Saturday, November 19, 2011

Moving On

On the day I turned in Lowe I picked up dog #5, a black Lab named Canyon.  Canyon is sponsored in honor of some blind hikers that hiked Rim to Rim of the Grand Canyon.  Canyon will be a year old on November 27.  Canyon's puppy raisers were unable to keep him because of changes in their world so he came to the kennel until he could be placed.  He's quite the character!  I love his caramel colored eyes and the way he tips his head when he's trying to figure out what I'm saying.  He is a problem solver and knows how to think.  The school is thinking of using him for a stud dog so he is still all male!

The first thing I learned was that you simply can't see a black dog at night!  All it takes is a tiny bit of shadow and Canyon disappears.  One of the students showed me a collar light that I can put on his collar.  That helped a lot!  I can't see him but I can tell where he is by the glow.

I haven't taken many pictures yet - something I'd better do!

PS:  Lowe has passed all his physicals, has gone on his obedience walk and has started learning how the harness works!  Yeah, Lowe!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Guess What??

No one really reads this blog any more.  And so I don't post any more, either.  However, this update is due. 

LOWE IS IN FOR TRAINING!!  I raised him and trained him and then sent him off to college on October 15th.  Now that he is in 'college' he is undergoing testing and learning how to guide a blind person with a special harness that he gets to wear.  So far he has passed all his medical and temperament testing.  In another week or so he goes on his obedience walk for evaluation and then on to harness work.  Since Lowe is a very quick and willing student I'm very hopeful that he will graduate sometime in the spring. 

Here's my issue now:  I work at Guide Dogs of the Desert.  As a matter of fact I was promoted to kennel manager not long ago.  The hardest part of my job now is to make sure to avoid Lowe as much as I possibly can to allow him to bond with his trainers and want to work for them.  The kennel techs and trainers and the only ones playing with him now while I watch from a window out of sight.  I'm so proud of him that I don't want to mess this up! 

I looked up Lowe's namesake a day or two ago.  I'm trying to politely ask for information about him so I can do a scrapbook for the Marines who sponsored him and his family.  I took pictures of Lowe at a memorial and collected as much memorabilia as I could find to make it as respectful and meaningful as possible.  Not knowing much about Jamie Lowe I am doing research on the internet and asking his sponsors for any information they are willing to give.  I'm not asking to contact his family directly because I would like it to be a surprise if/when Lowe graduates.  I don't expect them to attend but it would be great to honor them and him just the same.

Wish me luck!  :-)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Yep, a month since I last wrote.  Yikes!  Since I'm sick at the kennel I guess now is as good a time as any to get caught up...

April 29 - CAMPING!  That was fun!  Well, except the part where the tent blew down and we wound up sleeping in the car.  It was OK for me because I was in my crate either way but Mom and Dad sure seemed like they weren't able to sleep.

April 30 - We're going home!  After a stop at IHOP.  Too windy to try to cook over a camp fire.  Dad threw the tent into the dumpster so we don't have to haul it home.  Mom will pitch a different tent in the back yard so she and her daughter can camp out there.  Pretty cool, too, because Mom has a gas firepit so they can still roast marshmallows and stuff.

May 8 - Mother's Day...  We went to Dad's folks house to make breakfast.  I guess Grandma is really sick so she appreciated the help.  Then we went to some friend's house for a while.  I got to watch TV but I really wanted ot go outside and play baseball.

May 13 - Hey, who are all these people?  Mom's family flew down from Oregon to surprise her.  And they did!  It was hard to stay on my bed and be silent but I did just fine.  Two grown-ups and two kids.  You know the kids had fun!

May 14 - A trip to Knott's Berry Farm.  The 6-year-old niece screamed with excitement when she saw the roller coasters.  The kids had never been to a theme park before and they had tons of fun.  I had so much to do I found myself laying down to take a break every chance I got!  Then that night we went to a baseball game.  It was a luxury suite so it was nice to get away from the crowds after such a busy day.  I did NOT like it when the mascot stopped by but Mom convinced me he was OK.  Then there were fireworks!  Luckily Mom knew they were coming and made sure I was in as insulated a place as she could find.  It was still too noisy.  After it was done I was still jumpy for a few minutes but by the time we got to the car I was all right.  And boy did I sleep well!

May 15 - Woke up coughing.  Ugh.  Feel OK but this cough just doesn't want to stop!  Mom said that was the end of my partying so I stayed in my kennel while she went shopping and stuff.

May 16 - Into the kennel I go!  Turns out there are a bunch of us coughing.  The kennel is under quarantine but it's kind of cool because I get to board with my buddy, Adrian.  Adrian is getting ready to go in to training as a guide dog but we sure have a lot of fun together!  Mom and the other kennel workers come around and give us cough medicine three times a day.  YUM!  I don't know why the other dogs don't like this stuff.  I'd take theirs too if Mom would let me!

The first three days at the kennel I had to have two shots every day and cough medicine three times a day.  After that it switched to pills twice a day and cough medicine three times a day.  The kennel workers love to give me my medicine because I'm very good.  Even the pills they can give me and I will chew them up and swallow them.  No problem!  I will be glad when I can go home though.  I've been here for a few days now and I miss going home with Mom...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Busy Couple of Weeks!

Mom doesn't have the pictures together yet but I have been to several interesting places.  The first was Ben & Jerry's.  You know, the ice cream place?  I don't know much about ice cream but they have the most amazing river running in front of the mall!  Oh man did I want to go explore that!

My dad's mom was in the ER.  I got to go visit her!  Security wasn't sure if they should let me through butthen one of the nurses recognized Mom and led us right in.  And the sick lady was so happy to see me and have me lick her fingers.  I guess she is going to be in the hospital a lot for a while so I will get to visit there again.

The guide dog school where Mom works had a graduation.  The class of three was made up entirely of veteran's.  There was nearly four hundred people to watch three students graduate.  Wow!  It was neat to see the honor guard.  Some of the pups barked at the flags but I've seen them before so it was no big deal.

Mom has introduced me t a new friend named Adrian.  He is a black Lab that loves to play almost as much as I do!  He's a bit bigger and a bit older but that makes us nearly even considering I have so much energy.  We play until we are so tired we just stand there and pant.  Then one of us finds some more energy and we're off again!

This weekend the family is going to go camping.  The tent looks like fun!  Mom's just hoping I don't tear it apart trying to find a good spot to sleep.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Has It Really Been That Long??

Not much happening, though, until this weekend.  Friday night there was a puppy meeting.  Not much unusual there except it was snowing!!!  The humans were rather cold but it was still fun.  I didn't want to put my hind end down on the pavement but I did it anyway.  Then yesterday we went on a puppy outing to The Living Desert in Palm Desert, CA.  That was fun!  Lots of other dogs (there were 18 dogs and 30 people) and strange critters to see.  Some of them thought we were strange, too.  A giraffe leaned way over the fence to get as close as possible.  The badger snarled from behind glass.  The wolves barked and howled.  One of the workers said it was good for them to have some excitement and another talked about displaced aggression and said they were worried that the wolves would turn on each other.  Anyway, we got our picture taken and moved on.  We walked by some camels that were giving rides.  They stared at us just as long as we stared at them.  What funny looking critters!  The little electric trains were neat.  I wanted to go grab one but of course Mom said no.

Me and Kiko snoozing
After we got done there we all went to eat at a local restaurant.  Mom took pictures of lots of dogs asleep under tables!  Then Mom and I got to go to another puppy raiser's house to play in the back yard.  There was a swimming pool!  Uh, I don't like water!!  The other dogs loved it - don't they know they can't walk on it?  I finally waded in a little bit.  It's FUN!  Pretty quick I was the one still chasing the toys in the pool after  ( the other three dogs had found something else to play with.  I was so excited I was talking to the guy throwing the toy, trying to tell him how excited I was and would he please just throw it!  I had SO much fun and I hope we can do that again.  My friend Kiko was there and two other friends, Gene and Vivian.  Gene and Vivian are brother and sister but being raised by separate puppy raisers.  It was neat to get to play with them.

Today Mom put on some wheels and we went for a run!  I've never done that before.  Mom hadn't done it in years so we got off to a slow start.  Mom was happy to see that I don't mind those wheels.  We had fun and definitely need to do it again!  Dad rode by on his biycle and I was cool with that, too.  No sweat!  The little girl was trying to learn to ride her little skateboard and that was no problem.  Mom is already trying to decide what wheels to do next!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What? What'd I do??

Yesterday Mom took me to a house I had never visited before.  They have three kids and a big back yard!  Mom was told to go ahead and let me run around - so she did.  And then had fun removing the kids toys from my mouth.  Chalk, a ball, a rollerblade, sticks...  Mom wasn't impressed but I had so much fun!  Pretty quick I was tied to a table leg in the kitchen - and now Mom needs another new leash...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Weekly Update

My routine doesn't change much but we did get to have some fun this weekend.  Mom was a little disappointed when I panicked at a skateboard Friday afternoon.  The guy on the skateboard was really nice about it, though.  As soon as he realized I was scared he hopped off the board and came over and said hello and let me sniff his board.  I made a new friend!  He walked another half a block past us before he hopped back on his skateboard.  I kept an eye on it.  I heard a roller bag and nearly jumped out of my skinbut I was able to immediately see it wasn't a skateboard so it only needed a short study.  Also on Friday there was a puppy meeting.  We picked up Janie and Kiko and headed to Yucaipa. I got to play quite a bit with the other dogs.  That's always fun!

Oh, on Saturday we went up to Big Bear and played in the snow!  I couldn't shovel it into my mouth fast enough!  I got to run around and fetch sticks and play until I was plain wore out. 

Then, instead of working on Sunday, Mom took me to a country club to eat with a bunch of dog friends and then we all went to a concert performed by a puppy raiser named Lorna Luft.  We got to parade in around the room and sit all together.  It was kind of loud but Mom had fun.  During the last song Lorna's puppy, Gene, barked from back stage - and all 16 dogs in the group barked back!  It was great to say hello but we were all quickly shushed.  After the last song Lorna and her husband, Collin, brought Gene out to say hello to all his friends and get pictures taken.  Man we had a lot of fun!  One of the littlest puppies had an accident in the concert hall on the carpet but his puppy raiser was right there with a baggie so it was cleaned up before anyone really noticed it.

Then today it was back to our regular routine.  Mom has started taking me to a scrapbooking store.  The ladies there are really nice and I have to learn to hold my tail still because the aisles are so narrow that I knock things down if I wag.  Oops, sorry!