Mac is a 40lb Boston Terrier with one blue eye who was rescued by a wonderful couple years ago in San Francisco. He has been their baby ever since, and is clearly very loved. They moved to Seattle earlier this year with a (human) baby on the way. Mac had a few behaviors they wanted to work on in order to prepare for the new baby, and they started working with Susan Oshie at Paws 4 Training. That's where ballwalkpark came in, Susan referred us to help get Mac some exercise and stay with him while his parents traveled.
The first time we came over to meet Mac and his people, he was literally a torpedo, diving from one couch to another, shooting a solid five feet in the air to lick you in the face. He is quite an athlete! He also didn't have the best manners when greeting other dogs on leash, which made it hard for his pregnant mama to walk him, since he is very strong and could pull her over.
For the last several months, Chris has walked Mac 2x/wk, in combination with the reactive dog classes they were taking at Paws 4 Training. We decided the biggest issue with Mac was just needing an outlet for all of his energy. Since he hadn't proven to be the most polite pup with others, he wasn't trusted to be off leash, and would consequently bolt by an open door. Without the option of off-leash running, Chris and Mac began a morning routine of huffing it up the hills of Queen Anne, time after time, until Mac wore down. Chris and Mac worked on all sorts of behaviors like sitting and waiting at the cross walks, passing other dogs quietly, and not "torpedo-ing" into peoples faces.
Within the first few weeks of working together, Chris stayed with Mac for a week while his parents were out of town. They had lots of quality time to hang out and get to know one another, which I think was so crucial to the work they did together later. (I find that it my bond with a dog is always stronger after I board/housesit them, and it makes them much more obedient, win-win situation!) After their stay together, Chris was able to get Mac to sit on his front porch and wait to get his harness on, with no attempt or even thought of bolting.
When the baby came home, Mac was an instinctually wonderful big brother. He was gentle around the baby, and no longer flew from pieces of furniture. We kept walking Mac for the last couple months post baby, but once they returned from a couple week long road trip, they informed us that they no longer needed our services. While it is always sad to lose a client, this was certainly bittersweet. By them not needing us anymore, I knew we had done our job in successfully integrating Mac into their new life with baby. He will always be their first baby, but it is so nice to see how their little family of 3 has grown to 4, and Mac now has a big job of being big bro. Congrats to Mac and his people, your hard work has paid off and we are so proud of you! We expect picture updates as Mac and his baby grow up together :)