Monday, March 5, 2012

Eighteen Week Old #SAGApupVolt

Volt and I had a really busy week! 
We had puppy class on Tuesday morning (and a visit to the shops and the dog park afterwards), we did a group walk on Thursday (with another visit to the shops and the dog park afterwards), we rode the Gautrain and had lunch at Isabella's on Saturday and we were at Hobby-X yesterday morning! Volt got to interact with so many people this week! He still gets tremendously excited when he sees children so we are going to have to do some school visits soon.

patiently waiting till I say he may go out the open door

Keep in mind dear puppy lovers, as you read about Volt's adventures, that he really is still a baby. At only a little over four months old he gets quite tired after a walk and a couple of 5 minute training sessions a day. A day consisting of a restaurant visit, a train ride and a few car rides really wears him out because he has to work so very hard to be a good dog for several hours at a time. This is just one of the reasons I am especially proud of him after an outing!
And SAGA says he is perfectly on track with his development and training!

playing with his stuffed dog toy

And now onto his weekly update. 


Volt weighed in at 18.6kg this morning, which means he's gained a massive 2.1kg since last Sunday!
He now gets 180g of puppy food three times a day and can't WAIT for his food! 
his grown-up teeth are coming in!
He knows he has to sit and wait until I say he may eat and he's doing very well with it, but he doesn't like to wait too long... And I discovered this week that Volt is a little protective of his food when Turk (one of my cats and his favourite playmate at home) comes near him! He will lie next to Turk and wait for him to finish eating, but Turk isn't allowed to be near Volt's bowl, so we'll be working on getting Volt out of that frame of mind as soon as possible.

how long are his eyelashes!
Because he gets nauseous if he's eaten and we drive somewhere, for the last several weeks we have avoided feeding Volt if we know we're going in the car.  He doesn't get car sick at all if his tummy is empty. I know it sounds extreme, but he hasn't thrown up in the car (except for a little nausea last week) in ages. He doesn't get carsick if he hasn't eaten, so we haven't needed Rescue Remedy or anything to date, and as a result I decided to try a little experiment starting Friday. I gave him a third of his breakfast to see if he would be okay with a little food, and so far so good. I'm hoping we can slowly increase his food intake if we're travelling until its a normal bowl full of food and he has no nausea!
The problem with a guide-dog who battles with nausea is that it makes him or her not want to get in the car, and guide-dogs do quite a lot of car travel. Volt is now at a point where he doesn't hesitate to get into a car at all, and he curls up and goes to sleep in the front foot-well or on the back seat depending on the car he's in. This is fantastic, so now we're going to start working on eating and travelling and see if we can avoid medication.
He's going to get a new full-time collar this week too. The one I bought when I went to fetch him the first time is on its biggest setting already! It'll be too tight for him by the end of the week if I'm not mistaken, and he can't ever be without his collar and guide-dogs ID disc. His blue half-check collar will still fit him for a long time but it is only worn when he's working.
loving his Coke bottle chew toys
Ooh and I must tell you this little story! Last weekend we were visiting my folks and we were sitting out in the garden enjoying the cool evening, and a labrador and his little pack of four or five fox terrier thingies had gotten out of their yard and were roaming the streets. It wasn't long before they were at my folks' gate and looking for mischief so I started walking towards them, loudly banging an empty 2L Coke bottle against my hand. The noise was considerable, and it immediately sent the "strays" running back home, and when I turned around to go and sit down again I realised Volt had followed me hoping I would give him the bottle to play with- completely  unconcerned by the noise! It was a great example of how he is being taught not to be "spooked" by noises!

click on the puppy to make a donation to SAGA

Don't forget to check out the Twitter hash-tag #SAGApupVolt to see regular updates on my puppy raising adventure!