To celebrate the Labor Day holiday we decided to take our girls on a short hike and have a picnic lunch. Banta has been hiking a couple of times before but this was Casey’s first experience. They both had a great time in the outdoors and did pretty good at not trying to play with each other at every opportunity. When we stopped for lunch they had a little laps and Banta ended up rolling in the dusty trail. She came up looking more like a chocolate lab then her usual creamy color. Casey is amazing in her determination to keep up with Banta. When she is in that focused little walk trot of hers, I can just imagine her pulling her partner along in harness when she is all grow-up and trained as a guide dog.
At the end of our lunch break I decided that it would be a good idea to give Casey a chance to relieve. She did so awesome. When I gave her the “do your business” command, her body language changed. It took her several seconds to find the right spot but she did. It was the first confirmation that she actually understands the command. She has only been relieving at home in our relieving area. She has that done very well but I wasn’t sure if she understood the command or just understood that when we went outside to this area that she should relieve there. This is a big milestone for her.
On the way back to the car on the hike there was a small stream to cross. Following Casey’s example the two of them tromped through the stream and then through the dusty dirt on the trail. If we thought Banta looked dirty before now she was almost as much black as she was yellow lab. Casey didn’t look as dirty but she was, especially her belly being so much closer to the ground. They both went into the bath as soon as possible when we got home. Thank goodness I had a quilt in the car to protect things from their more than just muddy paws.