Caleb


August 18, 2014

Caleb arrives today! No, I'm not replacing Cosby--he's still doing fine. My sister is returning from Guiding Eyes today with her first guide dog, a black lab named Caleb. As we both still live at home (for now), Caleb and Cosby will be living together. Cosby is the most laid-back, chill lab I've ever seen, while Caleb has been described to me as playful, wiggly, and energetic. It will be interesting to see how the two interact.

I plan to write down how today goes. Each heading will be the time of an update, and I'll post the whole thing at once tonight or tomorrow.

1215

Mom just went to the airport to pick up Caleb (yeah, my sister is coming home too, but everyone is more excited about meeting the new dog). The plan right now is to have Cosby stay upstairs initially, while I meet everyone as they come in. After a while, both dogs will be leashed and Caleb will wait outside while I bring Cosby out. They will meet in the yard, still leashed, and will then be taken back inside. Cosby, of course, has the freedom to go anywhere in the house, excepting a few rooms; Caleb will be kept close for a week or so, either on a leash or on tie-down, and will only start getting some freedom after that initial adjustment period is over. The class supervisor (who was also my supervisor last year) has warned us that labs like to tease each other; Cosby may well take a toy and place it just out of Caleb's reach while Caleb is on tie-down, for instance, so we'll have to watch for that kind of thing.

1400

Finally, after stopping for lunch and having their food take forever to arrive, they arrived home. Caleb was allowed to explore most of the house, on-leash, and I met him briefly as he sniffed about. Mom has decided that his nickname will be Snubby, since he has a disproportionately short snout. Overall, he is larger than Cosby by six pounds, and his ideal weight is actually a couple pounds higher than where he is now. He's a solid, very muscular dog, and has far less extra skin than Cosby does. He is also more apt to scavenge - he grabbed two things off the kitchen floor in about two minutes.

1430

While my sister and Caleb waited outside, I brought Cosby out of my room and downstairs. I put his leash on and took him out to meet his new friend. After the obligatory posterior probing, both dogs started sniffing around the immediate area of the yard. Initially, they seemed interested in playing, but both were leashed so could not do much more than look excited and pull at their tethers. Once they started to lose interest in each other, my sister and I released them. At once, Caleb took off, with Cosby in hot pursuit. Our yard is fenced, so they can run as much as they want. They circled the house twice, Caleb easily staying in the lead, while the normally silent Cosby issued little yips and whines as he desperately chased his new playmate. I grabbed a squeaky duck and squeaked it a few times to get their attention. I tossed it, and Caleb was there first, Cosby held back, Caleb ran past, then he stopped and looked back at Cosby. Soon, the two were involved in a game of tug, both growling playfully at each other while the poor duck (not designed for tugging) squeaked desperately between them.

Deciding to try even though we knew it wouldn't work, both my sister and I attempted to recall our dogs after the game had gone on for a few minutes. Neither listened for a while, but eventually, Caleb came over with Cosby following a moment later. We sent them back out again, and this time Caleb grabbed the duck and made Cosby chase him. They circled around and around a large garden, Caleb easily staying ahead of the flagging Cosby. A couple times, Cosby got so far behind that he simply spun around and came at Caleb from the other direction, but nothing he tried could get him close to the duck. The only time he got it was when my sister told Caleb to come, and I gave Cosby no instruction; as Caleb dropped the duck to accept his treat, Cosby swooped down, grabbed the toy, and took off.

2030

Not much else has happened. Cosby is still more hyper than usual, and seems to want me to pet him more often than he normally tolerates, but overall things are quiet. Cosby sometimes tries to get Caleb to play, or just barks at him, but Caleb doesn't do a whole lot. Of course, the latter is still attached to his handler all the time, which likely has a lot to do with that. Once they get used to each other, it looks like things will be smooth sailing. I hope I don't eat those words.


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Several months ago, my sister volunteered to be in a play. This was not an official production or a project from a theater professor, but rather a


Next post: A Week with Caleb

It's now been a week since Caleb arrived at our home. So far, Cosby has handled things quite well, though the novelty wore off


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