Wednesday, January 27, 2016

D'light visits the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

Catty and Viva had there fun and now it was D'lights turn!

Here's Catty and Viva's adventure at Golden Gardens if you missed it:

  My plan was to take D'light to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks AKA The Ballard Locks. 
I made sure that I had enough time before Catty's Nose Work lesson so that each dog could have at least 30 minutes of individual adventure time.   Having Viva in our care has really pushed me to stretch my thinking.  She has provided lots of learning experiences for me and nudged me to be creative in what I/we do with our dogs.  Prior to Viva arriving we would often do things with two dogs at a time and depending on the dog we, would do things with all three. 

With Viva, you do things solo unless you have two people - one for each dog.  And even that isn't optimal.  So, we do the majority of our outdoor adventures with just one dog at a time.  Yes it takes more time and this has proven to be interesting.  We've noticed a shift in Catty and D'light's behavior outside since doing this.  We tailor our "adventure" to the dog with us and this gives the dog their idea of fun and we move at their pace - so they have lots of choice.  This has really impacted D'light in terms of confidence and excitement with life! And a bonus for the human is that we can experience more of the environment around us which has been really fun.  So while Viva is challenging she has given me the gift of expanded ideas that I wouldn't have experienced had we not fostered her.  
I decided on the Locks because I knew there were often squirrels on the ground in one area (a positive experience for him) and I wanted to see how would do with environment at the locks.  Meaning the walkways, noise and activity.  We continue to do a lot of environmental work with D'light and he's really made wonderful progress over the year.

The last time I was at the Locks with Catty and here was that fun trip Catty rocks Nose Work class at the Ballard Locks

We arrive at the gate and the rain has really slowed down which was nice!

D'light is relaxed ready to explore. He's continued to increase his independence by taking the lead as we walk.  This is great confidence building for him and nice that he's getting more and more comfortable in new environments.

We get a double adventure as we can explore the locks and the botanical garden!

Passing by the directions to the fish ladder

We will see how D'light progresses on this adventure.  What he communicates by his body language will dictate if we visit the fish ladder.

We first spend time in the Botanical Garden

There is no one here!

D'light had a great time checking around for critters.

Lots to observe

And of course lots to smell

"Any critters down there?"

Sweet boy and I love our 1:1 time together

Off we go...

He did find a squirrel to chase up the cedar tree!

Moving right along and over to the locks we go

An environmental shift and I wait as D'light takes it all in

He move forward and is curious about what is going on.  The narrow pathways and different surfaces don't bother him.

Two boats going through the locks

"What is going on?"

"Do you see all this mom?"

We take in the surrounding environment

Then head on.  D'light stops to watch what's going on.

Here's what we are watching

We keep moving and we are getting close to the fish ladder. D'light is doing great.

Lots of interest in everything going on

We roll by the wave sculptures

We arrive at fish ladder plaza!

"That's a big drop down to the water"

Watching the water roll out - the pathway in the background is where we came from.

"Where's the fish ladder?"

"The fish ladder is over here!"

We need to start heading back...


Moving on and you can hear all the environmental noise and D'light is going fantastic.
"Mom I have a few more things to check out"

A nice view of the environment

Pretty little birds!

Stopping to watch a boat go through the locks

"Just a minute mom - I need to check out this area before we go!"

Off we go to the car!

And Catty and I were on time for our Nose Work lesson and it was a great time!


  1. What a wonderful adventure for all three dogs! It was especially good to see how interested and curious D'light was about everything, even though it was noisy and busy.

    1. It was a lot of fun for sure! I agree that it was nice to see D'light having a good time while being curious of what was going on around him.