Puppy Socialization Diaries – Day 18

Day 18 was a really big day for young Cuba!

He had an early afternoon vet check up for his second round of booster shots.  We discovered that he now weighs 20.5 lbs.  Before we left Oregon, he weighed about 16.5 so he has gained approximately 25% of his body weight again in two short weeks – yowza!

This is the third time I’ve been to the vet with Cuba (all appointments for routine care or fun visits) and each time he has been really wonderful.  This particular visit to the vet was very exciting because Cuba got to hang out with some kitties, which he loves!  He first met Sedgie, a 7-week old kitten that Dr. B’s office is trying to place in a home.  Sedgie took to Cuba right away.  First she sniffed him, then she decided to chew on and chase his leash around for a little bit.  It didn’t take long for her to discover that I had wonderful treats, after which she primarily focused on me.  Soon, she and Cuba were taking treats within inches of each other!

When it was time for Cuba and I to go into the examination room, his leash was dragging on the ground and Sedgie decided to chase it and bite it, following us right into the examination room!

Cuba did great up on the table and was very relaxed throughout the examination, receiving a high rate of reinforcement.  While I was at it, I decided to teach Sedgie to target my hand.  Within about ten treats, she was moving approximately 1′ to touch my hand – good kitty!  She loved treats and learning so much, I considered posting to the Karen Pryor Academy group and seeing if anyone was interested in a kitty to train – this girl should absolutely go to a home that wants to clicker trainer her – she’s brilliant!

We stayed at the vet’s for quite a while after Cuba’s appointment because there were so many wonderful socialization opportunities.  In addition to meeting Sedgie, he got to meet a blind adult cat (a lovely Tortie female) that lives at Dickin Memorial Animal Hospital.  The third kitty he met at the vet’s was named “Little Man.”  Little Man was abandoned by his momma and is only three weeks old, small enough to fit in the palm of your hand!

The head technician/office manager at our vet’s office is a wonderful lady named Terry.  Little Man goes home with her every night so she can bottle feed him.

Unfortunately, without momma to groom him, Little Man was a little dirty.  Cuba helped out with a little grooming, then decided he’d just lie down and let the kitten climb all over him, a task which was generously reinforced, obviously!

In addition to all the kitteh excitement of the day, Cuba got up on the x-ray table and clicked and treated as Dr. B. moved the table around.  He was introduced to rolling chairs and medical equipment, and also got up on the grooming/bathing table with wire grates in the bottom.  He met a few new people, including two fantastic children that loved him so much!

After our trip to the vet’s, it was time to grab Mokie and head off to our next adventure.  We met up with my friend and colleague Donna DeVoist of Wylde Pups Gentle Dog Training and Lure Coursing and set out on an hour long road trip to Oxford, NY where we visited with Abbie Tamber of Dogs on the Run to check out Abbie’s new agility field.

Here Cuba got to meet two Jack Russell Terriers, two Whippets (one long-haired, one short), a Catahoula mix, and a senior Doberman.  Cuba had a great time at Abbie’s field.  Remember how on Tuesday Cuba learned to go through the three foot barrel tunnel?  At Abbie’s on Friday, he followed Mokie through the twenty foot tunnel and then, for good measure, decided to go through it again a few times on his own – good boy!

All things told, Cuba had a great day!  I think he wants to be an agility star and a kitty nanny when he grows up, which is perfectly fine with me!