Added a small dog to our PK9 pack!

project_k9_chihuahuas_our_packMarshall was a dog I trained a few months ago, around June/July. I fell in love with this little guy when he was here. He was PERFECT when he went home. Originally, his issues included marking, humping, barking, running away, and pottying in the house randomly. Basically, I just needed to work on leadership issues with him, E-collar, and some potty training. This guy was golden when he went home. During the go home, I mentioned if for any reason they couldn’t keep him anymore, to let me know. There was something about this pup.

Anyway, about a week ago, I receive a call from the owners saying they want to surrender Marshall to me because they are moving. I tell them to let me think on it for a couple days before I make a decision. I end up saying yes, and that if he ends up not being a good fit (I doubted it), that I could adopt him out. He doesn’t really have any issues, so he would be easy to place if I needed to.

project_k9_chihuahuas_pitbullsHe’s younger, but has a very good, even temperament and delivers perfect corrections. He is controlled, and very dominant. I like that, and I loved what he did to my pack. There was a bit more play than normal in the beginning whilst they were figuring things out. Now, he is the most dominant dog in my pack, and keeps everyone in line. He rocks at energy control.

I wasn’t planning on expanding my pack so quickly after getting Mamma, but hey-it happens, right? And he’s little, does he really count as a whole dog? Ok, maybe I’m in denial. *wink* He really does add a good balance, and I use him quite regularly with puppies and dogs who are rude. Not your average, run of the mill chihuahua here. He’s a stud, and quite the calm little guy. He doesn’t bark at the doorbell, or when he does, I tell him to hush and he’s usually done. He responds to corrections easily, keeps the pack in order, and really does contribute quite a bit.

Welcome to the family, kid!

project_k9_utah_dog_training_chihuahua_pack

 

Surprise!

Project K9 Heather Hamilton husband Red Doberman Puppy

Welcome to the family, Dante!

It’s been just over 2 weeks since I quit my day job, and I have never been so busy, nor so tired. I haven’t had a chance to catch my breath at all! My last day was on 21st, and I started a board and train dog on Nov. 22nd, and boarded a ton of dogs over the holiday. I love my life and I’m proud of myself for taking the giant leap into business ownership. I am very happy with this decision, even though I am exhausted and my house is in a constant disarray!

Heather Hamilton Project K9 Wasatch Canine Camp Social

Jinx at Wasatch Canine Camp’s Saturday social class! She’s in the middle on the hay stack!

I have started reading  ‘The Art of Raising a Puppy’ By the Monks of New Skete. Which leads me into a major announcement! We got a puppy! I planned on buying this book, and attending a ‘rearing puppies’ workshop hosted by a friend of mine in December, in preparation to get a puppy in May from Anya’s next litter.  Well, seems I have quite the story to tell as to why we ended up getting our little red dobie early!

Remember when we adopted Jinx, our fearful black pitbull? Well, we were considering getting a doberman puppy instead. But I couldn’t put in the time a puppy would need, as I was still working my day job at the time when he would be ready to come home and I would have to board him for 2 months. And I fell in love with Jinx, anyway. So we took her home, and she is improving little by little.

Anyway, we passed on the puppy and I asked if they would be breeding Anya again. I was sad I couldn’t adopt him, but at the same time… it is what was best. They said yes and there would be a litter in May. I wanted my name down and wanted to put down a deposit to get a pick of the litter. The breeder is my trainer friend’s sister, and a very reputable breeder. That is a blog post in itself: backyard breeders vs. reputable breeders. For another time. Anyway, I think every trainer should go through the experience of raising a puppy, so that was a goal for next year. As well as to foster a pregnant mom, but that may be put off now since I have quite the project with this little guy.

Heather Hamilton Utah Dog Training Project K9 Red Doberman Puppy TrainingOf all the puppies who were born, there was one in particular I really loved. The only red dobie of the litter. We visited them at 4 weeks old, and I took a special liking to him then. Once he was old enough, he started coming to socials on Saturdays and I got to see him every week. He was getting so big, and he was so confident! The family told me he was special and that they decided they wanted to keep him. I was secretly hoping he wouldn’t find a home by December, and that when I quit my job, I could adopt him. So, this made me a little sad, but I knew I couldn’t handle a puppy right then anyway, and this family is great – he would be well loved.

Fast tracking a bit: Social class on November 30th was a big day. Jinx was off leash in social for the first time! She didn’t do fabulous, but this was a big step. We have been doing eCollar training for the last couple weeks, and she has done great, so I felt comfortable enough to let her off leash. I showed my husband how to use the remote and she was off. Big day, Yay Jinx!

Heather Hamilton Utah Dog Training Project K9 Red Doberman Puppy Training

After class was over, I was chatting with some friends when my husband asked me to stand in a certain spot… well, see for yourself what happened in the video below!

We adopted this little guy and things have been great! We are so excited to be enjoying this little guy! He is a sweetheart and is learning quickly! He is doing great on potty training, nipping/chewing, walking nicely on a leash (sometimes) and is learning ‘sit’. This coming week, we will be working on ‘come’, ‘downs’ and getting used to ‘following’ rather than walking up ahead. He is almost 14 weeks old, and is already best friends with Jinx. Napoleon is tolerating him-he is too old to want to play anymore. My cats don’t want anything to do with this little puppy, haha!

He is getting bigger by the day, and we have to keep retaping his ears because he plays so rough. I can usually keep them on for 2-3 days, and then we need to change them. I’m also getting much better at it. Not too difficult, just takes practice!

Faces of Project K9 Utah Dog Training

The Faces of Project K9

Anyway, hope you all are getting ready for Christmas! It’s going to be a busy month!

Catching up

Heather Hamilton and Hubby as Fix It Felix and Vaneloope Von SchweetsHalloween came and went, and as most of you know, I love Halloween.  My husband and I dressed up as Fix It Felix and Vanellope von Schweets from Wreck it Ralph. Our costumes were great, I was very happy with the turnout!  My hubs made a GREAT Fix-It Felix, too! Good day filled with chocolate, excess calories, unproductive behavior, and awesome costumes! We had a party at his office, and it was really fun. Haunted House, cotton candy machines, popcorn, candy, costumes, kids, etc. It was really fun.

Heather Hamilton Project K9 Blog Dog Training Pitbulls, JinxWe have had our newest addition for 3 weeks now, and I love her. She is PERFECT once she gets comfortable. She’s super playful, has that pittie spunk, and rocks the ‘place’ command, sit/stays, and we are working on down/stays along with eCollar work. She loves her eCollar and is just doing great. She understands the concepts, responds well when I tap her, and she is just fabulous at come when called. When she gets super excited, it only takes a gentle reminder to calm her down. There is a time and a place for high-energy play, and it is not when we are inside, nor when we are trying to train. We still have some work to, and her biggest issue (people shyness) is coming along nicely, as she meets about 10 new people a week. If I can have people pet her, that’s even better. She warmed up to my family, and they spent some quality time together and fed her peanut butter.  She is also transitioning to a raw diet and is eating a pound of meat some tripe, fish oil, and a raw eggs. She loves tripe! She is a whole different dog than when we brought her home.

Tiny little improvements are still improvements. She doesn’t like crowds, but does great in a pack of dogs. She is starting to approach the front gate when we have people come over, rather than running away down the stairs. No accidents, and she loves her kennel now. She is putting on weight, learning to be respectful, and not to jump on the furniture. She is just doing so well! Again, we still have a lot of work ahead of us, but I’m happy to say she is making improvements. It may be a few months before I am able to use her for work though.

I attended my Force-Free method workshop at K9 Lifeline and watched Marc Goldberg work some dogs using his method. It was great to see, but also refreshing to know I’m on the right track. I’m not perfect, and I’m still learning, but I’m doing it right. I have a ways to go before my body language is crystal clear like his, or before I start working dogs with aggressive tenancies. I’m in no hurry. In fact, after having a few reality checks, and seeing some recent injuries  to some highly qualified, talented trainers, I’m going to take them when I feel ready. I know what to do and how to work them, but I don’t quite have that balanced pack yet, nor the confidence to know how to handle any situation.Heather Hamilton Project K9 Blog Dog Training Pitbulls, Jinx

Napoleon is considered a ‘difficult dog’ because he makes not-so-great decisions when he gets excited. He is a confident, silly, poster-child of a lab: happy go lucky. He is a great demo dog for on and off leash walks, obedience, and using him as a ‘rude example’ because he is a rude dog. Jinx isn’t rude. She has a dominant personality (after she warms up) and will administer corrections if needed. I have seen her correct Napoleon, and a few of our board dogs when they get a little too crazy while playing. She’s the ‘fun police’, however she can have a good time too. She’s calm, but not great with people. Awesome with other dogs, though. I need one more to add to ‘balance’ my pack (though it may be a while) and I’ll know it when I see it. So, we are still looking, but not actively.  If I meet the right one, I’m bringing it home.

We are planning on going on vacation soon (obviously not posting dates on the internet), which is also exciting. We weren’t planning on having one this year, as we are preparing for a change (which I have yet to announce) and financially didn’t know if it was going to happen. I’ll post pictures and post the story after we get back.  It will be nice to leave for a bit and take some time off work.

Anyway, just wanted to give everyone an update of the last week or so’s adventures.

Working with my fearful Pup

Jinx has started to settle in to her new life and has learned most of the house rules. We are going pretty slow with all of her training, so as not to overwhelm her accidentally.

Project K9 Heather Hamilton Rehabilitating Fearful DogsWe have taught our house rules:
-No dogs on any furniture at any time. Completely unacceptable.
-No dogs allowed in the cat room (we are still working on this) or in the kitchen.
-Must sit before going outside, putting a leash on, mealtimes, or when we ask for ‘hugs’
-No jumping on people unless we are asking for ‘hugs’. She really only jumps on me anyway. We just don’t want unnecessary jumping at all.
-When the family is settled, she is settled. It is not playtime.
-No playing allowed in the house with other dogs. Inside toys are fine, but must be calm play.
-Must be respectful of our cats
And we are working on training:

-Sit, down, wait, stay, place, ‘kennel’, ‘out’, ‘back up’, ‘come on’, ‘here’, ‘easy’
-She has already learned her new name and wants to please.
-Crate training
-Leash work – she originally didn’t pull, but put on the brakes and didn’t want to walk. Now, if she is feeling more comfortable, she will pull. Which isn’t ideal, but it is moving, so baby steps.
-Working around other dogs – she’s great.
-Working around strangers  – not so great. This is our biggest issue. She is insecure about people.
-Working around people and other dogs – forget it, she shuts down. It’s too much.

Project K9 Heather Hamilton Rehabilitating Fearful DogsWith the improvements she has shown in the house, around my husband and her attitude in the house and outside, she is doing just wonderfully. However, once I put a leash on her and walk outside, she is her insecure self again.

We have been going on walks around the neighborhood every day, and stopping and waiting until she calms down when there are people, cars, barking dogs, or children playing around. Sometimes, we don’t make it very far. But that’s ok. I’m aiming for a healthy state of mind, rather than worry about distance.

We have been taking her to socials on Saturdays, pack walks and introducing her at any opportunity we have. We advocate for her, however, and don’t let people touch her when she is in an unhealthy state of mind. We will not reward that type of behavior, nor ‘comfort’ her when she is scared. I protect her from people who are well-meaning, but want to touch her. She’s not ready for that type of interaction from strangers yet. It will just take time. We are in this for the long haul. I love this dog, and I am so impressed with the little things so far.

Project K9 Heather Hamilton Rehabilitating Fearful DogsWe are documenting her progress with video and will create a before/after documentary when we are finished. It may be a few months from now, or a few years.

No one wants a project dog. Everyone wants a dog who is already trained or who needs just a little bit of work. I fell in love with this dog, knowing she needed work. How much work wasn’t apparent until we took her to her first social class the day after we adopted her. But again, I wasn’t disappointed – I realized she would be a project to help her gain that confidence back.

She shows all the signs of the dog I wanted – dominant with other dogs, she administers corrections when needed, and she responds well to corrections when she needs them. She plays hard in an excited state of mind, and then calms herself down almost immediately. I need all those things. Napoleon has also helped her with eating (she’s a poor eater), and given her confidence around certain situations. He is a very confident dog, albeit unbalanced and gets excited easily. However, he communicates with her appropriately too. He gives calming signals when she is insecure or anxious. She is kenneled at night, and he sleeps next to her kennel.

Project K9 Heather Hamilton Rehabilitating Fearful DogsShe will get there, and I’m putting in the work. We have done some leash-confidence building exercises on the prong collar, as the Halti shut her down. She did fine on it until there were people around, and then she shut down. She does much, much better on the prong. She is very sensitive, so it just takes a small amount of pressure to communicate with her.

I want to start her on the eCollar to help with that confidence as well. Both of the eCollars I currently own (Tri Tronics Sport G3 model and the Garmin Delta combo collar) are gentle, but I think she is too sensitive for that one, even on the lowest setting. (I haven’t even put it on her yet), The ‘beep’ sound doesn’t have a stimulation attached to it, but I think the sound would scare her, so I won’t be using that function either. Some people ask about the vibration feature. This feature usually scares dogs, so I avoid that feature altogether.  I will be purchasing an Einstein collar soon, as it has a much gentler stimulation.

I have learned so much about fearful dogs from her, and have now experienced the feeling of heartbreak when your own dog shuts down when they are overstimulated. I get it. I understand. But I won’t back down from our training. I won’t coddle or baby her. She needs to earn attention, just like any other dog. I just have to go slower, and start at an earlier step.

I can do it. So can my clients with fearful or insecure dogs. And yes, I’m a little picture happy – she’s just beautiful, isn’t she?

Project K9 Heather Hamilton Rehabilitating Fearful Dogs

Welcome to the Family, Jinx!

Project K9 Heather Hamilton Jinx Dog Training

This is Jinx, our newest addition!

Well, we have expanded our family, and adopted a black pitbull named “Jinx”. We are so incredibly lucky and happy to have found her. Once she warms up, she is a complete cuddle bug. We have been looking for so long for a calm, dominant dog who needs little training so they can help me train. She is little insecure about new people, new dogs, new places, etc, but I have confidence that she will gain the confidence after the ‘shelter life’ wears off.  When I met her at the shelter, there was just something about her that I loved. I saw something in her, and I really heavily considered what it would mean to adopt a skinny, insecure pitbull. Worth it.

We see moments of her personality where her spunky, happy attitude shines through. Then, she’s back to being insecure again. We have only had her a few days, so I’m not too worried, and we are taking it slow. I haven’t even introduced the cats to her yet. That will come in time. Again, we want to go slow with this. But her boot camp has started, and we have started basic obedience, leash work, teaching impulse control and manners already. She is excelling at everything. She learns quickly, and is pretty good at waiting already. She waits for the leash, to be let outside, to come down the stairs, for permission to do anything, etc. Tomorrow, we do more Halti work, and I will be introducing the eCollar at the park. I think she will do great on it and give her the confidence she needs. I have a few collars in my inventory to choose from, and I have tested the stim on myself first to make sure it will be light enough. She is very sensitive to correction, so I want to make sure the collar isn’t too hot.

Project K9 Heather Hamilton Jinx Dog TrainingShe has already learned not to go in the kitchen, to sit before she gets let outside, or before we put the leash on to go out for a walk, and to wait for permission before she comes back inside. She has learned the ‘Kennel’ command, as well as ‘Come On’, ‘Sit’ and ‘Here’, and she is learning her name. She plays nicely and appropriately every time with Napoleon (she hasn’t played with any of the boarding dogs yet), and all interactions have been completely appropriate with all the dogs. She has corrected Napoleon a few times for being rude (Awesome! You go girl!) as well. We started Halti work today, and went on a meditative pack walk as a family. She is naturally a calm dog (so it seems so far, but I can’t be sure until the ‘shelter mode’ wears off).

She is getting PLENTY of resting time as well as structured feedings and structured activities throughout the day. It will take time, but she shows much promise. The biggest thing about insecurity or anxious dogs is to remember not to baby them or to inadvertently reward that behavior. For example, if a dog seems scared and hides, the instinct is to go to them and comfort them. This is WRONG because you teaching them they get attention for being insecure. Set the example of how you want them to act. If you want calm and confident, you need to be calm and confident. Ignore those behaviors. So, she hasn’t received much actual praise or attention since she isn’t really in the right state of mind yet. When I see that nice, calm, relaxed state of mind, she gets nice deep massages and slow, calm praise. So far, we have seen a very small amount of progress. Which is something, and I’m not getting discouraged. She has been in the shelter for 4 months, so it will take some time.

Project K9 Heather Hamilton Jinx Dog Training

Learning to stay out of the kitchen.

She is underweight, so I was concerned about her eating habits at the shelter. The shelter staff said she would go a week without eating. Well, I didn’t have any kibble in the house and I knew she was used to low-quality kibble. Went to the store, bought some kibble. Switching to raw right off the bat may be a disaster, so I have decided to start with a high quality kibble and feed an egg, cottage cheese, and fish oil with her meal every day. I mixed up her food, and she ate all of it with no problem. Food aggression test with other dogs: PASS, no signs of aggression. She was a little rude with Napoleon’s food and kept wanting to steal it. Obviously, I didn’t let her, as that is inappropriate behavior. Napoleon can be rude as well, so some management was necessary. I always feed my pups together, or when we have another trainer’s dogs, we’ll feed them together as well. The board dogs are fed in the kennels, because they aren’t here for training.

Her health isn’t great for a 2 year old. She’s skinny and has mad dandruff. Her coat isn’t as shiny as it could be. She also has horrible teeth. With better nutrition and proper care, she will look better, her oral hygiene will get better, and her overall demeanor will improve as well. Her ears looked great, however.

Project K9 Heather Hamilton Jinx Dog Training

Learning to wait at the backdoor for permission to go outside.

Anyway, we took her to social on Saturday. She was a bit overwhelmed, as this was a huge class. There were over 80 dogs in this class, plus all their humans. She was flooded to the point of shutting down and tried to jump a 7 foot fence. Not good. So, she will start on leash next time. I had a feeling we should start her on leash, but I didn’t have any reason to feel that way. It was just a feeling. I should have listened to my feeling and kept her on leash. Lesson learned. Listen to my gut. Got it.

Another concern I had was that she has killed another dog. I don’t know much about the details, but she was at a dog park and a little dog came into the big dog part of the park and was yipping and yapping and being a target. I think the little dog got up in her face and she killed it. From everything I have witnessed so far, all interactions have been appropriate and her corrections have been the right about of bite (only seen on Napoleon, as well). What I think must have happened was the little dog was attacking her, and she defended herself, killing it in the process. I’m really not sure. I’m not saying it wasn’t her fault, I really don’t know what happened. But from her behavior and what I can see and read of her, she doesn’t have any signs of dog aggression, even when she was flooded by 80+ dogs in the social yard on Saturday.

Well, that’s my assessment so far. I don’t know much about her yet, but what I do know… I really love. She is just going to need to take some time to warm up and gain that confidence. We’ve only had her a couple days, so getting her exposed to all kinds of things is crucial to her success. She’s not ready to come with me to clients’ houses, (far from it) but give her a few months and we’ll see where she is. All I can say… is that we are in love with this pup!

Project K9 Heather Hamilton Jinx Dog Training

The Perfect Dog

Napoleon, helping Aspen learn a solid 'place' command with distractions

Napoleon, helping Aspen learn a solid ‘place’ command with distractions

It has been a while since I have given an update on my boy, Napoleon. So, I’m posting one now. The last time I wrote about him, we had a successful off-leash excursion. We still struggled a bit with some kids on skateboards, and sometimes (rarely) some whining in the crate.

Those 2 items have been addressed and handled. He is now off leash 90% of the time, and I don’t bring him on a leash when I go to clients’ houses either. When I take him on walks, I have complete control over him without a leash, or any equipment.

We have worked hard on his obedience and recalls, and I now I have 95% confidence that if he was adrenalized and I didn’t catch his energy levels in time, that he would still come back. He just recently passed his CGC test and is now a Canine Good Citizen of the world! Yay, Napoleon!

Now, our one last issue that I had to pick and choose my battles was feeding time. He would get so excited he would jump up and down repeatedly, shake, run into walls, and run you down to get his food at dinner time.  This has been a challenge since we adopted him 2 years ago. Now, he will sit, whine and shake until you walk towards the back door to open it up to put his food down. Since we feed raw, I always feed outside.

I can’t wait for him to be calm every single time (it was taking upwards of 4 hours for a calm dog, and even then, I didn’t achieve the level of calm I wanted), so this has been a challenge. We have tried switching up the feeding time, we have tried a place mat, where he cannot move off of the mat at all – tail included. That Is what I wanted him to focus on instead of feeding. He can do that no problem, but the shaking and whining is still a problem.

So, I have separated preparing the food in the morning, and feeding at night. So, they are 2 events, and that has seemed to help with the adrenaline at dinner time. I choose to wait to feed until he is calm at nighttime, then walk upstairs (no words) and get his food out of the freezer). He comes upstairs and follows me calmly and I open the backdoor to let him outside, again – calmly. Then, I come back in, get his food, go outside and put it on the ground. He gets excited, but sits automatically (no words, again), and I walk away.

This has REALLY helped and was our last hurdle to become my ‘perfect’ dog. There really is no such thing, but I’m bias, and I love my dog, and he has worked very hard for that title. He deserves it.

What an improvement, huh? He can walk himself on the treadmill now, I just have to turn it on for him and turn it off when he’s done. He ignores cats, dogs, and other people when we are on our off-leash walk. This also includes skateboards.

Such great progress, and I’m so happy for him. He has worked hard and gets a beef heart for dinner tonight. Yum!

image

Napoleon, resting after a long day.

Hiking Adventures

My husband was informed that a very close friend was coming into town, and would only be here for a few days. We found this out on Thursday, so we planned to do something with them while they were in town.  Well, I’m still getting over strep throat, so no matter what I did, I would have to deal with the coughing from an irritated throat.

Napoleon is soaking wet, tired, and happy after playing in the water

Napoleon is soaking wet, tired, and happy after playing in the water

Anyway, we decided to go on a hike Sunday morning, and take Napoleon with us. He loved it! And it was a great opportunity to practice off leash work around distractions. A new place, new smells, possibly other dogs, and other people… and especially water – he loves water.

Now, just like when you are hiking by yourself, you take things like band-aids, extra water, snacks, etc. Well, I did the same for my dog. I brought treats, extra water, and a doggie first aid kit. This included tweezers, hydrogen peroxide, animal bandages, Neosporin, and frankincense essential oils (never leave home without it!). I also brought a washcloth. This has many uses – cleaning something off, wiping him down after the walk, or getting it wet and using it to cool him off in case of overheating.

I was taking preventative measures for heatstroke as it was, but never hurts to be prepared. I put a drop of peppermint in his water, and on the bottom of his feet, and on the tips of his ears. We took frequent breaks for water and to rest, and I monitored his breathing the whole time. No heatstroke, he did great!

Anyway, back to the hike. We staflowerrted in the parking lot, and I let him off leash. He, as we have worked on, stayed by my side as we started walking. Perfect! So, I gave him the command to go up ahead of us a bit. He was never beyond 20 feet ahead, and kept checking on the rest of us. Awesome! When I noticed lots of twisty turns, or places where I couldn’t see ahead, I called him back and put him behind me (‘Get behind me’ command). He did, and complied perfectly. I also used this command when I saw people or other off-leash dogs. I put him behind me, put him in a sit, and blocked off the new dog so he couldn’t get to Napoleon.

All those encounters went well until we met a dog who didn’t do well with other dogs, and he was being awfully pushy to get to Napoleon. I pushed him back and then gave Napoleon the ‘Get Back’ command to go to the back of our ‘human pack’. We had 5 people total, so he went to the back and waited. Yay! Perfect obedience! We handled the other dog, and the other person apologized and said they didn’t realize there were people/dogs up ahead or she would have leashed him.  Yes, she should have been more aware, but it was all good. No fights, I handled it with my mad skills, and we were fine. Continuing on…

We got to a part where you had to climb up some rocks and there was no room for Napoleon and I to walk side by side, so I sent him up ahead to go first through the rocks. I was a little worried he might slip, so I wanted to be behind him to catch him if I needed to. He did slip a bit, but he was able to catch himself and all was just dandy.

waterfallWe made it to the waterfall, and I released him so he could play. He went after sticks, played in the water, though he was unsure about the waterfall. It was loud and the current was pretty strong right around it.  I threw some sticks for him, and he wanted to get THE BIG STICK, of course! He was getting frustrated with not being able to get the big one, so I called him off and we went to find something that he could get… like a smaller stick!

We stopped for rest, snacks, water, and watched my husband climb up a big, steep dirt hill to sit on a big rock at the top. Napoleon realized he couldn’t see my husband, and spotted him on the top of the rock. He looked at me and I released him to go uphill and meet him. He struggled up the hill, as it was really steep. He made it and sat triumphantly at the top! Then came bounding right down again. I was nervous, as he looked like he was either going to face plant, or run right into a big rock. Nah, he just jumped over it, like super dog! Way to go, buddy!

Napoleon in the waterfallOn our way back, we were all tired. Napoleon wasn’t running up ahead anymore, and needed to stop more for water breaks. It seemed easier on the way back, but since we were tired, it was just as challenging. I had to really watch Napoleon, as he slipped when the path was narrow. So, he stayed next to me on my left as much as possible, and we slowed down a bit.

Finally we made it back and he earned a few more treats (to keep the energy up), and a little more water. He crashed on the way home and slept the whole way.

Today was the day I noticed how old my boy is… he laid down on his bed when we got home and was out cold. When he tried to get up, he was really struggling. I know I was sore, I can imagine he was too. He had trouble getting up, sitting down, and going up/down our stairs. So, today, he gets plenty of kennel time and rest time, and I have decided to put him on Pentosan for his joints. The doctor is coming on Saturday.

It was overall a really fun day, but heartbreaking to see my boy isn’t as young as he used to be. I’m hoping to see positive results from the Pentosan.