🌠 Golden Retriever Service Dog 2/21/16 and 21 yo Handler 🐶 He has his own way of doing things! 😜 Utah 🌲 ArlenTheDog@gmail.com
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The orangutans thought Arlen was very interesting!*We did move away once they started coming up because I'm definitely not familiar with orangutan behavior and didn't want to make them agitated.* But how cute is this! Before I started the video, the baby saw Arlen and grabbed its mom to come over and look at him. After a couple seconds the mom got bored and went back to eating, but the baby stuck around and that's when I started the video. We'll post some of the pictures from our zoo adventure in a bit.
#throwbackthursday When Arlen was a tiny puppy I tried to do everything I could to *comfortably* expose him to as many different sensations, sounds, sights, smells, etc. as possible, known as socialization. He's grown up very confident, courageous, and "bombproof", and I attribute at least some of it to the socialization he got as a puppy. In this video I showed puppy Arlen my brother's indo-board, basically a board with a cylinder underneath to roll on. Arlen liked it and climbed right on and fell asleep. Because he was comfortable I decided to add some motion. Throughout his puppyhood he would frequently go to the indo-board to play with or rest on, and even when it crashed towards him when he stepped on he wasn't scared! It helped him become used to moving objects and learn that he could cause objects to move when he stepped on the high end of it. I'm a firm believer that letting dogs investigate and learn about their environment is a key to helping them become confident, calm, well-rounded, trusting, and ready for anything new. Did your pup have any cute puppy behaviors or experiences that helped prepare or teach them something new about the world?
Arlen is home and everything went great! He's very tired and a little bit out of it. He just wants to snuggle! I don't mind. We're gonna keep it low-key over the next two weeks or so. Let's see what kind of calm fun we can find around the house!
I'd been so worried about this day for so long. Even though it's "routine", you still never know what can happen and I don't know what I'd do without him. My anxiety was definitely on overdrive this morning! Now that he's back safe we're all so relieved and Arlen has fallen right asleep.
If you missed this morning's post, Arlen got neutered, a dental, and OFA x-rays of his hips and elbows. We got it all done at once so he didn't have to be under anesthesia multiple times. (Thank goodness, I don't know if *I* could make it through another!) We're excited to get his OFA results soon to confirm that his joints are good for all his service dog work!
We had a wonderful quick trip to Costco! I used the wheelchair which helps a lot to maximize what we can do, and Arlen worked on maneuvering beside it. He's still figuring out the details. Silly boy! Learning new things like this always feels like we're trying to juggle way too many things at once. It sure is an adventure! ️ Look how proud of himself Arlen was at the end. He was amazing!
When we saw this Kaytee Cuddle E-Cup for small animals, we knew we had to get it! Arlen's rats love cuddling. And how cute is it for small animals to get their own fluffy bed?! When they're out to play with Arlen, sometimes they find somewhere else to curl up and sleep and it makes Arlen so sad. This new bed fixed that, I pull it out of their cage when they come out and Arlen knows right where they'll go to curl up and cuddle! #chewyinfluencer
We were so surprised at the quality of the Cuddle-e Cup! I wasn't sure how it would stand up to rats but it's held up so well! They chewed up the back of it a bit, but after an entire February with ratties I didn't know if there'd be *anything* left. It's machine washable which will be so nice!
The girls have made it their new sleeping spot which says a lot. We all love the Cuddle E-Cup!
It's great for guinea pigs, rats, chinchillas, rabbits, and other small animals. And all the puppies who want to snuggle more with their smaller furry friends!
What I thought would be kind of a joke item has turned into one of my favorite products. Dogs get fluffy beds, why didn't anyone think of it sooner for the rest of our pets? I received these goodies free of charge from Chewy.com in an exchange for my honest review. Thanks @chewy!
Happy Birthday Arlen!!! I don't even know where to start to express how much these last two years have meant to me. Arlen has grown up into everything and so much more than I could have ever hoped or dreamed. He lives to share his heart with everyone. He waits for me to catch up to him when we first go upstairs in the morning. He thrives when he works and when he learns new things. He loves food and toys and adventure! He knows better than me, and he knows it. He chooses every day to be my partner, my guardian, my other half.
This past year has been different and crazy. Arlen's role as a service dog has continued to expand and he has thrived as he has become so much more than we ever planned. A real multi-purpose SD; Medical Alert & Response, Psychiatric, and Mobility! He knows when I'm going to fall over, when my heart is beating funny. When I've forgotten my meds, when I need to take a minute to clear my head. When I need to leave and where the car is. He brings me everything I need, turns off lights, shuts doors, and helps me navigate the world. He is my brain, my hands, my legs, my strength, and always my joy.
I owe him everything.
I can't believe it's been two years already!
Happy Birthday Arlen, Promise's Lucky Pursuit of Purpose!
: Mom! Look! I was just laying around being a good boy when I saw your shirt get this giant hole in it! : Why is there slobber on it? : oh... Umm... Aren't I a good boy for bringing you your shirt?
----- Arlen ate a giant hole out of one of my shirts. *Sigh* Silly boy! I think he'll be just fine, but it's a perfect hilarious example of how you have to be careful when you have a service dog. They touch/pick up/interact with so many objects that a "normal" dog wouldn't be allowed to. That makes it so important that they can discriminate between their toys and things that they're only allowed to get when we ask. Arlen has been going through a phase of trying to bring me my clothes all the time. Today I've been really tired and all it took was a minute of thinking he had a toy for this to occur. We'll be working more on this for sure! It's hard because he just tries to bring them directly to me most of the time, and I feel bad scolding him for trying to be helpful! We just need to set some more clear boundaries. It's always a work in progress for both of us to be the best team we can be, in all areas of life!
Do you remember that time we used to call Summer? Swipe Everything was so green and alive and warm and happy. When it comes back we'll spend our days outside, content to lay in the cool grass, sit in the sun. Passively feeling and experiencing the world around us, and welcoming the sunshine shining again.
IKEA Adventures️ It's such a maze inside IKEA, Arlen kept trying to lead me around in different directions My parents needed a few things and even though I'm not the biggest IKEA fan I thought it would be a nice opportunity to get out of the house with Arlen. I used the rollator and it helped a lot! But we're both ready to sleep for days now! We also stopped by PetSmart for rat litter, Arlen ignored several other dogs and found a new bone! A $20 bone. Who decided to make dog toys so expensive? But he loves it sogoodbye money! I also found a big stuffed elephant at IKEA and decided that Arlen needed it for a friend! Is he spoiled? Probably... But I owe him everything, my life, all that I have. It's the least I can do to make his life an amazing adventure!
We love being dramatic and stealing dinner before the song is over Practicing maneuvering with the rollator the best way we know how- "dancing" to a song before Arlen eats his dinner! His impulses got the better of him in the middle but he caught himself quickly and got right back. On the nights I have him practice anything we only do it for a song of two, so don't worry, he gets his food very soon! And he loves practicing all his different skills- look at that tail going!
- *His paw did get run over at one part if you saw that, but he is completely fine! We're both pretty clumsy. That's one part of why we practice, so that he adjusts to moving around the rollator and soon a wheelchair as well without getting his paws hurt! This is the lightest rollator ever- only eleven pounds, and we're on squishy carpet. Of course I don't want his paws run over ever! But I'm glad that he's able to learn to maneuver better with this first before my whole weight running over his paws in a wheelchair now THAT would hurt! We're careful but sometimes accidents happen. He's fine and happy, don't worry! I let him outside now and he's rolling around in the snow. Not a care in the world! Silly boy
King of the playground! Why? 'Cause it's fun! A reminder to get out there and just have a bit of fun with your pup! Even your front yard can be an adventure!️ Arlen and I have a tough time with that sometimes, we get stuck in the daily routine and forget to find new ways to have fun, but there's an adventure in everything when you're looking for it! Before the snow hit it was really warm out so we went for a walk to the park.(pictured) Now everything's covered in snow and it's a whole new adventure!️
It's snowing! Finally! This winter has been so different. We should be tired of snow by now, but this is the first good snow to play in this winter! ️ Arlen's snowsuit fits him even better this year! When I made it last year I left room for him to grow and I'm so glad I did because he's certainly grown! Only one month until this silly guy turns two! (Feb. 21st) He's certainly not a little puppy any more
Hi everyone! We're so sorry we haven't posted in a few days! I've been facing some more difficult health challenges and just haven't had the energy to even take pictures. We're back and I'm going to try to make sure we start posting regularly again cause we love all of you! Here's Arlen in his new harness by @purplepoodles inside Costco a few weeks ago. Totally our perfect custom colors and everything! Arlen likes it too!