Oz Working Dogs - Assistance & Working Dog Equipment

For assistance/service dog equipment, as well as guide, therapy, detection, search & rescue, police and dogs in training equipment check out my website http://www.ozworkingdogs.com.au - I make and sell vests, capes, belly bands, harnesses, handles and more... and will post to the world!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New purchases, and Knightley the professional???

10 months 2 days old

So in the last couple of days we've been buying things left right and centre! Firstly, we bought the car, which we pick up tomorrow....! (Read the last two entries to find out about our new [used] car). I'm getting over my hip injections much quicker than I expected... certainly last time I had them done it caused much more tissue trauma. I have high hopes the nerve block the doctor did will be very helpful, as it already seems to be helping. However, the question is how long is it going to last?

I've had a couple of doggy things arrive, including a 'eco' Easy Walk harness for Knightley. My mum has offered to take Knightley walking with her, but without some sort of no pull gear it takes some know-how to get him walking nicely. The Easy Walk harness should make it quite easy for her, and she shouldn't have a 32kg (70.4lbs) puppy dragging her around with Knightley wearing it. I tell you what, the eco version feels very soft, although it took me a little while to get it fitting Knightley properly. He grew out of his Freedom Harness some time ago, so it was time to get something new for relaxed walking. I also had some synthetic fleece arrive to pad out the straps on his assistance dog vest a bit, as he has become a bit harness shy of late. I am assuming it is because he is uncomfortable in it, poor pup.

Speaking of harnesses and gear, today I bought a heavy duty sewing machine, capable of sewing collars, leashes and harnesses/vests of any kind. I have been thinking about this for a while now as a possible way of generating extra income and have decided experiment. There is literally no place online in Australia where you can buy assistance dog equipment - I have always had to import everything from overseas, so there is a niche to fill. I have been playing around with a few different designs, a couple of basic capes, vests and a simple harness... as well as normal collars and leashes that I could make and sell. We shall see how it goes. I am going to start small and just learn to use the sewing machine well and get used to sewing nylon a LOT! One of my first major projects will be to sew a new harness/vest for Knightley, but to make it with a Y shape chest, not parallel to the ground.

This weekend my work/volunteer place has a big Kite Festival on, and I am thinking of taking Knightley and doing a couple hours volunteer work outside. The main problem is it's being held on very uneven grassy ground, which is partly why I want Knightley with me.... but also partly not, because grass distracts him a lot! If I put him in a down stay on grass I can see him want to start digging out of boredom eventually. I guess I need to take a mat and practice a bunch with mat behaviours outside with the mat on grass, because we have never actually done that. I know the place I volunteer (and do contracts) is unsure about Knightley and of course I want to get them on side, so if I can get his mat behaviour good before then, this could be the perfect opportunity to show them how well behaved he can be. I think I'll try to tire him out before the festival too, as kids and kite flying is likely to excite him just a bit!! He definitely needs the practice outside though, I found that out last weekend when he started losing focus when I was unable to focus.

Awwww, he just climbed onto my lap on the couch...... or at least, he's trying to fit. Only about a quarter of him fits these days, or maybe only a fifth, but he still tries. His fur is so silky from the raw feeding, especially his ears. I know the Golden Retriever breed standard says the fur isn't allowed to be silky.... but I can't help how lovely his food makes his fur! Today I found a butcher who stocks beef heart all week round, so that was a great find. It's definitely his favourite, and makes a great teeth cleaner! If you have a dog with bad teeth, consider feeding an ox tongue and some beef heart every week and see those teeth whiten magically. It isn't the bone that does the cleaning, although it helps, it's the tougher flesh that works like a rough toothbrush and floss to clean the teeth. Awwwwww, he just sighed and put his chin down on my knee. Don't we all love that in our dogs. I am so lucky to have Knightley. 

Anyway, time to put him to bed and myself too. We have to pick up the new car tomorrow and I'm volunteering too. It has been an incredibly busy week and I need to stay as healthy as I can, so sleep is in order.

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