Saturday, April 3, 2010

Reyna Discovers Snow!

Reyna running like crazy in the snow with a huge smile on her face and her ears flapping.

Reyna is running in the snow so fast her two front legs are off of the ground.  Her tongue is sticking out covering her nose.

We took Reyna up to the snow this weekend. It was her first experience in the snow! We went to Bear Valley Ski Resort, which offered several good situations for socialization.

Tony and Reyna standing out front of Bear Valley Ski Resort.  The Bear Valley Ski Resort sign is in the back ground

First, there were a lot of people there. It was also very cold and windy. Sometimes Reyna gets excited in the wind. But today, she did great! Inside the ski resort, there were two different types of stair surfaces. The first stair case had stairs that were made of a very spongy rubber. Reyna felt that surface and was a little unsure, but with a reassuring “your fine” from me, she pranced down the stairs. The next stair case was metal with a raised surface that helps get the snow off of your boots as you walk on them. Reyna paused when she felt the raised spikes of the stair on her feet, then she moved forward. She walked all the way down the stair case without a problem. Then, her paws hit the snow and she went nuts! She started running and hopping and digging and going in circles. It was so fun to see her first reaction to snow. I just let her experience it at first. Although it was almost impossible to walk her on leash. I decided by the end of the day I would teach Reyna she could behave calmly and walk on a loose leash on snow. But for now it was lab loops and digging holes!

Reyna running lab loops in the snow.

Reyna is digging in the snow.

We ate lunch there and watched my nieces snowboard for a while. While we ate, Reyna laid quietly under the table.

Reyna laying under the table at the ski resort.  Reyna has a very sweet expression on her face and her eyes are droopy.

We left Bear Valley and went to the snow park where Reyna could really let loose, then I would work with her on being calm in the snow, The snow park was practically empty, and with the exception of a few snowmobile tracks, it as all powder! It was beautiful, but hard to walk in without completely sinking. Reyna decided she didn’t like the power because she was sinking all the way down to her belly. Her legs would just disappear!

Reyna two front legs are buired in the snow.  Reyna is unsure about this so she is starting to back away.

After about 30 minutes, I taught Reyna to walk nicely in the snow, and she did it without an issue. We walked for quite a while down a path and Reyna had good manners. It was nice to see that she could control all of that happiness when she was asked to. That is what makes Reyna such a good dog. She can turn it on and off at my request. And I say “request” rather than command because I want her to make the decision to do what is being requested, rather than to automatically do it out of fear of a correction etc. That is just my handling style knowing that Reyna is being trained to be partnered with a blind person. Reyna will have to do guide work because she wants to, and not for any other reason.

After we hiked around I took the opportunity to take some nice photos of Reyna. Here are some of them. Which one do you like the best?

Reyna in a sit posing for a photo.  It is a close up of her face and the background of the photo has beautiful green trees and bright white snow.  Reyna is looking up slightly.

Reyna is laying in the snow and this is a close up of her face. The background is green trees with snow on their branches.

Another beautiful picture of Reyna sitting in the snow.

After the snow park we headed back to my mom’s house. As soon as we got home, Reyna fell fast asleep on her bed!

Reyna is exhausted and she is asleep on her dog bed.  What a day!

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