Apologies for the long delay since the last post. This special giant update should help!
Summer Life outpaced my ability to write about it. Jessica graduated from High School, and started work and prep for college. Kitto graduated from Puppy Preschool on June 29 (See blurry picture above, blurry due to haste required to capture him in this pose). At work we’re in the middle of a planned ramp (business increase). And Jess swiped my laptop after work to play Stardew Valley (highly recommended by both girls).
As Puppy Class ended, we realized that Kitto was ahead of the game on learning obedience and manners. We decided to spend every day doing fun things with Kitto outside, with people, animals, etc.
Thank you to all of you Alaskan Klee Kai fans out there. You make sharing Kitto fun, and your enthusiasm and laughter and lives are teaching Kitto how to really REALLY enjoy being part of our human family and community!
June 15 — Hanging out with Jessica and Dad at work
June 18 — Hanging out with Alyssa at home
We do not speak of the week of June 20 – 26. [Actually it’s a great story and will have its own post later. — Tom]
June 27 — A visit to a local pet store.
June 29 — The last day of Puppy Class. Kitto has learned SO MUCH from this class!
June 29 — The kitten didn’t like this introduction nearly as much as Kitto did.
June 30 – Hi, Cousin Baxter!
June 30 – Kitto is proud to learn that he is big enough to jump up onto the couch now.
Early July — Kitto plays Chess, a problem-solving toy. He really enjoys this and sometimes will ask for it specifically.
July 2 — My family loves Independence Day, and now Kitto does, too!
July 2 — A 50 foot recall on lead. Kitto does this off-leash too in the bark park. So fun!
July 4 — Lunch at our favorite hangout. We saw this handsome fella going through the drive through. It WAS a bright day. These cool shades are for real!
July 4 — Our neighborhood celebrates July 4 with many loud noises and bangs, bright lights, thunder, and smoke. I can only imagine how this must sound and smell and look like to a dog with much better senses than my own.
Kitto didn’t mind any of this at all. We stayed outside and enjoyed a couple, and then I took him inside for the evening. I didn’t want him to change his mind about enjoying the holiday. He floored us all by being calm and self-assured throughout the night.
July 7 — Lunch out with cousins. Kitto goes everywhere with us now. His leash helps with the inevitable questions. Thank you for thinking of this, Jim and Marilyn Butler!
July 9 — Sleepy bonding time.
July 9 — A popsicle on a hot day is just the thing.
July 9 — Street festival.
July 9 — A friendly husky at the festival.
July 10 — Kitto meets Cousin Ghost, who just came home to his new family a few doors down from us. Ghost will be an all-white German Shepherd, and not little for long!
July 14 — We visit Beverly’s Pet Resort and Bark Park. It is clean, beautiful, and not far from home. Kitto had a great time and was well-behaved. We bought a membership and have been going four to six times a week since. Hands down this has been a wonderful experience for all of us, getting us all outside even more and giving Kitto many new adventures and opportunities to play with other dogs. This one single thing may be one of the things we look back on as key to his successful socialization. We highly recommend a good bark park if you can find one near your home.
July 15 — Getting ready for off-leash romp with Cousin Baxter.
July 16 — Farmer’s Market
July 16 — It’s true that Kitto does seem to love northern breeds. He’s never met a husky he didn’t love immediately. With other breeds he is a little more cautious but he is now calm about introductions.
July 18 — We pushed the loveseat up to the back of the couch, creating a perch for Kitto along the length where they touch. He loves it up there and now takes naps just above our heads as we sit on the couch.
July 19 — Rosie is one of Kitto’s best friends at Beverly’s bark park. She is a sweetie!
July 24 — A nap next to the air conditioning vent.
July 25 — Kitto naps in his kennel with the blanket he came home to us with.
July 25 — Kitto goes to… Starbucks? I don’t recall this picture. Kitto, did you take a selfie?
July 25 — Just kidding. He’s out to lunch with family again. We’ve been doing this often, and he has learned to sit or lay down quietly while we talk. People stop to stare because to them it looks like a puppy has the manners of a two or three-year-old dog. It’s REALLY FUN to have a dog that behaves so nicely. It is worth the time investment!
July 27 — One of our last outings for the summer, a community campfire event with Dangerous Animals. One of the cousins is saying hello to a dangerous animal in this picture, while another looks on. There were over a hundred people at this event, half of them small children. Ghost came too, and we met a pit bull and her owner too.
Pit bulls are a little scary. Yes, yes, they’re a gentle breed and all. I know the statistics. We recommend ALL dogs get their Canine Good Citizen certification so that their owners can show that their dogs have been trained to a minimal standard. An assuredly-trained pit bull is still scary when the guy holding him is young, six and a half feet tall, muscled, and restraining the dog with a giant heavy pronged metal choke collar with a similarly heavy metal link harness. Think about that. Standing next to this animal and handler is intimidating in the same way that standing next to a policeman handling a chained convict who looks you in the eyes is intimidating. If the handler fails or the harness fails, am I and my dog (and 50 young children nearby) still safe? I don’t want to find out the hard way.
Get your dog’s Canine Good Citizen certification, and I’ll get it with Kitto, and we’ll bump fists and congratulate each other on doing our best for everyone, including our dogs. Kitto isn’t old enough to get this certification yet, but we’re working on the skills now. We start obedience class in August!
2 thoughts on “Socialization (5 Months)”
Really enjoyed your recent updated blog ! We are loving each post and anxiously await the next chapter ! ! Please give KITTO a big hug from his Grandma and Grandpa ! !
We will! Thanks, you are so encouraging. 🙂
We are going to meet a new friend and her husband this week so that her husband can meet Kitto in person. We met her at one of the weekly farmer’s markets here.
Also, Kitto made a new friend at work this week. He has trained a rescued pit bull all the way up to Therapy dog level and the dog is regularly working with people who need him. How cool is that? I’ll ask if he’ll let me write him up with pictures here as an example we can follow.
And for dogs… he played with about ten dogs at once today on the Big Dog Side of the dog park (We knew everyone ahead of time). All different breeds and sizes (a couple larger than german shepherd!). It is soooo helpful to have so many well-behaved dogs to play with and learn good social skills from. Kitto is reserved whenever too many excited wriggly bodies get playful at once, but not intimidated. He joins in chase and sniffing, and initiates play with the dogs that feel the same about it. Strangers comment that he behaves well, like an older dog that has learned good manners. We’re so happy for him!