Santa: Well, hello there, Brinkley! Have you been a good boy this year?
Brinkley: Yes, sir, Santa, sir. I have been a very good boy, sir.
Santa: Are you sure about that?
Brinkley: Yes, sir! Most of the time, anyway. I even graduated from my training class and was voted Most Improved!
Santa: Well, then, what would you like for Christmas this year?
Brinkley: I would like a stuffed bear and plush duck and fleece pig and a fluffy rabbit and, well, basically anything soft and squishy and stuffed, because my mommy won't let me have any toys like that, not even blankets or pillows or anything. All I get are Kongs and Nylabones and rubber frisbees and balls.
Santa: Well, you don't chew up the soft toys . . . do you?
Brinkley: Isn't that what they're for?!?!?!
(I have it on good authority that Santa will be bringing Brinkley more of the same for Christmas this year! Maybe next year . . . )
Brinkley enjoyed his first Thanksgiving, spent at my sister's house with her two dogs! He loves to play with Cooper and Abagael! He thinks he has to be playing with them anytime they are in his sight. Hopefully, as he gets older, he will figure out that he can play for a while and then take a break and rest.
On the way home on Sunday, we stopped at PetSmart and I was brave enough to take him in. I was really afraid he would be wild and I would have to take him back out to the car to do my shopping. However, he did amazingly well! He was cautious at first but warmed up to the idea quickly. Several guys petted him as we started our shopping, and he was not scared of the buggy as I was afraid he would be!
I put him in a sit-stay while I lifted the 46 lb. bag of dog food into the cart, and the visions I'd had of being dragged around behind him carrying a huge bag of dog food did not come to be, thankfully! He sat perfectly still. He quickly picked up on the fact that I wanted him sitting and staying while I looked at things, so I did not even have to tell him to sit several times! While we were on the toy aisle, he sat beside me while two ladies down the aisle were squeaking every single toy they picked up, and he did not rush them and steal the toys! Yay!
When we were in line to check out, two boys came up to pet him and he loved that. He gave the smaller boy kisses in the face and let the older boy rub his belly. He would have stayed there all day! While I was checking out, he sat beside the buggy and watched everyone and did not give me any problems. His first shopping trip went SO much better than I expected. He was perfectly behaved! I foresee a lot more trips to PetSmart for my little boy!
Brinkley did extremely well in training class this week! His 30-second sit stay was perfect. Some of the other dogs were fidgeting and needed reminders to stay, but Brinkley sat perfectly still and watched me the entire time! We also had to do a down stay, but it was different than the homework we've been doing, where we sat next to the dog while he stayed for 15 minutes while lying down. In class, he had to lie down and stay while I walked in a circle around him. He did not move once! I kept repeating it while the trainer was working with a dog who wasn't getting it, and he did perfectly each time. She also introduced heeling this week, but he did not seem to get that at all in class. All the owners and dogs were supposed to walk in a circle around the room, introducing the idea of heeling. I think he was too distracted to learn something new, but hopefully he will pick it up at home quickly.
He has been really itchy, so I gave him a bath tonight. He loves the idea of getting in the water and drinking it, but he does not like the noise when I rinse him. Well, he figured out how to get even with me tonight. The large blue cup was floating in the tub, full of water, and he picked it up and poured the water all over me and the floor! I am as wet as he is!
I am glad that he's a brilliant baby and is doing so well in training, but maybe he's a little too smart . . .
Brinkley is slowly learning to enjoy lying on his bed instead of chewing on it. For now, he only has a thin crate mat type bed because I do not trust him with the more expensive beds yet. This morning, he had gotten in trouble for chewing on it and I took it from him and placed it back on the floor, and he left it alone.
While I was in the bathroom getting ready for work, I heard Brinkley getting into something and yelled, "Brinkley, what are you doing?" He walked to the door with the bed in his mouth, folded in half, as if to say, "Uhm, chewing on this..." It was all I could do not to crack up and to remember to correct him! I wish I had had my camera! That was one of the most hilarious things he has done in the 6 weeks I have had him.
I guess he lives by the motto, "Honesty is the best policy."
He is a purebred yellow lab who was born on March 25, 2009 and found his forever home with me on October 2, 2009. He has the sweetest personality and loves to be loved on! He can only sit still while being petted for a few minutes before he falls to the floor on his back awaiting belly rubs. In the past month, he has visited his new vet too many times to count, learned lots of commands, and started an official training class last night.
It's a good thing he already knew sit and lie down because he was way too distracted with chewing on his leash to pay attention. He did really well at first, sitting next to me and watching everyone. However, this was the first class and the trainer spent a long time talking, so Brinkley got very bored! He wanted to play tug of war with his leash rather than listen! He was finally starting to feel better and had a lot of energy to burn. He was so exhausted after class (and being at the vet all day), that he took a nice long nap as soon as we arrived home.