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13 Days and Counting

February 25, 2012

Based on the success Cooper and I found over the last couple of days walking around the neighborhood, I decided it was time to test his focus in a more challenging environment: Downtown McMinnville, Ore.

Downtown McMinnville isn’t all that big. It’s really only a few short blocks that run through the historic part of town. The street is lined with shops and tasting rooms and generally attracts visitors from both in and out of state. Today, the little area was particularly busy because it was apparently Linfield (College) Dad’s Weekend.

We managed to slip into the area between rainstorms and Cooper immediately started tugging on the leash as we walked down the sidewalk. At first, I thought he was anxious to meet the people on the sidewalk, but then I realized he noticed a dog at the end of the block. He barked once, but immediately sat down when I waved a treat in front him.

Once the dog was gone, we continued down the street and Cooper happily cooperated, sitting when told, ignoring people as we walked past, looking to me for his treats and encouragement.

Cooper and Benjamin Franklin

As we headed down the opposite side of the street, Cooper immediately started whimpering as soon as we reached the city’s statue of Benjamin Franklin (why does McMinnville have a statue of Benjamin Franklin, you might ask … I really don’t understand the connection, but it was originally on loan to the city and then bought outright). Apparently, he thought the statue was real because he practically tried to climb into the statue’s lap and then attempted to jump onto the bench next to the bronze man. After thoroughly checking out the statue, he settled down and looked at me in utter boredom.

Yeah, like I’m to blame for the fact that he thought it was real.

All-in-all, it was a very successful walk. He really only got distracted once, when he saw a dog walking straight for him. He wound up so quickly that the only thing I could do was drag him out of the way while the other dog kept walking. For me, it was definitely a big step forward.

Of course, afterward, we went to Petco, where his trainer took his leash and managed to get him to behave completely as she slowly lead him over to a beautiful golden retriever.

<sigh>

One of these days, I’ll be able to do the same.

This made me laugh. When I instructed Cooper to sit, he didn't realize there were cats in the window of the dance studio ...

Of course, it didn't take him long to realize it and he immediately wanted to be their friend. They, on the other hand, were NOT impressed by this overly friendly dog.

From → Animals, Cooper

3 Comments
  1. Sounds like you are on the right track with Cooper. Practice makes perfect. He is one handsome boy. Loved the photo of him with the cats in the background, so funny!

    • Thanks! He can be a stubborn one, so I’m trying everything I can to make sure he keeps learning and growing.

    • And he does love his kitties. And by “his kitties,” I mean every cat we come across because he’s convinced they all belong to him and should be his best friend. 🙂

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