Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Meet The Grandparents

Last weekend Theo got to meet "grandma and grandpa"! Hehe. Oh man did my parents love it when I called them that! (that's sarcasm by the way...)

Theo had a ball. He got so much love and attention from new people, which is his absolute favorite thing. And my parents were quite smitten with him as well, I think. I should have guests more often, since Theo is always on his best behavior. He barked, he played, he chewed, he snoozed. It was a fun weekend. He even made me look good in puppy class again! He actually played a little with the other puppies (after 5 weeks, he's finally somewhat comfortable with the puppies he's seen every week), and the trainer used him to demonstrate a "sit-stay". He did pretty well in the beginning, but he just couldn't keep his butt planted to the ground any longer with a lamb treat being waved in his face. Hehe.

I don't know if I've mentioned this yet, but next month I'm driving with Theo up to Reno for Passover. He'll get to meet the whole family, which is great, but it also means he's got to suffer through an all-day car ride. Since we're going through the mountains, I'm guessing it'll take at least 10 hours. I'm a little apprehensive about such a long drive with him, but I really want to take him with me. I figure if we have to stop and spend the night along the way, it's not the end of the world.

Since the most he's ridden in the car so far is to the vet and puppy class (only about 10 miles), I decided to take him with me to the airport to pick up my parents (it's more like 30 miles, each way). It was an interesting trip. First off, I have a car harness for Theo. He hates it because he's trapped in the back seat when all he wants is to be close to me. Awww, how cute! The car harness is actually too big for him because we didn't want to buy one when he was a puppy and one again when he was grown (they're expensive!). We rigged it so that it fits him most of the time, but sometimes he's magically able to squeeze out of it...the little devil! So as I was driving down the freeway I saw a puppy prop up on the back of my seat in the rear view mirror. I glanced back and see Theo looking happy to be free of the restraint and triumphant over his escape. Somehow I was able to get him into my lap without Theo hurting himself and without killing everyone around me. I was a little apprehensive about driving with a dog in my lap, but once there Theo actually stayed put very well. (I know, I know, bad julo for driving on the freeway with a dog in my lap!)

Once we got to the airport Theo was all over the place. There were planes taking off and so much hustle and bustle! Once I picked him up and we got inside, we was fine. As I was checking on my parents' flight, a woman who works for a cruise line came up to me and started doting on Theo, which of course he loved. She started with how beautiful his marking are and then went on and on about how I should show him and how I should breed him and telling me that I'll regret it if I have him neutered. It was very odd and very forward. I told her I didn't know anything about showing dogs and I definitely didn't know anything about breeding puppies. But she still, in a very friendly manner, told me he was meant for breeding. She didn't convince me of anything except that she had paid Theodore a very nice compliment. :)

If you want a good way to socialize your puppy, take him to the airport! There's not a huge amount of dog traffic, but there are tons of people and of course, dogs are allowed. There were just a ton of people who wanted to pet him or feed him a cookie or just tell me that they thought he was beautiful. And Theo just stayed in my arms without struggling or whining. He did great.

The plan for every weekend until I leave for Reno is to take Theo on a nice long car ride to get him more used to it. He's never gotten car sick, so I don't think that'll be an issue (I'd probably get car sick before he did!). I think the biggest problem will be getting him used to being restrained. Once he gets used to that, I'm guessing he'll just sleep most of the trip (*fingers crossed!!!*). Also, since we're taking his crate with us, we'll probably just keep him in there for at least part of the drive, and I know he's ok in there. It should be interesting!


Jamie Lovely said...

I've been contemplating something for Edie in the car. Normally, I take her crate but she doesn't like it very much, mainly because she can't be on top of me! haha I was thinking a booster or harness like you got.

ivykam said...

You're such a good corgi parent! I don't even have a harness for Bryson, we just put him in the trunk of our hatch-back, which is nicely padded, but maybe we should think about a harness since he's in the car with us almost every day.

And I agree that the airport is a great place for them to hang out! Each time I come home from a business trip, my hubby will take Bryson to the airport to pick me up, where he always get lots of curious onlookers. But yes, get used to the kinda "unsolicited" advice you get about your dog. Some people just can't resist the urge! Most are well-meaning but some could be hard to handle...

JuLo said...

Jamie, check out the link for the harness I bought. It's expensive, but I think it works least it would if it was the right size. :p

Ivy, I'm not that great a Corgi mom. I'd put him in the back too if I had a hatchback (definitely for my next car!), but I don't, so I need some way of keeping him in the back seat. I tried that seat cover that hangs off the front seats to create a canopy. It's supposed to keep Theo in the back, but it doesn't work. It zips in the middle, so you can have someone sitting on one side, so as soon as Theo hops up on it, it unzips. Ugh.

You know, maybe I just need to get over trying to make him sit in the back. While driving back with my parents Theo just walked between the front and back seats (between me, my dad, and then my mom), and it was fine.

mary said...

Sounds like you guys had a blast over the weekend, what fun! The airport is a great idea for socialization, I would have never thought of that, though probably too busy of an airport like LAX could potentially be a bit overwhelming for a young pup.

Are you planning on taking Theo to a dog park for doggie socialization? It's always so interesting to watch them there for the first time as it's such a new environment where there are mostly dogs rather than people. Some parks will have a special area for puppies/small dogs where big dogs don't stomp all over them, and I just love watching all the little one scramble in there :)

I was thinking about the harness, maybe it would be easier to just use his regular harness and tie the leash to something until he grows into the car one? Probably not good for him to get the idea that he may get out of it and crawl into your lap, though I bet he was super happy about that!

When I take a new dog (rescue transports) in my car and don't have a harness for them, I usually just leave their leash on and jam it into the door (letting a small piece hang outside) and I have never had a problem with keeping them contained back there that way. They will usually make a couple of attempts to get to the front, but soon realize they are tied down and settle down for a nap. A nice soft comforter/blanket helps make it more welcoming for snoozing too :)

JuLo said...

Mary, I agree that the airport can possibly be overwhelming. I was afraid of that for Theo myself. I think holding him in my arms helped him feel more safe to be curious and less overwhelmed.

I haven't taken him to the dog park yet because he hasn't had his 4 month round of shots (next week!). Once he's got that, there's a dog park about a mile from my house that I plan to take him to very often! There's an area for dogs over 30 pounds, under 30 pounds, and a third area for all dogs. I'll probably start him in the small dog pen, then move him to the all dog pen if he looks like he wants to play with bigger dogs too. I have been taking him to puppy class every week, though, so he still has a chance to get some dog/dog interaction.

You're totally right. I should probably just use his harness and restrain him back there somehow. I'll try that when I take him to puppy class this weekend.

mary said...

How fun, I bet you both will have a fabulous time there once you start going, I just love happy dog park outings :)