July 24, 2017by doglando0

The last day of camp is wildly bittersweet.  We have some of our most memorable activities, with campers and dogs moving as partners and doing things they could not have imagined doing on Day One.  And then, having achieved this, we have to say goodbye.

Today we woke up from our sleepover and made breakfast for ourselves.  Then we cleaned the barn — it has to be spotless for graduation!  Then we took a break for lunch.

After lunch we went to Encore Assisted Living, where we brightened everybody’s day by letting the residents visit with our dogs.  Imagine trying to do this on Day One!  The dogs entered a strange building, met a lot of people they did not know well, saw people in wheelchairs for the first time, saw older people possibly for the first time, encountered strange smells and strange sounds and everyone did quite well.  We are so proud of our campers and our dogs, whose hard work made this possible!  The residents always love visits, and today they particularly enjoyed the tiny puppies, Moana, Maui and Kane, who could sit on laps.

Graduation this session was in the rain, but even with the crowds and the rain on the roof everyone put on a spectacular performance, showing off all the skills they had learned over the last two weeks.  We even managed a swimming demonstration!

Goodbye is always sad, although this session we did have several dogs leaving graduation directly to their new forever homes!

Audrey and Moana - AS6J9322
Taylor and Cobb - AS6J9427
Ella and Zeus - AS6J9160
Ella and Charlie - AS6J9197
Justin and Carlos - AS6J9278
Tess and Titan - AS6J9340
Dominic and Liberty - AS6J9165
Kylie and Maui - AS6J9226
Chloe and Jack - AS6J9387
Mckenna and Kane - AS6J9272
Sarah and Tanner - AS6J9409
Kiera and Trinity - AS6J9402

July 21, 2017by doglando0

Today we did some work training in the morning, and quickly cleaned the barn, but the highlight of the day was the trip to Kings Landing to go canoeing with the dogs!

We can fit two or three kids and their dogs in each canoe and go around a short circular canoeing path or simply canoe up to the “swimming hole”, with the rope swing and the diving platform, and spend the day there.  There are things to climb on and logs to sit on and we can run up and down in the water with the dogs.  This is always one of our favorite trips!  Even though some of us had never been in a canoe before, we all did really well and had a great time!

Tonight is our camp sleepover, where we spend the night in the barn (or even outside, if the weather holds) with the dogs.  Tomorrow we will make ourselves breakfast, and have a busy day before graduation at 4:30 pm!

Elsa and Jack - AS6J8994
Mckenna and Kane - AS6J8225
Tess and Titan - AS6J9069
Dominic and Liberty - AS6J7596
Taylor and Cobb - AS6J7881
Ella and Charlie - AS6J8262
Alyssa Zeus and Ella - AS6J8782
Sarah and Tanner - AS6J8062
Ella and Zeus - AS6J8957
Kiera and Trinity - AS6J8684
Moana - AS6J7912
Kylie and Maui - AS6J9080
Tess - AS6J8901
Justin and Carlos - AS6J8158
Audrey and Moana - AS6J7915

July 19, 2017by doglando0

Today was “nonprofit day” for us!  We have raised $123 so far in our fundraiser for United Against Poverty, and today we took our donation to their headquarters to get a tour and learn more about what they do.  UAP, partnering with a variety of local charities, specializes in empowering those who do not have stable housing situations to regain control over their lives through a variety of means.

After a morning spent working on loose leash walking, we went to visit UAP.  We got to tour their discounted grocery store and learn where the foodstuffs there come from, and we also got to see their clinic and classrooms and computer lab, where they help people with a huge array of issues from domestic violence to resume writing to classes in activities of daily living (such as cooking) to simple medical care.

We stopped for lunch on the way home, and afterward we worked with the dogs, adding chairs as a distraction.  Later on, we were lucky enough to be visited by Mari and one of the dogs from Canine Companions for Independence, another nonprofit!

Tess and Titan - AS6J7553
Justin and Carlos - AS6J7560
Ella and Zeus - AS6J7447
Kylie and Maui - AS6J7558
Audrey and Moana - AS6J7347
Mckenna and Kane - AS6J7563
Sarah and Tanner - AS6J7555
Group - AS6J7376
Liberty - AS6J7541
Moana - AS6J7384
Taylor and Cobb and Rachael - AS6J7490
Kiera and Trinity - AS6J7538
Ella and Charlie - AS6J7518
Cobb - AS6J7496
Elsa and Jack - AS6J7564
Dominic and Trinity - AS6J7542
Tess and Alyssa - AS6J7402
Group with Christina - AS6J7420

July 19, 2017by doglando0

Today began with more training!  We polished up work on pedestal training and added the cone/pvc pipe, which is an object around which the dog is asked to turn, to everyone’s repertoire.  Then we cleaned the barn….

…and went on a field trip with the dogs!  We went to Oviedo Riverside Park.  We stopped somewhere to get lunch on the way so we could have a picnic with the dogs in the park!  Then we spent some time just being out in nature with the dogs.  The dogs got to sniff, run, crawl, climb, and wade in the water, as well as move around on a very long leash so they could really get out and exercise.

At the end of the day we took the dogs to one end of the field and let them run toward their camper, who was calling them (a “long recall”).  Campers had to get very inventive to get the dogs to run toward them!  Everybody enjoyed the running, but it was very, very hot and we got back onto the bus and stopped to get drinks on the way back to Doglando.

Tess and Titan - AS6J6932
Dominic and Liberty - AS6J7067
Ella and Zeus - AS6J7244
Cobb - AS6J6916
Taylor and Cobb - AS6J7310
Moana - AS6J7192
Trinity - AS6J7042
Maui and Moana - AS6J7293
Elsa and Jack - AS6J6771
Mckenna and Kane - AS6J7253
Ella and Charlie - AS6J7064
Justin and Carlos - AS6J7146
Carlos - AS6J6735
Kiera and Trinity - AS6J6642
Liberty - AS6J6917
Kylie and Maui - AS6J6646
Alyssa Maui and Rachael - AS6J7264
Audrey and Moana - AS6J7272
Sarah and Tanner - AS6J7308

July 18, 2017by doglando0
Today we doubled down on crate exercises and their variations (bed, hula hoop, and pedestal). The dog is *generalizing* its crate skills — staying in place until released not just in a crate, but in a hula hoop, on a bed, and on a pedestal. The dog is also adding “getting onto a pedestal”, “lying down on a bed”, and a variety of other skills to its arsenal.
After lunch we got to work for our fundraiser, where we hope to raise $400 for United Against Poverty. We all made nifty key holders with paw prints, hand prints, and other messages on them. Along with baked goods, we put these up in the Doglando store and are hoping for donations!
We got out on a field trip today! We took a brief trip to Panera Bread, one of our favorite destinations. We took a walk around the outside of several stores, met some nice people who were interested in our dogs, and grabbed some food for a restful break before heading back to Doglando to clean up.
Can’t wait for tomorrow!
Elsa and Jack - AS6J5908
Kylie and Maui - AS6J6030
Mckenna and Kane - AS6J6036
Ella and Zeus - AS6J5844
Sarah and Tanner - AS6J5954
Alyssa and Jack - AS6J6022
Audrey and Moana - AS6J6544
Tanner - AS6J5937
Charlie - AS6J5891
Rockwell - AS6J5968
Justin and Carlos - AS6J6004
Kiera and Trinity - AS6J5999
Carlos - AS6J6616
Zeus - AS6J5902
Ella and Charlie - AS6J5889
Dominic and Liberty - AS6J5886
Taylor and Rockwell - AS6J5896
Tess and Titan - AS6J5916
Liberty - AS6J5873

July 14, 2017by doglando0

This morning we put a lot more polish on loose leash walking.  This time, we worked on walking in a line, together, both without and with our dogs.  The goal is that we can all turn right, turn left, and stop in unison!

Over lunch we discussed the traditional camp fundraiser — each camp we choose a charity as a group and raise money for it, usually via a bake sale — and then got somewhat distracted and planned a camping trip (maybe — we’re not telling yet!).

After lunch we went swimming with the stronger-swimming dogs: Jack, Rockwell, Zeus, Titan, and Trinity.  We practiced calling the dogs from one end of the pool to the other, and then raced the dogs across the pool (the dogs won).  After that the dogs rested and the humans went dock diving!

After we tired ourselves out we tried some synchronized swimming.  It was extremely silly.

We look forward to an exciting week next week — we hear there will be field trips!

Dominic - AS6J5638
Tess and Titan - AS6J5217
Taylor and Rockwell - AS6J5187
Group - AS6J5808
Ella - AS6J5686
Audrey and Moana - AS6J5174
Mckenna - AS6J5732
Justin and Carlos - AS6J5241
Zeus - AS6J5581
Elsa and Jack - AS6J5203
Sarah - AS6J5745
Ella and Zeus - AS6J5609
Kiera and Trinity - AS6J5559
Kylie - AS6J5708

July 13, 2017by doglando0

This morning we worked hard on loose leash walking.  It is a complicated concept with a lot of parts.  Not only do you have to hold the leash carefully so it does not tangle the dog while still remaining loose, you must present your reinforcers promptly and in such a way that the dog can take them, all while moving faster than the dog and anticipating and guiding the dog’s movements.  It takes a while to get it right!

Afterward we practiced getting our dogs’ attention.  It is surprisingly difficult to get, and keep, a dog’s attention while there are other campers, other dogs, and loose kibble lying around.  This time, we tried to keep our dog’s attention for two minutes, armed with both a toy and kibble.  We got to try different toys and tactics to keep our dogs interested in us.

After lunch we took the dogs swimming — and this time we got to get into the pool with them!  We guided our puppies around the pool, helping them to build stamina and learn to move in the water.  We also made ourselves available to the puppies as a place of safety — they could swim to us and we would support them in the water.  Some of the puppies got a little overenthusiastic and tried to climb us like trees!  We had to remind them that it is not nice to use humans as jungle gyms.

While the puppies rested after swimming, we took a “field trip” to an ice cream shop!

In the afternoon we added hula hoops to crate exercises — allowing us to increase duration, distance, and distraction while giving the dogs a target (the hula hoop) to help focus them (and us).  Then we cleaned the barn, and had a little quiet naptime to round out an amazing day!

Charlie - AS6J4985
Ella Taylor and Kylie - AS6J5118
Kylie and Maui - AS6J4687
Ella and Charlie - AS6J4860
Trinity - AS6J4667
Mckenna and Kane - AS6J4726
Taylor and Rockwell - AS6J4928
Dominic and Liberty - AS6J4883
Audrey and Moana - AS6J5103
Sarah and Tanner - AS6J4745
Justin and Carlos - AS6J4988
Tess and Titan - AS6J4902
Elsa and Jack - AS6J4872
Kiera and Trinity - AS6J4755
Ella and Zeus - AS6J4927

July 12, 2017by doglando0

Today was full of training that was surprisingly hard work.

We worked on adding duration, distance, and distraction to the dogs’ crate exercise skills.  This means we practiced those skills but added more time waiting in the crate before release, added more distance between the handler and the dog, and added distractions for the dog to ignore.  We all did very well but practice will make perfect!

We went outside to work on loose leash walking but it was very hot and we went back in quickly so the dogs could get some water and cool down.

After that, we learned about how difficult it can be to be a dog if the trainer does not present reinforcers promptly and in a position which makes them easy to eat.  To demonstrate, we had to pretend a string was our “trainer” and eat the donuts it was offering us without using our hands, just like a dog would have to.  It’s surprisingly hard to eat things without being able to use our hands to control them!

Then we took a rest in the air conditioning, and learned about how people breed puppies for sale at pet stores, and the surprisingly awful things that can go into cheap pet food.

After lunch, we took the puppies swimming for the first time.  Swimming is an important confidence-building skill for puppies.  They learn how to use their bodies to move in water and learn that they can float in water and successfully exit the pool.

After swimming we did chores and cleaned out the barn, and took a well-deserved rest.  More excitement tomorrow!

Ella and Zeus - AS6J4218
Elsa and Jack - AS6J4465
Sarah and Tanner - AS6J4305
Mckenna and Kane - AS6J4437
Kiera and Trinity - AS6J4472
Taylor and Rockwell - AS6J4449
Alyssa and Kane - AS6J4500
Justin and Carlos - AS6J4324
Trinity - AS6J4534
Dominic and Liberty - AS6J4496
Tess and Titan - AS6J4223
Audrey and Moana - AS6J4409

July 3, 2017by doglando0

The last day of camp is always bittersweet.  We have some of our most memorable moments, because the dogs are by now used to working with us and trust us to help them through strange spaces, and we can do things like visit public beaches or — as we did today — visit senior care homes and interact with the residents.  Imagine trying to do this on Day One, with the dogs fresh out of the shelter!  But today everyone was happy, peaceful, and enjoying receiving kibble from complete strangers.

We also visited Full Tummy (without the dogs), to meet the people and animals who benefited from our bake sale fundraiser.

Then we showed off everything we’d learned in the last two weeks in our graduation ceremony!  Despite rain bucketing down and rattling off the barn roof, everyone did very well, both dogs and kids.  We’re always so happy to see how everyone has grown and changed in only two weeks.

Afterwards came the sad part — we had to say goodbye.  Some of the dogs, including Xena and Harry, were adopted right out of the graduation ceremony!  Some of the dogs, including Girl, had meet-and-greets scheduled after graduation.  Anyone who did not get adopted does not need to worry — Pet Rescue by Judy is there for them until they do find their forever home, which will be EASY with all the work our campers have done with them!

It’s hard to say goodbye to the campers, too.  We all learn so much from each other.  Hopefully we will see you all next year!

Peyton and Lynsey - AS6J1809
Lynsey - AS6J1790
Sophia and Harry - AS6J1846
Addison and Xena - AS6J1835
Mary and Gracie - AS6J1737
Carlyn and Girl - AS6J1650
Ashley and AnnaLesa - AS6J1815
Rylan and Tanner - AS6J1681
Ayla and Softie - AS6J1694
Chloe and Jack - AS6J1833
Ella and Colton - AS6J1659
Audrey and Harry - AS6J1666
Alyssa and Chance - AS6J1687
Tess - AS6J1736

June 30, 2017by doglando0

Today started off with some more work on “down” (adding distance, duration, and distraction) and recalls, as well as some loose leash walking along Colonial Drive.  However, we stopped by 10:30 am because the big hit of the day was canoeing/kayaking, with the dogs, at Kings Landing!

After an hour long bus ride we loaded up, three to a canoe, with either two or three dogs with us.  There were some people with us who did this trip last year and remembered how to canoe with a dog, and there were some new people who had never even canoed before.  Everybody worked together and now we all know how it works!

Kings Landing has a big open space with clear water, a sandy bottom, and a rope swing that you can grab onto and let go and land right in the deepest part of the pool.  It also has about a mile long loop of quiet river along which you can canoe and occasionally see wildlife.  Everybody at least tried the rope swing, or jumping off the dock, and everybody ran around in the sandy area with their dogs.  The larger dogs seem to like the water most — poor AnnaLesa, with her short little legs, did not like being in the water as almost everywhere was over her head!

Many campers took the chance to canoe around the little loop and saw some alligators and turtles and fish and all sorts of birds from the safety of their boats.

On the way home, we stopped at Twistee Treat (for one bus) and McDonald’s (for the other) and everybody got some ice cream.  The dogs slept almost the entire way home — what a day!

Tonight we have a SLEEPOVER…and tomorrow morning, graduation day, starts promptly at eight!

Mary and Gracie - AS6J0890
Peyton Lynsey Victor Chloe and Jack - AS6J0948
Rylan and Tanner - AS6J1457
Lynsey - AS6J0905
Alyssa and Chance - AS6J0827
Ella and Colton - AS6J1295
Peyton and Lynsey - AS6J1259
Carlyn and Girl - AS6J0637
Chloe and Jack - AS6J1639
Victor and Softie - AS6J1100
Ayla and Softie - AS6J1076
Ashley and AnnaLesa - AS6J1610
Audrey and Harry - AS6J1065
Addison and Xena - AS6J0928