’s this quiet here!  It doesn’t happen very often since Keisha’s been here!

A hyper puppy and a yellow lab.

Sophie and Keisha in the chair
This is what happens when you mix a Siberian Husky puppy with a Lab.!

I took the above photo tonight.  Sophie was relaxing in her chair, and Keisha decided to leap on top of her.  Sophie just turned 10 on Nov. 3rd, and she was never a dog to play a lot.  Sure she has her moments where she wants to play, but 10 minutes later she’s back to her calm, relaxed self.  Keisha on the other hand is a little bundle of energy with pointy ears!  She constantly has to be moving!

Keisha jumps all over Sophie and tries to bite her.  She always wants to play, and don’t seem to understand that Sophie doesn’t want to.  Sophie growls at her when she bugs her too much, and has even barked at her!  She only ever barked a few times in the 8 years we’ve been together before Keisha joined us!

I’m hoping Keisha will learn to leave Sophie alone eventually.  Until then I guess I just have to do my best to keep her from bothering Sophie too much!

Keisha broke a bowl

Keisha bone and bowl
Keisha chewing Sophie’s bone

 Keisha broke a bowl last night!  I was in the bathroom and heard a crash.  For a few seconds I thought she had somehow broke out of her crate!  When I came out there was a broken bowl on the floor.  It had been on top of her crate, and she managed to push it off the top.  I had been keeping it there to put her water in.  She tips over dog bowls too easily, and I can’t use the ones that have rubber on the bottoms that are harder to tip over because I have a latex allergy.  I cleaned up the bowl, and vaccumed to make sure there were no small pieces of glass in the carpet, and I guess I’ll have to find somewhere else to keep her bowls from now on!

She’s sleeping in her crate now, and Sophie’s sleeping on the couch.  It’s one of the rare moments when it’s quiet here!  When Keisha’s awake she’s usually howling, talking, being hyper, or chasing her tail! 

I’m not sure how I’m going to keep her from destroying the Christmas tree yet.  I’m going to wait for awhile longer before putting it up, but I know she’s going to want to jump at it and eat it!  I’ll let everyone know how it goes once the tree is up!

Fire alarms at 4am

Sophie and Keisha in the snow
Sophie and Keisha in the snow

At 4am this morning the fire alarms in the building started going off!  I knew as soon as they started that the concierge was going to announce that there was an “alarm situation” on the 31st floor.  These “alarm situations” always seem to happen there.  They also happen a lot at really odd times when no one should be cooking.

This condo has three seperate speakers that the fire alarm sounds through.  There is one in each bedroom, and another by the kitchen.  There’s no way you would sleep through the alarm when it goes off!  There is also a pad on the wall near the kitchen that you can press to silence the alarm.  The problem is whenever the concierge makes an announcement to tell you what is happening during the alarm, it will go off again in your condo.  I guess it’s good in case you fall back to sleep, but they announce things twice and it gets annoying shutting it off over and over.

This morning I didn’t turn it off.  Keisha decided to howl the whole time the alarm was going off, which was for quite a while, and she was jumping around in her crate even after it had stopped.  Sophie is use to it, so she just calmly waited to find out what we were going to do.

What annoys me most is the fact that it’s always on the same floor, and that there are only 8 condos on that floor!  Chances are that it’s the same person causing the fire alarms to go off over and over! 

Now that I’ve vented a bit I’m going to go try to get some sleep.  it’s 6:39am and I’m so tired I’m getting a headache.  Sophie’s sleeping in the chair and Keisha’s sleeping in her crate.  I’m about to go join them and sleep on the couch.  Hopefully there won’t be any more “alarm situations” today.

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