Monday, July 25, 2011


Eli has been a very busy tiny dog...and has been handling his full calendar extremely well.
Canine Good Citizen Class began Friday. Sadly, or perhaps fortunate for us, Eli and I were the only ones there. The trainer, Lisa, reviewed the test with me. We discussed some of the things Eli will not have a problem with and focused on the questionable areas. We did a little practicing, too. Eli and I have some tasks to strengthen, but I have confidence in his abilities.
Eli went on his first hayride and attended his first baseball game this weekend. He was around many, many strangers and handled himself beautifully. He did a little bit of barking at the Connecticut Tigers' mascot. I expected that he would not know what to make of a big tiger walking around. Of course, Eli was doing his job of protecting me from the weird thing that was walking around the ballpark. It was great, though, that I was able to assure him that the big tiger was not a threat and he accepted the mascot's presence. I was very proud of the way Eli was able to handle the crowd and all the noises that were going on at the ballgame. He was very popular and got to be friendly with a lot of people. One lady commented on how cute he is...well, a lot of people were commenting on how cute Eli is...but this lady said she has a mixed Chihuahua and could tell the difference between her mixed breed and Eli because of Eli's face. I could not bring myself to tell her that Eli is not a purebred.
I brought Eli to a local pond one very hot evening so he could swim. He gets very excited about children and loves when children pet him. I think Eli liked taking a dip in the pond with all the kids. He was pretty well behaved on the beach, but for one lady who walked behind us with a Black Lab. It was one of those situations where I was sitting on the stone wall, becoming overheated, and Eli felt he had to keep others at bay. Once again, I was able to get him to calm down and accept that we were sharing the beach with all the other people and dogs and everything was okay. It was not like he wanted to tear the other dog apart, either. Eli was just letting the other dog know that he was not welcome to visit us. I think if I had gotten up from the wall and socialized Eli would have been more accepting. However, I really was feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and very overheated. This is where my disability sometimes gets in the way of strenuous training with Eli.
Eli is super accepting of new experiences and situations. I am trying to make sure that Eli gets exposed to as many things as possible while he is still very young. He is an amazing little guy and is proof positive that Chihuahuas really are smart little dogs. Beginning to train him as soon as he came home at eight weeks old was such a benefit for both of us. I would love to help someone else adopt a Tiny but Mighty companion to be their service dog because I am so impressed by Eli's dedication and abilities. There was a time when I could not believe a Chihuahua could possibly be a service dog, nor was I thrilled about the idea of my service dog being a Chihuahua. Now, I can not imagine it any other way and I love to talk to people about how incredible Eli is.

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