Saturday, October 27, 2012

Horses and Halloween.

I overslept so we missed the Saturday morning puppy social. Chimera slept through the night without any potty breaks, since I was sleeping so heavily. He lasted from midnight through almost 10 am.

We took a trip to a horse stable and riding arena which is close to my favorite hiking area, Redwood Regional Park. There are often horses on the trails, so I want him to be comfortable with them before we start hiking. We started at the far end of the parking lot. I gave Cai treats both for looking at the horses calmly and for looking at me. We moved closer each time he was relaxed and not paying much attention to them. We ended up just a few feeet from the arena fenceline. Cai took the whole thing much more calmly than I was expecting. Giant beasts! With people on top of them! Making funny noises! Yet he was unconcerned. That's my boy.

When we were very close and he was bored of looking at the horses, we even praticed lie down and heeling/circle work!

We came home with just a little time to eat and rest before we headed out again to Point Isabel, a huge off-leash open space, and the annual Barktoberfest dog costume contest. I had planned to make Cai a panda outfit for Halloween, by using fleece to make black leggings joining over his back, but because I was sick and exhausted I ran out of time. Instead I put him into Dragon's blue tutu harness. It was big around his middle, but looked okay.

Pretty ballerina!
Look at those doe eyes.

There were a lot of people and dogs at the park, so we stayed on leash and off to the side. I didn't let Cai interact with any dogs or people; we just watched the action from a distance.

So much to see!
Back at home, I've been crating more as I do chores in and out of the apartment. Previously I would take him with me when I went outside to do the laundry, garden, take out the trash, etc. Now he's comfortable enough in his crate that I pop him in, and he might whine or give a couple of barks, but is quiet and settled by the time I return. He was calmer about the whole thing with each repetition.

The neighbors upstairs are having a Halloween party. I took Chimera by the front entrance so that he could see a crowd of people and hear them all talking at once. A couple of people appeared out of the shadows and he got a little nervous about them, but quickly recovered and approached to say hello. I didn't take him up to the crowd of oddly dressed people because that would have been too much for him. But the good news is that his fear period looks to be waning, since he was less alarmed at noises and people today. Now to sleep in the crate while I go to the party. In an hour or two I'll wake him up and take a trip to work to give him another bath before we visit my parents tomorrow.

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