Sunday, December 26, 2010

Skateboards

OK, so I don't like skateboards.  It's hardly my fault, though.  Someone came flying up behind us several weeks ago - startling Mom and me.  Now every time I hear a skateboard I'm a wreck until I can see it leave.  So today Mom's coworker, Cherie, brought one of her son's skateboards to work.  Mom was playing with me and Cherie rolled it along and I got scared!  Mom went over to it and showed it to me and called me over.  I came but made sure Mom was between me and that sneaky beast!  Mom petted me lots and that helped.  Eventually I didn't go nuts as it rolled but I didn't want to go any where near it.  Mom put my favorite toy on the skateboard and just kept rolling it away from me so I could watch it and chase it.  I didn't chase it but followed from a distance.  Finally I was able to go up and sniff it and got LOTS of praise.  She gave me my toy and told me we would see this skateboard again sometime and put it away.  I'm glad we ended while I was still brave!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Almost-Christmas!

Mom has kept us hopping!  This post will be tons of pictures and explanations of each to try to catch up.


At church being adored by everyone

I love this place!  This is at church.  When Mom agrees to a break all the kids come over and pet me.  Once in a while someone will pull on my paws to see if my toes are really webbed but it's OK, I don't mind.



Waiting for the tram.




We also went up the Palm Springs Tram for their annual Christmas tree lighting.  It was fun!  Something called snowballs flying around.  The tram was easy as long as you stayed away from where the tram was rotating to take in the views.  I pretty much slept through that.  There was a reallly big group of us up there.  The last count was 22 people, I think and 17 dogs.  Here's a group shot with a few of us in it.

Miss Gwen, me, Marilyn, and Dusty in
the front.  Cooper, Patrick and Dolce in the back.





After the tram we went to Billy Reed's restaurant.  All I really got to do was curl up on the floor but that was cool with me - at least we were in where it's warm!  I got to lay next to Cooper and we got along fine.

At Billy Reed's restaurant.







 
 
 
 
 

Just hanging out at the park with Mom.
Once in a while we go to the park to hang out with friends.  There wasn't a seat in the shade so we planted ourselves on the sidewalk.  I USED to fit in Mom's lap!  I don't when she got so small but I certainly don't fit any more...









The "We were there" shot.

Another place we've been to recently was the Mission Inn in Riverside, CA.  Every year they do a huge light show.  We weren't guests at the hotel so we couldn't go in to the coolest lights, but we got to walk around.  Very crowded!  And big white things called horses pulling carriages in the street.  I wanted to play with the but they ignored me.  Also something like a dog with horns that ignored me.  Mom called it a reindeer.


Every month Mom sends in a report to tell my sponsors how I'm doing.  It includes pictures so here are a couple that she's probably going to send in.  The blue thing on my collar holds my tags to keep them quiet.  Nice for sleeping but not real pretty in pictures.  She needs to take it off for pictures, don't you think?




With my buddy!


Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Toys

Mom got a box of stuff I can't look at but it sure smells good!  Maybe if I wait until she's not looking...

Poor Lowe!  Whatever will he do??  I got a bunch of dog toys but haven't yet decided which ones are for Lowe and which ones to save for doggy gifts.

Here's the list:

Skinneeez Squirrel

Nylabone Rhino

Nylabone Dura Chew Plus - Bacon

Nylabone Wishbone

Nylabone Dinosaur

Lowe already has a dinosaur and I have an extra Rhino ball so I'll probably save those along with the rest of the stash I've been collecting.  He's going to love Christmas!  My daughter (OK, me too) wants to give him a new one every day!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Yes, I Can!


Time for more picture taking!  We went to Lowe's where I demonstrated my sit-stay and down-stay - successfully!


We got to board my friend, Kiko, for a few days.  She's a working guide and it turns out that we are the same size!  Well, we were at the start of the week but I'm bigger than she is now.  I got to go to the hospital with her to visit her mom and I was very good.  Mom was worried about my having an accident while we were heading back and forth to the sixth floor but no problem.  It was more challenging to walk with both of us, I think.  Kiko on the right and me on the left.  I wanted to play so Mom was tripping.  After a couple of those it finally got through that we were both working.  After that it was no problem.  It's good I can figure these things out quickly, right?









We went to some friends house for Thanksgiving dinner.  There was no parking immediately available so we parked across the street.  Mom took a shortcut over the dry weeds to get to the sidewalk.  I tried to follow but OW, OW, OW!!!  Mom calls them 'goatheads' but I call them painful!  It was a whole sticker patch, not just dry weeds!  Mom felt awful!  I held very still while she pulled them out of all four paws.  Some of them had broken but Mom was very patient and made sure she got every single one before we went anywhere.  I admit it took a couple of days before I would willingly jump out of the car again.  Wow, that hurt!  The good news was that I was a good boy at dinner.  Even when I was in the kitchen and someone dropped a turkey bone on the floor!  Mom growled and I left it alone.


Mom is starting to let me have little bits of freedom here and there inside the house.  I'm good at tie down now but I prefer to be in my huge kennel because I can move more freely.  Tonight I played fetch up and down the hall.  That was fun!  Mom hasn't let me do that in a very long time (something about peeing in her kitchen) and I'd forgotten how much fun it can be.  Remy, the little poodle who lives here, is very bossy and doesn't always let me get the toy but I just wait for a minute and grab the toy when he walks away. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Book Fair

Last night Mom took me to Barnes & Noble for a book fair.  It was SO crowded!!  At first I was constantly having to be reminded to 'leave it' but I caught on.  I accidently knocked over a little display with my tail wagging but it was quite exciting to see everybody.  The place was so crowded that Mom would try to put me between her and a bookshelf to avoid my getting stepped on.  All the kids wanted to say 'hi' but only one asked nicely so the rest of the time I did my best to keep my nose clean.  Ha!  One of the customer service people came and asked questions about what kind of dog I was and made sure to mention that training dogs and service dogs are Always welcome there.  That was nice of him!

Mom also took me to her daughter's parent/teacher conference.  That was tougher than the book store because there were food crumbs on the floor near enough to sniff and I couldn't touch them!  Argh!  Eventually you just have to give a big sigh and take a nap until time to go...

On Tuesday we went to the Olive Garden restaurant.  Oh boy do they have some yummy stuff on the floor!  Mom did her best and wound up having me lay down so she could put her foot on the leash to keep me from grazing.  I found out just how far my tongue can reach but had to finally give up.

Do we have pictures of any of this?  No!  Mom forgot!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Time to Catch Up

Mom's going to post yet one more picture of me in my Halloween costume.  Please feel free to scroll on by!

Since it was the end of October Mom weighed me to see what to report on my monthly evaluation that she sends in to the school.  I weighed in at 48 lbs.!  Not bad for almost five months old!  Then she arranged for me to go stay with my friend, Cali, for a few days while she went on vacation.  Cali is a black lab who's a few months older than I.  When she would board with us Mom wouldn't let us play together because I was too small.  This time we got to play for an hour every day.  Cali plays rough but then she met me and rolled right over every time!  Play time was SO much fun!  I had to 'sit' and 'stay' at the door to go out but I was running in place on the hard floors trying to get out the door.  Of course all good things come to an end and Mom came to pick me up.  I was very glad to see her - and so was Cali! - but I miss playing with my friend.  I think Mom needs to arrange a play date!  Mom was happy to see that finally all my baby teeth have been replaced by my adult teeth.

Sunday was graduation at the guide dog school.  I got to go down and see my sister, Lexie, again.  I got to see Cali, too, but we were working so no playing this time.  It was my first time out with my big-boy working jacket but it looks good.  Mom also talked to the trainer about my tendency to try to pull her where I want to go so I got introduced to a training collar.  Wow, that'll get my attention!  Luckily it's only used when I'm working or being difficult.  I'm learning to be good, though.  Last night when we went for a walk I got lots of extra praise because I stopped at the curb without Mom having to show it to me.  I don't know what the big deal is but now I know what she's looking for.  Walking clear to the corner and pausing and then turning is now normal for me but I've noticed I'm the only one doing it.  I'm sure Mom has a good reason.

I found out one of my brothers was at graduation.  I didn't get to see him!  He's about the same size I am and is really bouncy.  The child in my family got to pet him with Dad there and she reported to Mom later.  Mom and I were both wishing we could have seen him too!  Maybe next time.  I'm told they live a couple of hours away so we may have to wait until next graduation.

OK, you're all caught up!  Now we need to get more pictures to post...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Not Forgotten!

Mom asked me to let you know that I can type more in the next day or so.  She's trying to get caught up after being on vacation.  And I got to go stay with a buddy!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Check This Out!

Hey look!  Here's a picture of me (finally) with me in my new collar.  What do you think?  Mom's hoping you can see the Marine insignia on it...

I've started going places again with Mom on the weekends.  I still won't get in the car, though, unless that's the only way I get my food.  Hee hee!  :-)  I've got a lot of energy so Mom takes me for long walks to help me get my wiggles out.

I've lost all my front little teeth.  I've got a few more that I sure wish would fall out, though.  They still itch!

Oh, and here's something I hoped Mom wouldn't put in here.  Me trying on my Halloween costume.  Embarrassing.  Notice you can't see my face...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Collar

Yeah! I finally fit my big-boy collar! Mom's going to snap a couple of pictures - hopefully she'll post one shortly...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mom's Turn

I wish I had the words to describe Lowe's reaction to wind today! I couldn't figure out why he kept shaking his head and turning away from the car. I walked him around and watched. Every time the wind moved his ears he'd shake his head as though quite irritated that his ears were doing things he hadn't told them to do!

My daughter had her birthday party last night. I brought Lowe out to see the bounce house but he didn't even care. He wanted to go jump on all the kids! He's quite fearless at this point and tries to bully our smaller dogs. They, however, have dealt with puppies before and ignore him until they can't any longer and then turn around and deal with him appropriately. At some point the lessons should sink in but right now he thinks it's great fun to push their buttons...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I Knew It!

We had a blast at Lake Arrowhead on Saturday! I was going to put up a bunch of pictures but it might be easier to post a link to them. I met another puppy that looks almost exactly like me! Her name is Lexie and she's my sister. We wanted to play but our moms wouldn't let us. Something about working...
http://kodakgallery.com/gallery/creativeapps/slideShow/Main.jsp?facebook=true&sourceId=984136008703

Friday, October 8, 2010

This Week

Yeah! I'm cured! I finally got my vaccinations today and found out I weigh in at a whopping 36.4 pounds. No wonder my puppy jacket doesn't fit very well! Mom has waited quite a while to take me any where so my first trip out was two days ago. We went to a Super Wal-Mart and not much more than that. Tomorrow will be my first bigger outing. The Yucaipa puppy group is going to Lake Arrowhead tomorrow. We'll go for a boat ride and have lunch and just wander around. Sounds like fun to me! Mom gave me a bath a little bit ago - I would rather pass on that. But it means I get to run around extra outside to help dry off.

When we were at the doctor's office Mom was told I should get another kind of flu shot. Man, as though three shots and one up the nose wasn't enough! I was tough though, and didn't even blink. Anyway, there's some sort of canine flu starting that needs it's own vaccination. Have to ask around about that one...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sick Puppy



I'm going to be so glad when I'm all better! I caught a cold last week so I've been coughing and have a runny nose. I'll spare you the details but I will be glad to be better. It's pretty boring when you can't go anywhere. On another note, when I was at the vet I weighed 33 pounds! Probably 35 by now... Mom just tonight has moved me up to a big-dog crate. I have acres of room now!




Here are a couple of pictures taken the day before I got sick...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cool! More Fun Stuff!



I've been having more and more fun lately! This whole idea of getting to go places is starting to really appeal. On Friday I got to go and visit a school. Yes, I've done that, but this time I was part of the show! Over 100 3rd graders. The first few I was so excited but I was getting bored by the 100th pet on the way out the door. Mom says it's good for me... Then on Saturday we went to Riley's Farm in Oak Glen, CA. There's lots of walking. LOTS of walking. Some people were picking apples or strawberries. Oh, and we got to go for a hay ride!




Sunday Mom worked so that was kind of boring but today Mom took me with her and I got to play with some friends! There were six of us puppies out in the front yard having a blast. We took turns mobbing the different kennel workers that were there and generally having fun and raising a ruckus. We sure slept well after that!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Playing Catch-Up






Now that I've got my vaccinations Mom has been letting me actually walk in the stores! Only for short trips but it's been fun! Lots and lots of stuff to sniff and grab and drag... We also went to the area puppy meeting. It's called Puppies & Pizza. I'm not the littlest puppy in the group any more. A little chocolate lab named Moto has stolen the spotlight. He's sure fun to play with, though!








On Saturday Mom took me with her when she took her daughter to the park. There was some sort of festival going on so it was really crowded. Lots of fun!








This week a stray dog showed up. Mom didn't know her so we didn't get to play but she stayed for a week. Saturday afternoon Mom took us to Petco so the stray could be turned over to a shelter. It's National Guide Dog Month but you wouldn't know it seeing our local Petco. We'll have to come back with a bigger group! :-)


Mom wants to toss in a picture of me in my crate. It's an extra large crate and I'm starting to fill it up!







Friday, September 3, 2010

YES!

I got my vaccinations today! It pinched but I'm tough so I didn't even whimper.

Now, where were we? Yesterday I went with Mom back to Lake Arrowhead. Talk about a long day! The best part about it was that I saw another puppy exactly like me! Mom didn't let me sniff him or play with him - something about nose prints - but we had fun jumping together, anyway. Funny thing, he did everything just the same as I did! Mom stayed a lot longer than planned. By afternoon I just lay down wherever there was a pause and got a few winks. Mom was nice and let me nap an hour at a time while she chatted with folks. She also took me down to the docks to show me something called a duck but I found something far more interesting - fish! Lots of them! Mom wouldn't let me chase them but I bet I could have caught them.

This morning Mom took me with her to the kennels to get my vaccinations. Since she was there I got a bath and I got weighed, too. I weigh 26 pounds now! Mom says she can't believe how fast I'm growing but I can't believe how everything around me seems to be shrinking...

Now that I have my vaccinations I can actually walk around. That's a relief for Mom and me. Now she says I need to get something called shoes. Huh? I don't know but I'll find out.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Time to Catch Up!










Let's see... Friday evening Mom took me to a restaurant for supper. There was a park across the way that had a memorial for veterans so she decided we definitely needed to get a picture of me there. On Saturday, August 28th, Mom took me to Lake Arrowhead. Neither of us had ever been there and it sure is a fun place! There were a lot of other dogs there but Mom made sure I didn't get to greet any of them. I sure tried, though! I think I might be glad to get my vaccinations! Mom felt bad because there was a working guide dog in the parking lot that I managed to distract. Hey, I just wanted to say hi! Turns out so did she but her handler was on top of that so we didn't ever get to say hi or anything. Mom tells me that is what I am going to be doing some day. Walk around all day with Mom? Sure thing!


The best entertainment I had was Mom putting a bunch of ice cubes in my water bowl. That was fun! Even the blanket I was on got nice and cold and wet. Wonderful! We were there the whole afternoon just getting used to the noise of the band playing and people and dogs everywhere. It was a long enough day that I fell asleep right on the sidewalk! Felt good, too!


Sunday and Monday didn't have much going on. Mom is trying to teach about something called "tie down" but so far it's just something else fun to chew.


Then today I got to go with Mom to take the daughter to gym class and dance class. I've been doing very well at nicely chewing my toy even though the kids are running back and forth in front of me. I haven't even had an accident!
Mom says she's quite happy with my progress. It's time to send in the first monthly report on my progress. I can say I've been in schools, restaurants, malls, cars, stores, church and after-school activities. Other than having someone examine Mom's training ID carefully there've been no problems at all. Mom says she will be glad when I get my shots because I'm not fitting very well in the grocery cart any more!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Going to Work

Mom takes me to work with her. Since she works at the kennels, though, I have to remain crated most of the time. I guess I'm used to it but I sure love coming out to play when she takes breaks! The other day there were some puppies boarding that were my age and size so we went to the auditorium (where it's cool) to play. Mom got to carry me back and forth to the other buildings across the street. It's well over 100 degrees here every day and the blacktop is burning hot. I'm getting big enough to be awkward to carry but play time is worth it! I've learned to sit still and not try to jump out of her arms. The other day she took me to Sears and there was no cart available - she got to carry me the whole time! Shopping was completed in a record twenty minutes. Dad says I need to be carried more!

After dark is when Mom takes me for walks. It's still hot but not enough to burn my paws. I'm pleased to report that Mom is walking very well! She used to walk in to me all the time but now she has learned to stay out of my way. I try to take it easy on her but sometimes I've just GOT to sniff! If I let her walk me over to it I can sniff, but if I jump to go see it then she trips and makes a big fuss and I feel bad. At least I know if I don't pull she will let me check things out. Remembering that, however...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Moooommm...

That's probably what Lowe has been thinking the last couple of days. It has gotten so hot here that taking him out is just not recommended. Even going to the store is no fun. Lowe rides on the front floor boards on the passenger side of the car and curls up as tightly as possible to the floor a/c vent! We do obedience and exercise morning and night but other than that his day is pretty long and boring. It's supposed to cool off this weekend, though, so hopefully we'll find something more entertaining for him to do. This morning when we took my daughter to school we had to wait for a train to cross. Lowe was absolutely fascinate - for a minute. Then back to chewing! He's having to learn about walking across the grass and NOT peeing - it can happen, right?? - and not sniffing and goofing too much while in jacket.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

It's Here!


Mom got my new collar in the mail today! Have I got some growing to do! Here's a picture of it...

The Weekend!

Mom has worked at the kennels the last couple of days - she's had SO much fun! It's a bit boring for me, though. Water, play, relieve, crate, repeat. We're done by 2 0r 2:30 though, so then it's PLAY time! Yesterday I got a bath - not my kind of play but not bad, either. Then last night we went to Macaroni Grill. BORING!! It got interesting when I needed to GO really badly but Mom couldn't figure it out. I made it outside but... mom got to clean up the sidewalk in front of the restaurant while people were going in and out and another lady I don't know had me in the grass to see what else I needed to do. Well, that's why I'm a puppy in training! I'll get Mom trained yet, you'll see! :-)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

He Gets It!

Finally Lowe clued in! He went to the car happily, I lifted him in and he went right to his spot on the floor. Instead of curling into a ball he sat up and looked around like he was finally OK with riding in the car. At the school he nosed in to his jacket and was very, very calm the whole time with kids running around and such. I'm so proud of the little guy! I am writing this on the calendar (blog) because who knows if/when it will happen so perfectly again! :-)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

More Stuff!

Yesterday was too hot to do anything but this morning Mom took me back to Costco. The greeter wasn't happy to see me but I was behaving perfectly. Mom explained who we were and what we were doing and a gentleman that must have been her supervisor waved us in and chatted with her. I was sure to be good the whole way this time!

Until we got home, anyway. Mom turned her back to take care of yard duty and I found this great little chair... So after picking up the yard Mom got to pick up little pieces of the soft part of the folding chair that I managed to tear up pretty thoroughly in a very short period of time. She is waiting for her two ex-pens to be delivered and praying they show up today or tomorrow. I wonder what she needs those for...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Costco!

Mom took me to Costco today. No pictures, though, because she had her hands full. Who could blame me! Sitting in that cart with all the stuff going by - no puppy could resist this! Those kids looked like they were feasting over there on something that I bet would fit right in between these teeth of mine. Turns out the trip to Costco was rather short. Something about closing time... Question: do I really have to lie down in that kid seat of the cart all the time? Mom seems to think so but I did just fine standing up - until I got caught. I finally had to give up and stay down because she just kept on insisting I do so. There was a man in line who was missing the bottom half of his leg. Turns out he was a Vietnam veteran who looked at me with new interest once he found out I was named after a fallen Marine.

Cali went home on Friday but yesterday a new dog appeared over here to stay for a few days. He looks like a dust mop and doesn't like me at all. He growled at me and learned a ton of respect for my mom at that point. She needn't have worried - I got the message loud and clear! He seems to already know about sitting before you get anything. His name is Romeo and the poodle I live with is named Remy. Remy is a black miniature poodle who wasn't real thrilled with my arrival but quite tolerant once Mom explained it to him.

Let's see... Oh, I found Mom's cherry tomatoes! Yum! And the little orange tree - another yum! Look at these sycamore leaves! Not so yum. Back to the tree roots! Oh, how about those roses? Yum! Ouch!

Headed to Church


This morning we went to a place Mom called 'church.' It was a bunch of puppies in one room with a mom up front teaching them to do things like stand, clap, sit. Mom is correcting me to say they weren't puppies but kids. OK, so a room full of kids singing and clapping and having a great time. I couldn't do much, which was rather frustrating, but Mom gave me a couple of toys and I managed to entertain myself. After church some of the kids came over and pet me. Getting to go to all these new places can be really fun!

Busy Friday!





This mom of mine sure keeps me hopping! Today we went back to the kennels. Mom spent the day helping get puppies ready to go to their new raisers. It was just like a week ago when I got to go home! Oh, and I got interviewed with my mom to be on a blog for Petco next month as part of National Guide Dog Month. We'll see if the clip makes it or not! AND I got to see my dog mom again!
Busy day, huh? And that's not even the end of the adventures - I got to go swimming, too! [Actually it was pool safety night at our monthly puppy raiser meeting. Each dog was put in the pool with a lifeguard and shown how to find the steps to get out of the pool safely. The lifeguard, Eric, wore his wetsuit to protect himself from the flying claws. --Mom]


It was a very long day and I fell asleep before it was over. Hopefully I didn't miss too much!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Same Stuff

Is it conceited that I say I got the same oohs and ahhs that I always do? Yes? OK. Well then, my day was about the same as Tuesday. Took young one to kindergarten, came home and played lots, ate lunch took young one to day care, played lots, took young one to gym class, played lots, had dinner, and did I mention I played lots?? I've discovered tree roots! It's like a built in game of tug-of-war with the ground! Mom heaves a sigh and orders a bigger ex-pen. I'm pretty sure nothing I eat out there will bother me, though. Someone should let her know it's OK and normal for lab pups to eat everything in sight. After all, Cali got in to the case of water bottles today and ate some of the soggy cardboard and punctured some water bottles and she's fine!

My mom is thinking about getting me a Marine dog collar but she's trying to find something classy. On a puppy? Are you kidding? I guess it's for when I'm grown up - assuming labs ever grow up. I'm named after a Marine so Mom is trying to think how to show that in a respectful way.

Mom tried putting me on tie down today. Boy did I get mad! After Cali's escapade Cali got put in the crate and I got the tie down instead of the reverse. After a while I gave up and just laid on the floor to watch her. Funny, once I gave up then she changed us back. Huh.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Riding In Cars

You know, riding in cars isn't my favorite thing to do just yet but I'm learning that when the car stops we're someplace fun! Mom found out this morning that sometimes when I throw a fit in my crate it means the crate is about to need cleaning - oops, needs cleaning! :-) But I only woke her up at midnight and 5am last night so she's pleased. I tried to chew on my crate towel the other night and she whipped it right out of my crate. Last night she gave it back and I don't chew on it any more.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

So Far So Good!

Today Mom took me to her daughter's gym class. Not exactly sure what 'gym' means but it was sure great to see those puppies jumping around and laughing! I wanted to join them so badly! I jumped out of Mom's lap - er, I tried anyway - to join them. Mom caught me before I got far, though. Everywhere I go there are folks who need vaccinations...

Oh, and tonight when we were working on obedience in the front yard some really loud somethings came rolling up! Puppies on wheels! They scared me to death so I hid behind Mom. Mom asked them to stop and stand still so I could come and check out those noisy things. Turns out they are called bicycles and big wheels - noisy things! I tried to eat the pretty stuff hanging off the handlebars but it's supposed to stay there.

I'm doing very well so far. I can sit and wait for Mom to open the kennel and get my leash on. I can come when called and sit patiently. When I want out of the x-pen I know I need to sit quietly instead of leaping at the walls. I'm working on 'down' and 'wait' but those are a bit tougher. Especially when it involves feeding time! I know I'm not supposed to eat anything but I can sure try! I can get some of it if I'm really quick but Mom's pretty quick, too. While I was in my x-pen this afternoon the daughter came and blew bubbles for me to chase. What fun! I caught every one, too, because when I looked around they were all gone!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Hi, This Is Lowe!

My mom took me to a great place called Kindergarten this morning to drop off her little girl. You should have seen all those other puppies laughing and playing! I wanted to go play too, but Mom insisted I stay in her lap. Something about vaccinations - mine or theirs I don't know. Anyway, a couple of the moms (must be huge litters!) washed their hands really well so they could pet me. I'm liking these trips! Mom said she will take Cali in the afternoon because she doesn't want to do too much with me. *sigh* I need to grow fast!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Lowe's


Lowe did just great today riding in the cart. He relaxed enough to take a nap while I wheeled around...

Whew!

We made it successfully through another night! He got up at midnight and 4am but it was quick and easy both times. This guy is a smart cookie! I'm in the process of teaching him to relieve wherever I give him the option. He is doing just fine with grass and cement so far. Parking lots will have to wait until its cool enough during the day to have us out there until he gets the hint. I really want to get this done before he can hold it for hours and hours at a time.

Last night we had our first visitors and he was fine, of course. Later on I'm going to carry him to Lowe's and put him in the cart to let him get used to cart noise and such. That's the nearest big store - no connection to his name! Once he wakes up from the after-lunch snooze he's having I want to play with him until he gets tired and then take him.

I've learned something really cute about Lowe - he talks while he's eating! I have it on video and I'll see if I can post it here.
video

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Made It!

Well, that wasn't so bad! I guess having the towel that smelled like his sibs made a difference. He cried for a few minutes and was done. Of course, that few minutes happened at 10, 12:30 and 2:30 but only a few minutes each time. It's actually tougher to put him in his play pen and go eat breakfast - he fusses a lot more when he's awake! :-) It's neat that he's such a snuggler. He grabs a favorite toy and comes and crawls into my lap to chew on it. And until he misses the toy and bites me all is well! This morning he had fun chasing my four-year-old up and down the concrete patio in our back yard where we took him to 'get his wiggles out.' He has an x-pen outside where he can watch while the other two dogs run without his getting trampled. Any time he wonders what is going on he sits down to look at us to figure it out. At that point he is shown what to do and praised lavishly! Though it took a bit of wrangling he did sit for a second while I put down his breakfast. I was holding his collar but he stopped jumping at the bowl and sat down for a couple of seconds and that was all he needed to do.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Here He Is!


Meet Puppy #4 - Lowe! A male chocolate lab that joined us today. Isn't he cute?? His eyes are greenish but will fade to a golden color. He's being affectionately referred to as 'zipper-nose' for the ridge of fur down his nose. Very distinctive! He's eight weeks old and about twenty pounds. He is being sponsored by Marines stationed in Japan and he has been named in honor of a Marine who lost his life in Afghanistan. How incredibly honored we are to be raising this pup in honor of our fallen.
Today he got weighed, microchipped and vaccinated. It's also his first day wearing a collar and trying to figure out a leash. Right now the leash is mostly held out of his way so he can go potty and so he won't start chewing on it. I go to the kennels to volunteer each week so it will be pretty easy to ask questions and groom him and get his further vaccinations. In our orientation meeting we were told that even though this is the primary time to get them socialized, we need to be careful because they don't have their immune system built up enough yet. That means when we go to Costco we can take him along but he gets carried and put in to the cart to ride along. Probably a good idea anyway since he's potty training! He won't be going out much the first couple of days because I want him to get a bit more settled with his new family first. This first night without his sibs will be rough - for everybody! :-) At 2am I will wonder why we signed up for this - LOL! And it will all be very worthwhile.
Lowe is a very active puppy and loves to tear around just for fun. He loved walking in the grass in the back yard this afternoon and pouncing on the dry leaves that have fallen from our sycamore tree. Our personal dog, Remy, isn't real enthused yet but since he's been through this before we know everything will be fine after a few days.
We are also boarding another guide dog in training starting today. Her name is Cali and she's getting close to a year old. She is absolutely fascinated by the little guy but we keep her at a distance as she's a big girl with lots of enthusiasm. Cali can show Lowe the ropes for a week while she's here! :-)
OK, time to tire him out as much as possible to see if I can snag a couple of hours of sleep.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tomorrow!!

Finally! Tomorrow at 2pm we will meet our puppy! I just got off the phone with another puppy raiser who was able to tell me a little bit about what's going to happen tomorrow. We go out and meet our pups, then the pups stay outside and play while we go in for orientation. Trainers will be there with a manual for each of us and we spend the next couple of hours or so going over everything we need to know and answering any questions we might have. The puppies will come with a collar and little leash, a bag of food, a crate and a toy. After orientation we go get our puppy, get our picture taken and head home. And spend the next three months trying to get the puppy to sleep through the night! At about four months the potty training will take hold enough so that they can make it through the night. The previous three puppies were already potty trained so this will be more challenging. I had told the breeding director that I couldn't potty train my daughter and a puppy at the same time. now that my daughter is trained, however, it's time. Eeek!

Last night I barely slept and tonight I will probably have a hard time. I guess I'm already getting prepared for those nights of sleep walking out to the back yard to leash-relieve at oh-dark-thirty in the morning...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

So Close!

Tomorrow is Wednesday and I get my new puppy this Friday. To say I'm excited is still an understatement. All of my friends are well aware of the new puppy's arrival, too. I was told it might be a good idea to take along a blanket to let the sibs play in while I was there so the pup has something with their scent on it the first two nights. Is that mean? I'm wondering if it would be better to go 'cold turkey' on the separation instead of having that teasing scent there but no actual family. Is it comforting or frustrating? I've never tried it before so I think I will this time and see if it makes a difference.

On Friday afternoon I get the puppy and then in the late afternoon I am boarding an older pup for a week. So the new puppy will have some company close by for the first week. The older pup is nearly a year old, I think, and is also a guide dog in training.

So now I would like to find out what I need to take to the school to pick up said little puppy. Probably some towels to line the crate on the way home in case of accident. They send a crate home with the puppy so I won't have to worry about that. They send food home as well... I already have a puppy manual but I don't know if I should bring it or not in case they go through it with us. Enough rambling. Just about 60 hours to go!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Nine Days to Go!

I boarded a 4-month-old Lab puppy for a week last week and learned many new things about labs. First, they are much stronger at a much younger age than any other dog I've ever had. Second, they eat EVERYTHING! And at a much faster pace! If you even blink you see them chewing and you have no clue what it could have been. Fish it out quick if you can and pray it wasn't dangerous if you can't. You very quickly learn to scan all floors, walls, doors, tables and people for anything that moves. If it moves it will be chased and if it can be caught it will be eaten. Now, this is true of most puppies I agree, it just seems to happen at lightning speed with a Lab. I'm very grateful that Labs are also very intelligent. Take walking her, for example. The first time I walked with her and her flat collar I felt like my arm was being removed from my body every time she saw something she just had to chase. After a few blocks (and many sudden direction changes) she caught on and the rest of the walk went fine. Each time I took her out for a walk the sudden changes in direction were needed less and less. I've also learned that instead of a tie down use an extra large crate in the living room for containment. And to be careful letting her near water of any variety as she will splash right in - this includes the water bowl!

So, am I ready for a puppy? Yes! A Lab? Well, mostly... I think.

Just a Few Days to Go!

On August 6th I am getting my 4th guide dog puppy to raise. All I know so far is that it will be a male Lab, either black or chocolate. I can hardly wait to meet him!!