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Oliver's Journey

Oliver's First Christmas...Naughty or Nice?!?

With Christmas fast approaching, I thought it might be time for another Oliver update. The past couple of months have been busy, Oliver has been in the bratty adolescent stage and has kept my hands full to say the least (don't be fooled by the sweet face). As hormones have flooded his system, he sometimes struggles to make the right choices. Patience and tolerance go a long way in keeping my sanity sometimes! The obedience cues that he learned in the late summer/fall seem to need to be repeated often, and he definitely has a mind of his own at times. Although this can be a frustrating quality at times, it is also one of the things that I love about him.

All of the training we do with Oliver keeps in mind what I will need from him as an Animal Assisted Therapy dog in the future. Currently, one of the main focuses of his training is attempting to build his confidence, with objects, places, and people. Oliver has always been drawn to people, children especially, so that one is relatively easy. However, objects are not as simple. We have to introduce Oliver to many different things, especially while he is a pup, so that he feels that new objects are exciting and not scary. People may bring in backpacks, or may be on crutches, or any other situations in which people are bringing objects into the therapy room, and Oliver needs to be able to remain calm. One of the ways to build his confidence it to take him to new places so that he can explore. Luckily this month, we were able to take him to get pictures with Santa at the pet store. Lots of new sights and smells, he loved watching the fish in the fish tank. Also, I think he tried to convince Santa to put him on the nice list...gave him the puppy dog eyes and asked for more snow to play in!

We will be back in the New Year with more Oliver adventures, but until then, from both Oliver and myself, we hope you have a very Merry Christmas and happy holiday season!

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