I promise not to post about Fred (my Newfoundland puppy) every single day.
But honestly, the first week with a new puppy is all consumed by puppy.
Especially when the puppy is an adorable fur-ball like Fred.
Fred – 10 weeks old and feeling sleepy.
Fred has had an exciting last few days.
His puppy “well check-up” on Friday was very thorough.
My vet was very impressed with Fred … and very impressed with the great work of his breeder.
Fred made friends with everyone in the vet’s office.
He wowed them with his easy-going demeanor, his smarts, and especially his abundance of fluffy-fluff.
Fred enjoyed the cool, rainy, weather over the weekend too.
We don’t get a lot of rain here in Orange County, but it’s great for a Newfie when it happens.
Fred experienced his first rain drops.
(He tried to eat them!)
Fred is very interested in all the hummingbirds that live in my backyard.
Fred loved his first puddles.
Fred learned a lot about sticks over the weekend too.
Fred is very interested in sticks. (And yes, Fred has a white spot on his chest.)
We also had family and friends visiting for the last few days.
I think Fred enjoyed being the center of attention.
Fred has learned a lot in his first few days home.
I have had a few people inquire about what type of training Fred will get to help him along his journey.
Fred can’t be out and about around other dogs yet because he isn’t fully vaccinated against parvo yet.
Over the next six weeks, I’ll be working with Fred on house training and basic obedience.
Fred has a crate … which he loves.
Fred loves his crate because it was introduced to him gradually and as a positive place to be.
I crate train all my dogs and it is great if it is done correctly.
If you aren’t familiar with crate training you can learn a little about it here.
Fred goes in and out of his crate whenever he wants.
If I’m home, Fred naps in his crate willingly, and with the door of the crate open.
If I leave, I close the door of the crate so Fred doesn’t eat
the house something he shouldn’t while I’m gone.
(Like all puppies, Fred can be quite naughty at times!)
I’m using clicker training for basic obedience.
Fred is a very quick learner.
In fact, everyone who has met him so far has been amazed at how smart he is.
I would tell you Fred’s already house broken, but if I did he’d be jinxed and have an accident.
Because Fred is in training to become a service dog, it’s important he be exposed to a lot of different people/sounds/experiences.
I can’t take him out to potential parvo exposed places yet, but I can make sure he gets used to cameras/camera equipment and car rides.
He has a mini (so far, empty) backpack so he can get used to the feel of wearing something on his back.
I can also make sure he hears lots of different types of sounds so he doesn’t become startled or fearful when he’s, eventually, in a variety of settings.
I’m inviting people of different sizes and types to the house.
All of these things help Fred assimilate into his new life.
Once Fred is fully vaccinated against parvo, he’ll be enrolled in a puppy obedience class.
The point of the class will be more for socializing than anything else.
I have a trainer who will be working with Fred and I on a one on one basis.
I also have two great options for service dog programs.
I haven’t picked which one I’ll use yet.
My needs are very different than a blind person’s or those of someone in a wheelchair.
I need help carrying things.
I need help opening heavy doors, etc.
Fred will learn to step in and be my right arm.
Fred will learn to carry things like grocery bags with his teeth.
He will carry heavier things like lenses in his backpack.
(He’ll only do this once he’s grown up enough so it won’t hurt him.)
I’ve networked with other people of various disabilities with Newfie service dogs.
Having a “pull rope” with me will allow Fred to open heavy doors.
(The rope can fit over the handle of commercial doors so Fred can pull to open the door.)
Fred will not be working all the time.
Fred will have lots and lots of time to just be a dog.
He will get to swim in our pool and the ocean.
He’ll get walks and hikes and lots of great dog adventures.
Fred will, in fact, be treated like royalty.
When I need help, Fred will know how to help.
It won’t happen overnight.
It will take time.
So far, Fred had shown lots of promise.
He’s a quick learner and he’s eager to please.
If all goes well, maybe Fred can also get certified as a therapy dog.
I’d love it if Fred and I could help people.
So many people have helped me since the car accident,
It would be great if Fred and I could give back a little of the love we’ve received.