Jack did great at the first stop as we stopped by an off the road gas station where it was quiet with open space. After that easy entrance into busy land, mostly he was just dandy prancing through the bigger parking lots with an assurance like he had grown up in the middle of downtown Chicago. A few times when a truck made that very scary loud truck sound he jumped, but so did the humans. He looked back at the trucks, thought for a minute, and then continued to prance along his way.
Someone did something right with this dog in the first part of his life and we know for sure his second home was filled with awesome socialization of humans and animals. Because this puppy seemed to have good genes, was well socialized, and had been treated gently, he was on his way to being a stable, sturdy, ready for anything dog. With this background, dogs can habituate quickly to changes and do better with stressful situations as they live their canine life with humans. Believe me, that’s important since living with humans can be tricky.
Bringing Jack to his new home in my small village (suburb of Chicago) also went very well. He came home on a Monday, and Wednesday afternoon he was off to the downtown area for a look. I was so happy to see our UPS guy Jeff in a large parking lot. He loves our dogs and was thrilled to meet the new puppy. He was happy to oblige when I asked him to give Jack some treats while he was standing next to his trolley piled high with boxes and loud music playing from several trucks also unloading close by. Jeff (unlike Jack) wasn’t too thrilled about the picture for my blog, but he acquiesced for his new friend. Jack loved Jeff and sat like a pro for him. Jeff made sure not to lean over Jack and although Jeff is six feet tall, Jack was never afraid.
After the official meeting (Jack showing how well trained he is with greetings) a major love fest took place on Jeff’s lap and a new friendship had begun for the Captain. He was comfortable, safe and excited to be in town.
Captain Jack met many different people that day on the walk. He seems to attract a crowd of “OMG how cute is he” and “Ohhhh, I love him, he’s so sweet”, everywhere he goes. He walked with me and when available he jumped up on ledges, and benches and learned to be comfortable walking on different textures and safe heights. We made the doors automatically open at the grocery store and he looked up at me and said, “I remember that from the hotel, I’m not afraid”. We went to Village Hall for his license and introduced him to the women behind the counter. She said he was “soooo cute” so loud that women started coming out of the back just to meet the Captain. They gave him treats and he sat up on the counter. He was a happy boy.
We stopped for a shady rest under a tree and just sat and took in all that we done so far that morning. We had a drink of water and chewed on a stick, not me, just Jack. Then we were off again. This time it was the main street in town. He pranced down the street as if he’d been there his whole life. Cars honked, bicycles rode by, people walked every which way. He was awesome, until………..