Sunday, May 30, 2010

Kayaking with Bingo

Our local meeting this month was a puppy kayaking meeting.

When we arrived at the meeting, there was a group gathered on the shore. I was pretty excited about the kayaking and Bingo seemed excited too. A bit too excited. His excitement manifested itself in lunging. At every dog there. I had to get near a kayak in order to go kayaking, but there were puppies near the kayaks.

Lunge. "Bingo, No!" Correction. Lunge. Trudge back up the hill. Look at the kayaks. Try again.

Finally, there was a break. Donna and the perfect Biscuit (I swear that dog is an angel!) arrived on shore and there were three kayaks lined up without any dogs and raisers ready to get in them. I sprinted down to grab one. I asked our local coordinator Donna, not Biscuit's raiser but the one who supplied the marvelous kayaks, which would be a good kayak for us to use. She pointed out two suitable kayaks.

She had also told us which way the tide was flowing so we were to head north so we wouldn't have to paddle against the tide and need to be picked up by car! I dragged Bingo over to a kayak and he eyed it distastefully.

"Bingo, in." He was standing in a couple of inches of water and tilted his head down to look at his feet. Then he turned his head to look at the puppy getting in the boat next to us. I felt a lunge coming on. I grabbed his front legs and pulled them into the kayak. As soon as they were in, I leaned over to grab his back legs. His front legs popped out of the boat and into the water on the other side.


I tried pulling on the front end, but he did a little hop and jumped out of the boat so that he was now on the opposite side of the kayak facing me all innocence. Damn. Time to start over. I pulled on the front legs. In. Out.





Push me.

Pull me.

I've read about this somewhere. Ack! Finally as one end is hunching to jump out I catch it and shove both ends in the hole in the kayak. There! Dog in boat. Dog facing me in boat. Is the dog supposed to be facing me? I have a small moment of panic. I stare at Bingo. Bingo stares back balefully. Better to have him looking at me than looking at something else I figure. So I sit down in the boat. While it still on the shore.

Hmmmm. Problem. 85 lb dog. More than 85 lb me. Kayak. Small 10-12 year old boy standing at side of kayak offering to push us into the water. Simple physics tell me this won't work. I glare at Bingo. Mind you, there is a large paddle next to me that I have shoved under some stretchy strings (stretchy strings being the technical term for them) to hold it in place as I figure out what I am going to do to help this small boy push me and Bingo out to sea. I shove my two feet out of the kayak and try to lift my bottom up and haul the kayak back a few inches.

Bingo eyes me warily. This lurching about is not particularly confidence inspiring and I can see a thought forming in his small pea brain that perhaps leaping from the kayak into the water and fleeing is the safest option.

"PUSH!" I yell at the small boy and I cram my feet on the sand and shove backwards until I feel a certain bouyancy that indicates that we are indeed afloat. "THANK YOU!!!" The small boy smiles.

Bingo cast a look over my shoulder at the shore as Donna, local area coordinator and kayaker, yells, "Do you know how to steer?"

"What? Steer!? No." I think that might be panic on her face or shock, but I say,"I'm not going far. I'll figure it out."

My plan is to go out just far enough to make a circle and then come back in. I know Bingo. He's hatching up some evil plot to leap out at another kayak or perhaps the kayak is rocking away all thoughts of lunging and I'm doing him a disservice. Perhaps my fears are all my own. Either way, I am taking no chances.

Small circle at sea. No chance of Bingo leaping out and swimming to shore.

Jan and her collie are in the foreground of this photo and her dog is facing her, so I guess that is the proper placement of dog and kayak. Bingo seems to be staring out at some distant something. That boy always has a plan. Small circle at sea. It's a good plan.

On our way back, Bingo is taking in the sights. He was a good boy throughout the small circle at sea. I even figured out how to steer. I don't think I actually did a circle. More like a freehand triangly thing, but I got us back to shore where the small boy was waiting like a prince to help us make a landing. (And his peach of a sister took all of the photos!! Thanks very much!)

Bingo did decide about three feet out that he had had enough and jumped out and dragged us in. I admit, I did shriek just a bit. A tiny bit. Donna, local area coordinator and kayaker (our group has a lot of Donnas!), had us take this photo with Bingo facing out. A much better photo, but I think it would have been a very dangerous paddle.

"Is that all?" Donna asked. "Don't you want to kayak some more?"

"Oh, I don't want to be a kayak hog." I gestured broadly with my arm. There are so many puppies who want to kayak." The place was nearly deserted, although there were plenty of puppy raisers up on the hill. Donna looked at me and grinned.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes. I want everyone to have a chance to kayak! It was such fun." My heart was pounding and I could hear the blood rushing by my ears. I could see in my mind's eye Bingo leaping off the boat and dragging me with him. I could see the kayak, abandoned, drifting off in the bay. Then Bingo and I would wash up on shore completely soaked: him happy and cheerful with a huge grouper in his mouth, me horribly bedraggled and spitting up sea water. "It was such fun."

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bingo's Impact

I got a call last week from Chuck telling me that on July 1st we would be getting a black lab female puppy. That exciting news heralded the bittersweet news that Bingo was in all probability going In For Training (IFT) in July. Despite being a blockhead (in some respects, in other respects he is a sweet boy), he would in all likelyhood be joining some of his littermates and starting the next phase of his journey to become a guidedog.

It got me to thinking about the impact of Bingo on the school, on us and on his future life partner. Some of you may know Mike Jernigan (who is a spokesman for Paws for Patriots (this link has a short video of Mike and Brittani and a description of how Paws for Patriots got started) for SEGD). I had an opportunity to have a fairly in-depth conversation with him and his wife and it happened to be on Bingo's birthday. He had Brittani with him and we tried to get the dogs together, but Bingo was just too excited. Leslie and Mike were very sweet saying, "He was very good the first 10 seconds."

"That was shock." I said. I looked back at Bingo who was not being a good boy and was on a tie down and was straining to get to Brittani. I shut the office door on him.

Mike talked about what an impact Brittani had made on his life. I want that same connection for Bingo and his partner. That's what this whole process has been about. And I know that when I push away the thought of driving up to Southeastern and opening the door to the car and saying, "Bingo, out," for the last time, there will come a payment due. I know it will be sad (Fred might even go so far as to say traumatic). However, I remember the main goal: he's someone's chance at freedom.

But I also know that I will not be alone in my grief. One of the lower division faculty members came up to me on Friday when Bingo was out of coat to pet him and told me that her daughter had been begging her to get a dog. She was holding firm and said no. Her daughter started to cry, "Well, at least I have Bingo!"

Bingo isn't just my dog. He's the school's dog. I walk down the hall with him and it's like walking with a rock star.

"There's Bingo!"

"It's Bingo!"

"Look! It's Bingo. Do you see him!"

And it happens every day I bring him to school. For some kids, it's enough to just catch a glimpse of him walking by. That's their dog. Bingo is theirs.

And so next year, when our new little girl comes to school, they will adopt her and make her theirs as well, but I can guarantee you that they will want the Bingo report cards and status updates. Whomever gets Bingo needs to know that they are acquiring a dog with a huge extended family who loves him and is very concerned about his welfare and happiness.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Poop Walk

Our Tuesday class was a little unusual. We got in a single line and took the dogs down the sidewalk on Gulf Blvd. (for some traffic exposure), and then we cut over and walked back on the beach. Bingo took the lead at first and was doing pretty well--he has no fear of traffic and is not at all timid about being in the lead. But when we swapped places and moved to the rear, Bingo started pulling and even crossing in front of me at times.

Coming back along the beach the dogs were doing really well. It was a beautiful day. Not too hot. Parents and kids were all watching and smiling at the line of dogs in their blue coats, all being good. Bingo was second to last in line, doing better now but still not quite right. Then someone spotted it--something on the white sand. What is that? Poop, someone said. Where did it come from? Bingo, said the person at the rear.

Bingo? But we had not slowed down one bit. Bingo was on a tight leash, ahead of me but not far enough ahead that I could see anything pop out his rear end. Of course, I had forgotten the plastic poop bags. I forgot because I forget things and because Cheryl was not there (she's had a cold) and because she is normally is there and normally would have remembered the bags. Fortunately, a guy nearby had a plastic bag and I was able to clean it up pretty quickly.

It was a very small poop and a surprise poop, at least for me, because he had a giant poop at home before leaving for class and because I'd given him a chance to busy, busy (poop) just before the walk.

And now I feel bad that his crossing in front of me on the walk may have been a signal to poop. And I should have remembered to put some poop bags in my pocket. As Cheryl likes to say, bad daddy, bad daddy.

Monday, May 24, 2010

When Being the Consolation Prize Means You Got the Best Prize

At our school we have something called the Reading Counts hat. You get it when you reach a certain number of points. Now, some librarians think that the Reading Counts program promotes an unnecessarily competitive form of reading that reduces it from pleasure reading to a sport. A regurgitation of facts sport where children choose to read only books that have Reading counts tests and only read those books that have the highest point values. Not that I have an opinion on the matter, though...

Well, my friend the lower division librarian has a dream where all children read for pleasure and all children are rewarded for reading whether they reach their goal or not. It just so happened that in years past if you didn't reach your Reading Counts goal, you didn't get to go to the Reading Counts pool party at the end of the year. You had to sit in the classroom while the other kids splashed away outside. So she and I came up with a consolation prize: reading with Bingo!

Here are the 15 third graders who got to read with Bingo and were EXCITED about it! They got into groups of three and read books to Bingo. Reading and Bingo: two great things that go great together.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

May 18, 2010: Happy Birthday Bingo!

Tuesday was a big day for Bingo. It was his birthday! So I bought two full size sheet cakes (feeding at least 80 a piece) and two half sheet cakes to celebrate the occasion. We had a cute slide that was shown in convocation and thanked all the students and faculty for their help in getting Bingo ready for his training. I also told them that he might be going back for training in July and that we would be getting a new puppy for the next school year if that happened. I also told them that I had bought cake for them and that it was in the library.

You would have thought these kids had recently gone through a famine, or perhaps were related to locusts. It was quite a cake mob scene. I guess this is why Marie lost her head. People go nuts over cake.

I mean, the cake was good, but really! Bingo was just beside himself. He was pumped the whole day. He had visitors all day, he got birthday cards and presents. In fact, it was a very busy day for him.

Here he is with two of his presents. He loved them so much that he wouldn't let them go and proceeded to sleep on them. I kept one in the office and one at home.

It's been a long journey, from puppy to teen. Now he is one. The school year is almost over and the summer is approaching. But our work is not done.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Too Many Parties

A photo of Bingo and his brother Jim, resting before the big partyBy Fred
Following Bingo's big blowout at school with four cakes and hundreds of kids having fun, he went to yet another party in the evening, this time at our weekly training class, where he and his favorite brother, Jim, got some free nose-to-nose time on their birthdays, at least until we had to separate them (yes, Bingo started it).

It was Bingo's best class ever, though a cynical person might not want to give him any credit. Maybe his good behavior was due to the fact that he was partied-out?

No, Bingo gets full credit--an A for effort. He loves training class so much that his heart starts beating fast. He starts huffing and puffing and his ears start ringing, which is why he doesn't always Sit when he should--he can't even hear the command (at least that's my theory). And he loves people so much that it clouds his judgement (not unlike a teenager in love). And he really loves other dogs--his biggest distraction of all.

But most of all, he's had one year of living with two first-time guide-dog puppy raisers who, despite their good intentions, have not been perfect (to put it nicely). Yes, he's had a lot to overcome and we are both proud of him.

Here he is toward the end of class, walking the circle with Cheryl and looking more than a little worn out.

The next morning Cheryl asked Bingo if he was ready to go to school, and here's the look he gave her. So he got to stay home and have a quiet day. Happy birthday, Bingo.
A picture of Bingo laying on the floor quietly, hoping that he can just get some sleep and stay home.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Read, Bingo Read!

Jan surprised me today be creating this marvelous READ poster with Bingo as the subject. Doesn't he look majestic?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Poor Little Fat Boy

Last Tuesday was our first day at our THIRD obedience class with Bingo. We figured we would just keep going until he was perfect (uh huh!). I was feeling quite pleased with myself because I was going to show trainer Jennifer how much Bingo had slimmed down from his previous Thunder Thigh designation. (He's down to 2 cups a day of purely adult Royal Canin food and Fred and I both are taking him on long morning walks.)

I bopped righted out of the car and pranced around to Jennifer and held Bingo out and said, "See how good he looks? He's slimmed right down." Then I think I even leaned back a little waiting for the effusive praise to hit me.

Jennifer looked at Bingo. She smiled. "He's getting there."

"But I can see some ribs and his indentation is much more pronounced!" At this point, I think I must be like the Biggest Loser mom saying her son was eating low-fat yogurt ice cream, which didn't have that many calories.

"His coat looks really good."

Ah. His coat looks really good. That's like the fat girl's "She's got a beautiful face" curse.

I suppose looking at this photo that his coat does look really good and he does have a beautiful face. And if I am really honest, if I look closely at the previous photo (both photos taken by Trapper's mom Gabrielle, BTW, thank you very much!) there might be just the teenstiest beginnings of a paunch, but honestly, how can a dog who's only snack is ice cubes, for Pete's sake, have a paunch? Seriously! I think this is a true case when saying your puppy is big boned is legit. My dog is big boned. There. I said it. He's a big boned lab. He can't help it. He's zaftig.

Poor Bingo. I see more walks in his future. At least he was in the circle of acceptance FROM THE BEGINNING OF CLASS! Woot! That has never happened. At least being big boned has not affected his self confidence. I can assure you of that.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Administrative Assistants World Tour or How to Stop Desk Jumping in Five Desks or Less

Desk jumping. It's as bad as it sounds. You walk up to the administrative assistant's desk to make an appointment with the headmaster, Bingo walking calmly at your side, when all of a sudden: BAM! Front feet are on top of the desk, files are toppling over, pens are shooting in myraid directions, glass geegaws are heading to destruction and Bingo has his head bent towards a plastic fuzzy haired doll.

"NO! LEAVE IT!" Internally, I am thinking, "Thank God all the geegaws didn't break! And Thank God she loves Bingo!" I give him a swift correction. Try to make him sit and also try to right a stack of falling file folders which results in more paper chaos than Bingo originally created. Meanwhile Bingo has crept nearer the spider plant off to the right of the desk and is angling his head to the tempting hanging leaf. The glint off his shiny nose reflects in my eye causing me to turn and avert a catastrophe (read: tiny plant stand and delicate plant with LIGHT BEIGE SUEDE GUEST CHAIR, yeah, wouldn't that look good with a big dirt paw print on it!?). I can feel my blood pressure creep up to the mild heart attack zone.

She asks me what I wanted. I look at her strangely. I'm not sure any more. I tell her I'll come back on Friday. And on Friday we will be prepared to train!


We arrive at the headmaster's administrative assistant's desk. I explain to Bingo that this is a desk and it isn't for jumping up onto. See my outstretched hand that he is patiently waiting for me to move so he can jump and grab that fuzzy head? Well, I yanked him a correction right as he started his jump. HA! No files moved. No geegaws were in danger. Bingo was a little startled.

Uh. What just happened? This is where I patiently explain the concept of desk as equal to person: nonjumpupable. Do I detect a spark?

Not one attempt at the assistant headmaster's assistant's desk (try saying that out loud twice!). In fact, he seemed ready to leave. Bored with desks. The thrill was gone.

At the Dean of Student's desk he was so uninterested that he actually.....

just curled up and avoided the desk altogether. Upshot: Mission Accomplished!

Although Fred thinks I actually bored him out of wanting to jump on desks, I say, I'll take it whatever way it comes. No jumping, good for you Bingo!

Hey! Are You a Follower?

I had a lovely conversation with a librarian friend of mine today after school. Seems one of the volunteer moms at her school in Bradenton is a regular reader of the Bingo blog and was telling her about Bingo and Sarah said, "Wait a minute. I think I know that person!" So, since I had just emailed her about something, she called to tell me that she had heard all about Bingo and his blog.

It's an amazingly small world out there. Makes me feel exceptionally bad for letting you all down this last week with no posts (although Fred was very good and had two posts 8-)! Especially as I have plenty to report on.

But I do have a request. I have a sneaking suspicion that there are a few more than 23 who regularly read the Bingo blog. Yet, google assures me that only 23 faithful followers have signed up to hear the travails of Bingo and the McLeans.

So, I raise a glass (right now, it is a rather large cafe latte, don't ask, tough day at school!) in your honor. You've stuck by us through the puppy crazies and now we are heading into the terrible teens. So if you haven't become a follower, consider it. We would love to see your smiling face on the right hand side of our blog. Just under the FOLLOW button. Come on, you know you want to click it.....

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Down-stay Deception

A picture of Willow and Bingo in down stay, with Willow on the right.By Fred
It's early Saturday morning. The sun's not up yet, but I'm up with the dogs and getting them some breakfast. Cheryl will be quick to point out that she's the one who normally gets up to feed them. That's true, but she's still asleep as I'm writing this. (I wonder if she realizes how lucky she is to be married to me...)

Bingo would probably prefer to sleep in, but Willow is always excited to get up, always overcome and dancing with bursts of pure joy and energy--in many ways she is still the same crazy puppy we brought home 10 years ago. Bingo yawns and stretches when I open his crate, just to give me a chance to change my mind.

The dogs go into a down-stay on the kitchen floor while I get their breakfast, which is stored in the garage, meaning that they are in an unsupervised down-stay for about a minute while I fill their food bowls. For quite a while, I had to play peekaboo at the door, just so they couldn't calculate how long I'd be gone. But now I can go get the food, and they're still in down-stay when I come back.

However, lately I've noticed something strange. I know they're up to something--both of them with that innocent, I-didn't-do-anything look. So this morning I had my camera. We went into the kitchen like always. Down-stay. I took the picture above. I went out to get the food. Came back. Took the picture below.

Something is up, I just know it...
A picture of Willow and Bingo after I return with their food, with Willow now on the left. Sneaky.

Monday, May 3, 2010

For Your Own Good

By Fred
I remember one summer evening as a child, staring down at a sad clump of green beans on my dinner plate and listening as my mother explained the options before me: I could a) eat the beans and then go out to play, or b) sit at the table indefinitely, which could be, as I argued, until the end of time (and then we would all be dead). "Don't argue," my mother said. "It's for your own good."

Discipline is complicated, and while we see steady improvement in Bingo, he continues to surprise us now and then with unexpected behavior, not unlike a willful young boy refusing to eat a mouthful of green beans. Last night, for example, while Cheryl and I were having dinner, with plates on our laps in the TV room, Bingo walked up and removed an item of food from Cheryl's plate, not sneakily, but casually and out in the open (as I sometimes do in a restaurant). We've eaten in front of him like this since day 1 and he has never shown any interest in our plates before, even when we walk away.

Of course, Cheryl let out a squeal and Bingo dropped the food and calmly looked up, apparently confused by her response. He wasn't stealing the food, just taking it. He didn't grab the food and run away. He didn't seem ashamed or sorry. "I'm Bingo," he seemed to say.

What to do? We've tried talking to him about his future responsibilities, about the importance of rules and good behavior, but he mostly looks away. We needed a constructive teaching moment, and it was Cheryl's idea (one that she'd heard from a trainer) to get down on the floor and continue eating, just a few feet from Bingo.

My first thought was that we cannot take a picture of this because it might seem cruel and unusual to readers of this blog, many of whom might have a soft spot in their hearts for Bingo. After all, would you take and publish a picture of your child sulking at the table and refusing to eat his food?

But we are a full disclosure blog.

I have to say that Bingo was very sweet about it all. I believe, I hope, he learned a lesson. And let it be known that he gets plenty to eat and is loved more than he knows.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Great Escape

We began Friday with a photo shoot. I was helping friends of mine with a book of essays on librarianship in independent schools and one of the essays had a line about dogs in the library. The book editor wanted a photo with a student and a dog in it. Well, I had a library and a dog and plenty of students (two in fact whose mom's had given permission for their faces to be shown in the book, but I figured the book and a blog are two different things), so we started taking photos.

This was Jan's artistic shot of Bingo watching over the library. Periodically, he will hang out in the workroom and will position himself so he can see the entire floor of the library. Almost as if he is watching to make sure all is well.

I'm not sure whether this shot is of Bingo about to leap out and surprise someone for checking out a book or whether he is going to suggest another book they might like better. Perhaps he was just napping.

This is my favorite shot, Bingo surrounded by books with a handsome face as if saying, hey, reading is great fun. READ and you can be as shiny and wonderful as me! Stare deeply into my eyes. NOW READ!

Unfortunately, shortly after that photo, Bingo lost concentration. We were having a photo shoot with one of the students and I had taken off his leash so it wouldn't be in the shot. Bingo got a little antsy and was being a pill. I was sitting on one of the end tables and he came over to me and I grabbed his collar. He just backed right out it. Then he gave me a little gleeful look as if to say, "Woot!" and he turned tail and RAN up the stairs to the mezzanine completely NAKED.

Connor and I stared at each other and then I heard little shrieks and screams coming from the freshman being pummeled by a rampaging naked Bingo.

"Bingo's loose! Bingo's loose!"

Yes, yes. I said under my breath and got up and clomped up the stairs. I knew he was doing the Labrador butt tuck (that's where they tuck their butt underneath and run so rast their little legs look like they are spinning, it's quite amusing). Sure enough, at the top of the stairs, Bingo was butt tucking it all over the place, bouncing from student to student, bumping and licking and knocking kids down. It was chaos.


"Hey! Keep it quiet in the library!" This from the teachers downstairs. I'm being shushed in my own library for Pete's sake! How do you catch a naked Bingo? Corner him against something. Little weiner!
But we did finally corner him and bring him back to justice. Or rather to a 15 minute time out to calm down in the crate.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Take Me Out to a Ball Game

Thursday Bingo scored free tickets to a Threshers games and we were able to accompany him. I swear this dog gets out more than we do! Left to our own devices Fred and I would wander around the house and mutter, "What would you like to do?" "Oh, I don't know. What would you like to do?" "Look at the time! Perhaps we should just take a nap." Basically, we're just slugs and will sleep at the drop of a hat.

When we got to the stadium, Donna gave us a Do It Yourself obedience sheet that had five obedience challenges that we needed Bingo to practice.

1. Train, Not Restrain. Bingo is too excitable. So even though you can technically greet and pet in coat up to 10 months, we never have. Removing the coat and saying "take a break" would have resulted in CHAOS! So we opted for Bingo sitting pretty and me answering whatever questions they had about Southeastern Guide Dogs.

2. Food Distraction. We did stand in line at the concession stand. We also walked by a line, several times. Well, we walked by a particular piece of food that was in a line and practiced not lunging for it. He didn't lunge on the second try. Hoovering is a particular problem of his. He is better in the school cafeteria, but still lunges, just not constantly.

3. Stand/Stay in the Restroom. Accomplished. Nuff said. Do you really want a description of the bathroom?

4. Down/Under. Ah. This is where Bingo needs to really be a good boy. He has to be completely under the seat because people are walking in and out of the aisles and they can't be walking over him. I think he did a good job of this. Fortunately, the stadium is really clean and there wasn't gross stuff on the ground like there is in theaters. Theaters are frankly disgusting.

5. No Noses in Ears. Now, you wouldn't normally think about this as a problem, but if you are walking down an aisle and you have your guide dog with you and you are blind, you can't tell if they are poking their nose into people's chicken nuggets or ears as you go down the aisle. Unless of course they scream out, "HEY! Your guide dog just ate my chicken nuggets!" or "Whoa! Wet nose in ear! Gross!" So, this is something you want to make sure that your puppy isn't prone to doing. Our job was to walk him down an aisle in back of people and see if he would try to poke his nose in people's ears and then correct him if he did. In hindsight, I'm thinking this could have led to one of those old cartoon scenes where Bugs Bunny is running from Elmer Fudd and runs under the seats and all the people go flying upwards and their food goes flying as well! Fortunately, I didn't have time to have my imagination get the best of me.

First we had to find an aisle that had people who looked like they were dog friendly. This task was a bit tougher than it sounds because if you screw it up, you're toast! I would pick an aisle and Fred would point out a person and say "No. Looks grumpy." or "No, looks afraid of dogs." We finally decided on a half full row of mainly big guys to give us a little breathing room. One, guys usually like dogs regardless, and two, since they were big we figured maybe they wouldn't be so sensitive if Bingo did a quick ear touch.

Fortunately Bingo was completely unconcerned with other people's ears or their food. He stuck to my side all the way. Good boy!

At the end of the challenges, he was a most tired pup. We met his sister Alma there and learned that she and Bingo are both having problems with jumping up unexpectedly. I think the jump ups mostly occur when people make eye contact with them. They get really excited (Bingo and Alma, that is, the people are mainly just friendly.). But what are you going to say, "DON'T LOOK AT HIM!!! AVERT YOUR EYES!!!" He's got to overcome that. So, we'll continue to correct the behavior and hope it gets better. We've signed him up for a third obedience class with super trainer Jennifer. He will eventually get it. Here's a shot of the beginning of the meeting. Bingo was not in the circle of acceptance and we had to go sit outside and wait for him to calm down. I'm happy to report that by the end of all of our obedience steps that we were able to join the group and be within 3 feet of MIKEY!

Tomorrow, the tale of the all school convo and the library photo shoot and great escape!