YAY! Honeydew is now officially a guide dog puppy in training - she got her jacket tonight at our puppy meeting.
The meeting was actually a "social" - once a month the club does an outing in public...ride the train or bus, go to the mall, etc. This was our first such social (as the new pups have been too young to go until now). Tonight it was an outdoor art show with artists who made garden art from recycled materials....it was a sea of people, totally overwhelming! We drove around for about 20-minutes just trying to find a place to park, and ended up in a dirt lot a ways away.
Honeydew did pretty good - but at one point she had a bit of a meltdown. I think the new jacket (she isn't sure she wants it on), combined with all of the people and the other dogs, was more than she could handle. She was like a little kid throwing a temper tantrum in the grocery store. I finally had to drag her behind some bushes where she proceeded to buck like a wild bull and flop around on the ground like a fish. She has never acted that way before. After a bit of private time she calmed down and we went back out to join the crowds of people and the other puppy raisers. She is still just a little pup - so I can imagine it was all just more than she could handle, especially because she is so much more intense about distractions than most of the other pups (who are just chill, sort of with a surfer's attitude or something).
I (Michele) have been out of town for about 5 days -- Glenn did a great job of taking care of the little dear (along with the other Crim Critter Menagerie). I can't believe how much bigger she got while I was away...she is starting to look like a little dog instead of a puppy! :( Tomorrow she gets to wear her jacket to work with me - everyone will be so proud!
Anyhow - attached are some updated pics of our big night.
Photo 1) Honeydew in her new jacket. She is all color coordinated now...people always think she is a boy because of the green halter. She doesn't seem to care.
Photo 2) Just a few of the pups hanging out at one of the art exhibits (there were a total of 13 guide dogs there). There are 5 pups in the picture...kinda like "Where's Waldo". The little one on the left, facing the camera, is Fortune - the pup that is so huge for his age (he is the same as Honeydew). He has the biggest puppy belly and always seems to be straining under his own weight just to keep his head up.
Photo 3) Another picture of The Dew looking proud in her jacket. You can see the intelligence in her eyes...that, or she is saying "seriously, if you don't get this thing off of me I am going to pitch another royal fit!"
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Tonight I took some pictures at Honeydew's puppy class. Next week we get to go on a social with the club - an outdoor art-show. The best news is that Honeydew should (knock on wood) get her official "puppy in training" jacket! She did very good at class tonight. She taught Glenn everything she knows. :)
1) First photo is of some of the puppy club members. As you can see, there is a blind lady (Liz) and her guide partner (Azisis, not sure of spelling) that join us. It is great to get her perspective on what it is like to rely on a guide dog - and why we are teaching the things we are teaching (e.g like, in photo 3, why they need to ignore pine cones and not pick them up). The puppy to her left (with the gray pony-tail guy) is Louise...she has always been our favorite of the puppies (until The Dew came along, of course!).
2) Glenn doing the rounds with Honeydew. I think she was giving me the stink-eye. You can't see all of the dogs in the background because of the in-shade in-full-sun lighting (of course, Glenn's bro, photographer extraordinaire, would know how to correct for that, but I am clueless). Honeydew used to run and try to grab the tail of the dog in front of her, but she is much better about that now.
3) "Ahh, Dad. What do you mean I can't have the pine cone!" Such torture for little Honeydew. They kept tossing the pine cones in their path as they were walking, or while they were on a down/stay. So tempting...but thats a no-no! So instead, many of them - like miss Honeydew here, just made sure they looked really pathetic about the whole thing.
4) Glenn and Honeydew in line with a bunch of the other pups. She sure is getting big!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Photo 1: Honeydew in puppy jail. She doesn't like this thing - she prefers her darker, plastic, kennel. But it works well for the times when she isn't in the mood to sleep, but you need her secured. The other animals wander past and taunt her. Pretty much pure hell in her book. She is so abused.
Photo 2: Bath time! She does pretty good in the bath, even though she looks pathetic. I imagine it won't be long before she will be so big that we won't believe she could once fit in the kitchen sink!
Photo 3: We had some folks come in and do some testing of our house for a study on moisture levels (to help set some national standards...I think our home will likely be the "don't build it like this drafty old thing"). Anyhow, Ruben was determined to escape to the outside world, even if that meant going through the blower fan itself - he would stand in front of it...his hair all blown back and lips flapping in the breeze. Our house leaks pretty bad - but it isn't the worst they have seen (apparently some guy in Syracuse has that honor). They put sensors in our home for a year, then come back and get them - and give us free recommendations on how to improve our home (that ought to be quite the tome). They are currently in the attic measuring insulation levels, etc. The fun part was when they had to turn the heat on to test leaks in the duct work....ahh, already almost 90 degrees out and the heater on full blast. Wonderful!!Photo 4: Bodine decided to help them with their study. He actually climbed onto the laptop (one of his favorite things to do) and started one of the blower fan tests for them! Apparently, once it is started, they can't stop it - it just has to run the full test. All of the testers started running around the house trying to get things in order for the test because Bodine pre-maturely started it. They said he has potential and they might hire him to help them test some houses up in Seattle. About time he earned his kibble!