Saturday, August 9, 2008

Fun Day

Time for another (long) Honeydew update.  Today we went to quite the event at the Guide Dogs for the Blind campus (in Boring, Oregon).  It was "Fun Day", which is a full day of events, training, entertainment, etc. -- it is an appreciation event for all of the puppy raisers.  There were over 300 puppies in training there!!  It was a sea of dogs...and their raisers.  The only working guide dogs that were there were with their blind partners.  All of the dogs in guide training were in the kennels.  

So, for Honeydew, this was a crazy day.  She is very dog and people distracted...and we were surrounded by hundreds of them!  There were a few times when she lost control and went bonkers - but generally she did much better than we were expecting.  We often just had to sit at the side and let her just watch everything...then she would least until we got up to walk somewhere, then she was totally geeked up again.  Compared to a normal dog her age, she is very calm....but compared to the other guide dog puppies her age, she is a complete spaz!  We took some photos of our day (see below and/or attached).

Photo 1:  Some of the booths.  Many of the guide dog puppy clubs have booths and sell everything from t-shirts to toys, etc.

Photo 2:  Adorable little black puppy - calmly taking in the sights.  Wish he could teach Honeydew how to maintain control.  There were tons of little baby puppies there - and in the afternoon they were presenting new puppies (8-weeks) to their new puppy raisers.  Two of the members of our puppy club had to leave their dogs there today - including Petunia, the puppy we puppy-sat before we got Honeydew.  

Photo 3:  Michele and The Dew watching the people walk by.  Honeydew was pretty sure that all of these people just came out to tell her how cute she is -- it's all about her ya know.  What a nut.  

Photo 4:  Glenn and The Dew, with some of our puppy club members and their pups.  Honeydew has to hang out on the edge, because she can't control herself with the other puppies.

Photo 5:  They had an area set up where people could get together to meet the other litter mates of their puppy, and sometimes you even get to meet the parents of the puppy.  Honeydew and Glenn were talking with the crazy lady in the pink skirt (she never shut up the whole time we were near her!).  She is raising "Hubert", one of Honeydew's brothers - up in Washington.  She had her other guide dog puppy with her, so we could only see pictures of Hubert - he looks just like Honeydew, but has a white "Z" on his chest.  She has raised 8 puppies so far...and she said Hubert is challenging....and she proceeded to describe all of Honeydew's bad behavior (intense, distracted, lunging, mouthing, jumping, etc.).  She watched Honeydew and said that she and Hubert were very similar with respect to the issues they need to work on -- lots of spunk.  When we told her Honeydew was our first guide puppy, she made a shocked face and said "I can't believe they would give you such a challenging dog for your first one".   You can see some of the other people in the background, meeting their litter mates.  We were in a field the size of a baseball diamond full of people and dogs meeting each other, it was crazy!  Dogs, dogs, everywhere!  (and the strange thing....all of them were under control and none of them barked!).

Photo 6:  The younger girl in the blue sweatshirt was the raiser of Honeydew's mother, "Marikay".  They are from Elko, Nevada.  They came up for the event -- it was fun for her to see the puppies that her dog mothered.  She has raised 7 dogs, and was dropping off one (that was going into formal training) and taking home a new puppy to raise today.  Pretty impressive for a girl her age!

Photo 7:  This big black boy is "Hector", one of Honeydew's brothers.  Look at how big he is - never would have imagined they were from the same litter!  He was very sweet.  Apparently, Honeydew's father ("Eric") is quite a handful.  We went to the breeding area and they had books with pictures of all of the breeding dogs.  When we said that "Eric" was Honeydew's father, they all shook their heads...apparently, Eric is quite a challenging dog.  One of the girls even said "I don't care for Eric, I don't know why they ever made him a breeder".  "Heath", one of Honeydew's other brothers (who was in our Puppy Club) has already been "career changed" because they couldn't get him under control and he was getting aggressive.  I don't know what will happen with him - likely become a pet, or he might go into some other sort of training.  I guess Honeydew comes by her crazy behavior naturally.  :)  Hector (this photo) seems to have gotten the "calm and controlled" genes from his mother's side of the family. 

Photo 8:  This is a picture of one of the play areas for the dogs in the kennel.  The dog at the top of the slide was cracking me up...he would let the bone he was playing with slide down the slide - he would then slide after it - and then get it and run back up the slide and do it again.

The Dew in the News, kinda.

So, before we were able to get Honeydew, they took her to an event called "Pinot and Pups" - a fund raising event.  I just checked the Guide Dogs for the Blind newsletter, and there is a picture of Honeydew!  -- see page 5, with "Deena and Mike Bragg" -- Honeydew, working the rich folks for some money!