Sunday, September 28, 2008

Puppy Sitting

We had a great day yesterday, and Honeydew did too!  Glenn and I went on a tour of the Bull Run Watershed. 

As a result of being gone all day, we had to find a "puppy-sitter" for Honeydew...and of course Guide Dogs for the Blind has a lot of restrictions on who can watch her, etc. -- has to be someone that has had the proper "guide dog handling" training, home inspection and waiver paperwork on file!!  Luckily, one of the puppy club members was "between puppies" yesterday (she has raised over 7 guide dog puppies, and her brand-new puppy was set to arrive today!).  Her husband loves Honeydew (calls her his "toasted marshmallow") - so we felt really confident leaving her with them.  She got to go on long walks, to dinner, the mall, the coffee shop - she even got to go bowling with one of the other guide dog puppies (his name is Cruz - like "cruise")!  We speculated on what type of bowling ball Honeydew would pick - I think a swirly purple one.  I am sure she loved all of the old smelly rental shoes!  Apparently she wasn't scared at all - which many of the puppies are (with all of the loud crashing noises, etc.).  

Of course, Cruz's raiser is also the leader of our puppy club - the main trainer we have - so it was stressful, sort of like Honeydew was going for a final exam or something.  We were a bit stressed about that (would she be out of control and the main leader would think we weren't doing a good job??) - but we were also looking forward to feedback from folks that have a lot more experience at this than we do.  Apparently Honeydew did really really really well - she didn't have any accidents, she didn't get into stuff in their house, she played nicely, etc.  They really wore her out - she could hardly keep her eyes open when we went to pick her up and she was sitting in their living room.  This was the first time she has ever been away from us - and she did pretty good.  The lady said that sometimes it takes a puppy a good day or more to get comfortable - but that Honeydew settled in within 2 hours and was responding to their commands and companionship like a pro.  She pulls on the leash while walking - she has always done that.  That was the only "bad" thing she mentioned in the full page write-up she did - the rest of the comments were glowing.  Whew!  They said she was a 'dream' - yeah Honeydew!!

Photo) Honeydew going to town on a plastic bottle.  Guide Dogs says it is OK for them to play with the thick plastic bottles (like OJ jugs or laundry jugs) until they break them down to the point where they can get plastic parts off, then they get recycled.  Honeydew LOVES these toys. I have folks at work bringing them in from home for me - she has built up quite the collection. 

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Lucky Lab Bike Ride

Glenn and I went on another big bike ride today - it was the "Tour de Lab" - a bike tour to each of the "Lucky Lab Brew Pubs" here in Portland.  It is one of our favorite pubs because you can bring your dogs.  At each pub you got pieces of a dog costume (first bar the tail, second bar the ears, third bar the nose).  Once you got to the last pub with all of your dog bits, you got a free pint of beer (in my case, rootbeer) in a Tour de Lab pint glass that you got to keep. We also got a couple of cool ride t-shirts - with a lab's head wearing a bike helmet. 

All total (including the ride from and back to our house) it was about 35 miles - so it was easier than the 50-miler we did a few weekends ago, but still challenging.  MUCH of it was uphill....up big hills! Never-ending, winding up and up big hills. Ughh.  I was slow up the hills, but I made it - there were many people that had to get off and walk.  Coming back down was great fun though!  There were over 1,200 riders - quite a site.  I took some photos - below....

Photo 1) The finish line...this is what about 1,000 bikes looks like.  It just went on and on and on.

Photo 2) Glenn, with his "ears" - and with his Lucky Lab...Honeydew is getting so big we can hardly pick her up anymore (she is fixated on the cat standing below her)!

Photo 3) A picture of The Dew...just because she is so darn cute!  She didn't get to go with us (lots of folks had dogs in trailers or baskets), but she was with us in spirit!  Toward the end of this month she is going to be in a parade, so that will make up for missing today (I asked if I could bike commute with her in a trailer - but Guidedogs said no, which is understandable...they don't want to risk something happening while she is back there that would make her afraid of traffic or bikes.  Oh well).