We had an excellent weekend! Since Karma had her 3rd set of vaccines last week, it is now safe to take her out and introduce her to the world! Our adventures officially started last Wednesday, August 17th, when I decided to take Orso & Karma out to South Miami to run some errands and grab a quick snack. That was Karma’s first real outing since we brought her home and she did pretty well. She was fairly confident and was comfortable hanging out with us while we ate a snack at Blu Pizzeria but she did not get to meet too many new people, so it wasn’t as effective an outing as we’d hoped it would be. This weekend was entirely different though!
On Saturday, our day started with our usual morning craziness in the family room, which is great since it helps burn some puppy energy! Below are two video clips of our morning ritual – it is a total free for all! I have no idea how none of our dogs ever get hurt playing all crazy like that every morning.
After they ate their breakfast, we decided that it was time to truly expose Karma to everyday sights and sounds. We also felt that it was best to take both Karma and Orso together so that she can feel more comfortable having him there and possibly also learn from his behavior in public, which is almost impeccable. We settled on going with them to Sergio’s Restaurant, a Cuban restaurant in London Square, a busy strip mall a few miles from our home that is frequented by families. We immediately drew a large crowd – this always happens with Orso, so we were happily expecting it – and handed out single bits of kibble to anyone who would be kind enough to agree to offer it to Karma. Orso could care less about people and kids but Karma is new to this, so we kept asking everybody to pet her and call her over. We specifically targeted families with children. Every single person who helped us received a wholehearted thank you from us for helping with Karma’s training. While we ate, Karma and Orso both held their down-stay very nicely. After our long lunch, we walked them back and forth through the strip mall, stopping at entrances to stores, so that Karma could become accustomed to shopping carts, strollers, balloons and anything else she might consider unusual. It took us an hour to walk from one end of the mall and back with them – and it is not that big of a mall – because everyone wanted to meet Orso and Karma. By the end of the outing, Karma had met approximately 50-60 new people, mostly children, and had been exposed to all kinds of scary noises. Orso, as we expected, was a saint and threw himself on the ground so kids could LITERALLY climb him, pet him, rub his belly, feed him kibble, etc. He is such a great role model for Karma! She had to have absorbed his reactions to the different situations; we really believe they learn from each other, so it was a blessing to have Orso with us! Below are a few photos from this outing. Thanks to every single person who trusted our dogs and helped us start Karma’s desensitization project!
We got home and decided that everyone deserved to play in the pool, including Karma, since they were so hot and had been such awesome dogs at lunch! Everyone had a great time in the pool and we worked a little on Karma’s pool skills. Below are a few video clips from pool time, enjoy, and no making fun of the overgrown shrubs (the landscaper has canceled 3 times due to rain)!
Then Karma napped on me on the sofa, see below!
Today (Sunday), we took Orso and Karma with us to George’s on Sunset in South Miami for brunch. The folks there had a table waiting for us! We went there Friday night for dinner and promised to return on Sunday with our dogs and they remembered! Karma behaved like an old pro! She was laying down the entire time and did not bother anyone. The seating there can be a little tight so we were concerned that she would “get in the way” while we were eating, but she did not at all! Yay, Karma! The best part was that George’s is known for its party scene, especially if it’s someone’s birthday. The table next to us was celebrating a birthday so the music was blaring, everyone was singing happy birthday AND the waiters came out with firecrackers!!! Karma was super chill the whole time! My sister, Yvette, also met us out there and was very impressed with how well they behave. After we ate, she met lots of people, including children, and was very calm about it all. Also, the restaurant is located on a busy road so there was a lot of road noise, yet she did not react at all to it, not even to the sound of motorcycles. So great to see her learning so quickly! Once again, we thanked everyone who trusted our dogs with their children and for helping us teach Karma to love everyone! Below are some photos from brunch, enjoy!
By the time we got home, Orso & Karma were exhausted! They barely made it past the front door! They did manage to find some energy to play with an empty cereal box I saved for them. They spent the rest of the day relaxing with Mouse & Luna. Their snoring could be heard for blocks! The humans of the house got some alone time later in the evening to recharge our “doggie batteries”!
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