I sure hope it is!

I think (and I say this with fingers crossed, touching a horseshoe, and knocking on wood) that Bri is finally coming out of her fear stage!!

As I’m sure many of you know, one of the absolute most important things in a Service Dog is being friendly with dogs and people. Friendly, but not fling-themselves-at-you kind of friendly.

One of the things that has been making me incredibly nervous about Bri and her future as a Service Dog was how she was nervous of people and other dogs. After chewing my nails and talking to several other people who are very experience with the giant breeds, they confirmed that Newfies, as well as other giant breeds, mature more slowly than most breeds of dogs. So Bri entered her fear stage later and would come out of it later than, say, a Lab puppy.

Holly's almost bombproof. Even when being jumped by a galumphing Ninja wannabe.

This didn’t make me any less nervous though. Just a bit more willing to let it wait, make sure Bri went with Holly to meet people and dogs, and that we took it slow and only had positive experiences.

Well, today, at last, I think that she’s well on her way to getting out of it! Holly, Bri and I went out for a nice long walk in the damp, overcast, sort-of rainy weather. We ran into several people that Bri had never met before, and though she was a little bit slower to greet them than Holly was she didn’t tuck her tail, or pull away, or show any fear, she followed Holly’s example and went up to them, tail wagging. Have I ever mentioned just how much I love Holly and her mentoring skills?

Bri went on her first outing today! Well, a semi-outing. She wasn’t vested, and she won’t be for a while yet, and Holly was with us. We went to several small pet boutiques that are in the area.

I have to say I’m incredibly proud of how Bri behaved. For her first time in a building other than a house, she was amazing. She pottied when I asked her to, went in and greeted the store clerk and the customers, then came with Holly and I pick out our goodies. She even sat with Holly and waited for the treats they get from the clerk!

The second boutique is a little farther away. I didn’t actually mean to go there, but I wanted to wear the pups out a little more, and thought it’d be fun to go somewhere new.

The other store was more crowded, a lot of customers and several other large dogs. Bri stopped a few times to greet the other pups, and though she was a little bit worried, she was no where near as nervous as she’s been in the past. She was happy to meet the clerks and the people, and wagged the whole time she was being pet.

Bri has yet to learn that she can't steal other pup's toys.

We treked on home and the pups were given their first prizes; Himalayan Dog Chews! The knucklebones will have to wait until after dinner for Holly, and I’m going to give Bri hers in the crate.

Himalayan Dog Chews!

Hope you all are having a fantastic weekend!

Until Later,

Kat, Holly, & Brigantia