Saturday, February 6, 2010

Giant Guitars, Stuffed Animals, and Pigeons -- Oh My!

Alphini and I greet you today from downtown Austin -- which, in case you didn't know, is the live music capitol of the world!

Alfie & I next to a colorful, 12-foot-tall statue of an electric guitar, in front of a busy street and high-rise buildings
Hmm. Is the statue thingy good to chew?

In all honesty, on my own I would seldom get downtown. We just go there to train the dog. Even though we live in a pretty busy area with a lot of traffic, it's nothing like the crowds, traffic, smells, and (of course!) live music of downtown. Alfie needs to learn how to negotiate it all calmly. Here are a few of the things we did today...

I'm sitting on a bench, getting ready to give Alfie a treat to thank him for finding it for me
finding seats

Alfie waiting for me to throw my trash away so he can get a reward for finding the trash can

finding trashcans (look how eagerly he's waiting for his treat!)

Alfie walks back toward me in response to the heel command, tail wagging, licking his nose
practicing "heel" when he gets ahead of me -- he has to circle back to my side in a sort of big backward-s maneuver

rear view of Alfie stretching to climb some steps

negotiating stairs -- tricky for a puppy who's still in that awkward growing stage!
As usual, we also had to practice not doing things!

you can see the back of Alfie's head as he sits watching a couple of pigeons scrounging for crumbs in the distance
not chasing pigeons (they were closer & more tempting than they look here, I promise!)

Alfie sitting, focused on me, right next to a bin full of toy stuffed animals

not grabbing the cute little stuffed animals, even though they're on puppy level

We had some challenging moments, like when someone came racing toward us, trying to catch a bus...Alfie leaped toward him in happy excitement, sure that he must want to play! Then later, while walking down the sidewalk, we followed a man sweeping the street and Alfie could scarcely resist pouncing on the broom.

Overall, though, I think Alfie is doing really well for a just-turned-4-months puppy! In the video below you'll see us crossing the street...he gets distracted by something on the pavement and veers off a bit, but comes back to my side after that. He does a good job waiting for me on the "up" curb, although right after that he's distracted by the live music blaring out of a cafe. It's all part of the learning experience!

Alfie's face looking up, mouth open in a happy expression

So how'd I do?


Natalie said...

He's so big!!!

Clive said...

We think you did absolutely brillantly! For four months old - you are superb - learning so much and trying so hard.

Keep up all the hard work.


Mimi and CC Cabana said...

He's only 4 months old?! That's amazing. He knows a ton!! I didn't know that about Austin being the live music capitol of the world--but that's a very cool guitar statue!

Sierra Rose said...

Alphie!! Good job downtown pal! I would have been snaggle-toothing those stuffies!!

Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
Sierra Rose

Becky said...

Okay, he is adorable! Just read through your recent posts - sounds like he is doing great!