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Camellia and Carol Journal 1

Camellia Journals 1

Day 1 - Camellia Comes to Carol

Originally posted Saturday, 21 August 2010; 20:02

Camellia starts her journey with me

Camellia on living room floor

[c105811cdop-camcomdy3.jpg] Camellia lies on living room floor

Camellia lies down to calm herself

Monday 16 August 2010, Camellia ComeDay, was a very long, hard day for Camellia.

Gail Dame, who brought Camellia from Seantiago Havanese and I got along really well - maybe partly because Gail wanted to place Camellia in a good home, and I really, REALLY wanted this dog. (If you follow that link, you will need to use your browser's Back button to return here.)

The day was very warm. Gail got Camellia's harness on all right - Camellia had never worn a harness before. I tried Kumbi's old harness, but it was too big, so I pulled another out of my bag, which held a collection of harnesses I'd used over the years with various puppies and older dogs of different sizes.

We did get a good fit with a harness that had been Kumbi's when he first came to me at the age of eight months. Camellia, being 3.5 years old, wlll probably find that harness comfortable for years to come, as long as her weight holds steady.

We had put Camellia's Blankie and a toy of hers into her car crate with her. Once we finished the paperwork, which didn't take long, I got in the car, waved goodbye to Gail, remarking that it must be hard for her to say goodbye (and she agreed), and we drove out.

Camellia was quiet during most of the hour-and-more ride, just emitting a whine or two a couple of times. We stopped at my vet's for a few minutes, as I'd thought maybe we could get a weight on Camellia, but she didn't want to come out of the crate, so one of my favorite people just came out and took a peek into the crate - offering a treat - but Camellia wasn't having any. So, rather than linger in discomfort, I drove us the rest of the way home.

Getting out of the car

Once we were home, first, I unloaded all the gear and took it into the house, leaving Camellia shut in her crate. Then I went out, opened Camellia's car door, and sat in the doorway, blocking her exit. I opened the crate door, and Camellia scooted to the back of the crate. With some effort and angling, I managed to attach her leash to the harness ring at her withers. So, now I had Camellia safely secured.

We'd already gone through a fair bit of Lamb and Rice Rollover, but now it was time for more! Camellia wouldn't take it from my hand, but once I had her safely leashed, I stepped out of the car, laid a few treats on the towel in front of her crate, and then backed off as far as the leash would allow. It's a six-foot leash, so I had, say, five feet.

Then I waited. Just plain old waited. Camellia began millimetering and sometimes centimetering her way out of the crate - one paw, then another, taking lots and lots of time, till finally, she could reach the treats on the towel. There were only a couple there.

Gail had told me Camellia could manage to jump down to the ground from the height of the car in front of her crate, but I could see Camellia was VERY hesitant about that. After all, the location was strange and unfamiliar. So, it wasn't just a matter of height, but of not knowing what lay underpaw at the end of the jump!

I continued waiting. It took about half an hour, but finally, Camellia did a Kwali-sail-off from car to ground, along a hypotenuse of about five or six feet. Kwali would have made it a twelve-foot hypotenuse, and I was glad to see Camellia was more conservative about sailing off, as I prefer the less daredevil approach.

Instantly on landing, Camellia bolted. I had anticipated the possibility, and I gave with the leash, to avoid jarring Camellia any more than I could help. She turned, came toward me. GOOD Camellia!

Then she chose an appropriate grassy spot, and peed and pooped. She had come out of the car because she had to go! Fortunate us!

Getting into the yard

The next major possibly traumatizing obstacle was the Outer Gate that leads into the Baffle between Outer and Inner Gates to the yard. We had to pass through the gate in a space of about 3.5 feet, and I needed to shut the Outer Gate before opening the Inner Gate, so that when I took the harness off, and Camellia was unfettered, she wouldn't be able to leave the safety of the yard-and-Baffle.

It took us a few minutes before I could get the Outer Gate shut without scaring Camellia unduly, but finally, I managed it. The next trick was to get the harness off, unbuckling it from under her chest, and then pulling it off over her head. This turned out reasonably easily, once I had my hands on the buckle under Camellia's chest. I got the harness undone, and pulled it off, leash and all, and then stood up. Then I opened the Inner Gate.

Camellia followed me quite easily into the yard. So I shut the Inner Gate, and security-safety was complete.

First Yard-and-House explore

Camellia took just a moment to orient herself, and suddenly, she was off, in flying Havanese leaps over and along the log rounds of the Log-Agility course. These are what got left over, after the dangerous alder were taken down during July. I had checked carefully, to make sure all the rounds were stable, and couldn't fall on a dog leaping among them or running along them.

I found it surprising that then, Camellia very easily jumped up into the Front Parlor, which is what USED to be the Front Stoop, till my incredibly kind neighbors rebuilt the whole thing (it needed repair), and turned it into an entire room of about 8 by 10 paws - I mean, feet. It's also roofed. Not perfectly rain-proof, but at least prevents full-fledged showers from drenching us.

I had blocked off the dog-door, which is in the front door, and I left that blocked for the moment. I opened the front door, and Camellia also followed me easily into the house. GOOD Camellia!

I left the front door standing open all afternoon, and Camellia went in and out occasionally. Late in the afternoon, I unblocked the dog-door, and attempted to teach Camellia to use it, using that Lamb and Rice Rollover, but she would have none of that, and I thought likely, she had never used a dog door before.

But later, as I came out of the bathroom, and couldn't find Camellia, she popped into the house through the dog door. So much for THAT misconception of mine! (She's been using the dog door freely ever since.)

We put ourselves to bed

Camellia discovered her crate. It was last Kumbi's crate, but is placed where Kwali's crate always was, by my desk, with the door tied open. She went in and lay down there, several times, and eventually, put herself to bed there, while I went to bed in Our Bed - but Camellia wasn't joining me there - yet!

We had a comfortable night, and so, on to Day 2, next.

Parts List

I will surely have additions here, in time.

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