Adventure Camp # 5 – Puppy Graduation!
Graduation Day is here – WOW! Time DOES fly when you are having fun!
At Dog Connection, we find ourselves as usual feeling conflicting emotions on this our last day of this Camp Series. We feel happy because the dogs had so much fun, proud that they have all learned so much and improved so notably, but we also feel a little sad because we know we’ll miss our outings and seeing them on a regular basis. It really is a lot of work planning and putting into practice each Camp session, but the rewards we get from each and every one far outweigh it. So this is not really a goodbye but a see you later, as we’re already starting plans for our next series – after a short break for the Holidays!
Since this was our final camp session, we decided to challenge our young campers with some “real life” experiences. The idea was to give them some positive experiences in situations that they might normally encounter, to create some positive associations with these scenarios. We decided we would take them to a Cafe and the Vet, two fairly common scenarios for today’s urban dog. But first, we took them to Haulover Park for some off leash social time.
It was a beautiful day for the park, with a nice cool breeze coming from the ocean and the bright sun overhead. Just PERFECT! The small dog off leash area is HUGE – it’s actually larger than most dog parks. The big dog area is even bigger and could easily fit a soccer game so the dogs had lots of space to romp and play, with no need for fence fighting between the parks. The Campers played chase games to their hearts content and got to meet some strange dogs and people, which is always a nice benefit of dog park visits.
From there, on to our first “real life” experience. We figured the Campers and Counselors could use a break so we stopped at Starbucks for a nice Cafe experience. The place was packed so the Campers got LOTS of exposure. From there we did a nice potty walk in the grassy areas of the parking lot then a stroll along some storefronts for a bit more socializing. There were lots of strange new sounds, lots of carts and equipment, strangers and even a few dogs. The dogs got lots of attention and belly rubs from the shoppers and got to demonstrate some of their manners and greetings. Definitely positive experiences all!
From there we headed to our second “real life” challenge. We visited Dr. Tenzer & Dr. Moreno at Sky Lake Animal Hospital for some training time and positive exposure to the vet and equipment. The clinic is wonderful and Dr. Tenzer, Dr. Moreno and their entire staff truly went out of their way to make sure the pups all had a perfect experience. They took the time to greet each camper, offer treats and give some ear scruffs. We knew they were EXELLENT veterinarians, but this went above and beyond. The Campers got one on one training time, got some treats and practice in different areas of the clinic, and some rides on the equipment at the exam rooms. Truly a marvelous opportunity for a positive association with the vet clinic during a visit that had nothing to do with being pinched and prodded!
As you’ll see from the pictures, it was a very full and busy day for our Campers and we are sure they went home tired. We hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoyed spending the day with your dogs.
We’d like to once again give a big thank you to Dr. Tenzer, Dr. Moreno, and the whole staff for Sky Lake Animal Clinic. Thank you for your generous help and for making this visit so perfect and positive for our Campers. Your commitment to animals and their well-being is truly phenomenal!
Finally, we would like to thank all of our Campers for joining us in this journey, for all the laughs and their antics, and of course to you, their families, for taking such good care of them and, of course, for trusting us with their care and training.
Please remember the Holidays can be a very dangerous and stressful time for your dog: lots of people coming in and out of the house raise the risk of escaping, and dogs can get a bit nervous with the unusual going ons. Gifts and decorations present new hazards for dogs who can become destructive or curious with the unexpected “surprises”. Holiday candy and food, as well as some of the more traditional plants can be poisonous to your dog, so make sure your pup isn’t chewing on your beautiful poinsetta as it can be very dangerous!
Remember to give your dogs a break from all the celebrating and enjoy this wonderful time with your family!!!!
See you soon for our next Camp!