The weather the last few days has been absolutely beautiful. I am hoping that this is the beginning of spring and that the cold weather is gone for this year. I don't do as well in the cold and find it very difficult to walk, not only from the pain, but also because I lose my footing very easily. Dakota should be in his harness for next winter and that should help give me some added stability.
Dakota and I have been taking advantage of the nice weather and have had several short outings. We are really working on manners right now because he is going through his "terrible two's" and thinks that everyone should love and pet him. Of course, I think that he knows he is special, which isn't helping his ego trip any :) He has learned to jump up on counters so he can see the person behind it - big no, no so we have been addressing that. People have been very accommodating. He has been well tolerated in all the stores we have been in and now that he has his vest, people are being quite courteous and asking if they can pet him. Right now he is on a no petting rule until he gets used to people not gushing over him.
It is hard to believe that he is only 4 months old. His training is going very well and he knows all the basic commands. Yesterday we started on him taking the stairs one at a time and now he makes sure he watches my feet before he proceeds to the next step. We have started the "brace" command, just so he knows it. I can't actually put much weight on him until his growth plates are set, but at least he will know what to do when the time comes. He seems to love helping me and we will start on teaching him to open doors, etc. probably in the next few months.
Dakota has become more pronounced in his alerts and I now introduce him as a medical alert dog. He is very good at knowing where I am at and what I need. I have had him tug me by the pants to get me to come home, guide me along a railing so I can hold onto it and quite a few other things. He alerts pretty much daily, which I hoped for given the severity of my sleep disorder. It does get annoying on my really bad days though because he won't stop alerting and there isn't anything I can do to make it better. Annoying or not, I am glad I have him and wouldn't give him up for the world. He really has changed my life for the better.