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


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


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


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.

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


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!!