Sometimes, the smallest things take up the most room in your heart. --Winnie the Pooh
Monday, May 17, 2010
For Pete(y)'s Sake
So...who's this handsome fella?
No, Alfie hasn't had an extreme makeover!
...Meet Petey! Lockdown's over, puppy swap's on, and Petey just arrived from the Pawsitive Approach program this afternoon. As you can see from the pictures, he's a beautiful, black, long-coated German Shepherd. What you might not guess from the pictures...he's almost exactly the same age as Alfie (7 1/2 months), despite being close to twice his size! So, yes, he's very much still a puppy.
Alfie left us for his swap home in Fredericksburg last Friday. While I very much needed and enjoyed a weekend off my puppyraising duties, I was more than ready for Petey's arrival by the time he came. Somehow, going for a walk just isn't anywhere near as much fun without a dog by your side!
Puppy swap is a great part of the training program, since it multiplies the types of different experiences and training opportunities a puppy can encounter. Working with a new handler in a different home and changing work environments, the puppy learns to accept all these things and take them in his stride...so important for success as a guide dog! Of course, Petey's had many training walks in various locations already, but living in an ordinary home for a month or so will be a totally new thing for him. And YES, we'll miss Alfie...but he'll be back...and in the meantime we'll definitely keep busy with Petey.
As you can see, he's already doing his best to worm his way into our affections. I wanted to get a picture with us both in it so you could get an idea of his size and he took the opportunity to give me a big kiss...just look at that sly grin on his face!
Heh heh, let's see if we can get her to forget the doodle...
Interestingly enough though, I can already see a few similarities between Petey and Alfie. Both of them are the super-alert type, quick to pick up on the slightest noise or movement anywhere in the house. Both are very focused on their people. Petey gives me the impression of a much more submissive, cautious temperament than Alfie, but of course it's his first day so perhaps that will change as he gets settled in!
His favorite thing so far? Playing with Katharine! He'll grab a toy and race around to get her to chase him in the backyard...so full of puppy fun!