Thursday, January 29, 2009

Puffy Dew

We woke up this morning to find Honeydew with a swollen "melon" as Glenn would say.  The right side of her face was huge, and very tender to the touch.  We went to the vet, thinking it was maybe a spider bite or that one of the cats had gotten a good swack at her.

Turns out, she had a abscess from an infected puncture wound on her cheek -- from a dog that attacked her on Tuesday in the lobby of my work.  At the time, I didn't think she was hurt (no sign of trauma, not even a spec of blood, she didn't act like anything hurt).  I checked her over - found nothing.  I guess I missed it!  Ughh.  So, she now has a drain in her cheek, and gets to wear the cone.  Nothing sadder than a puppy in a cone!  Our very own mobile satellite dish - maybe she can get reception of the Super Bowl this weekend?

I was mad at the lady with the aggressive dog at the time (why do people think it is OK to have their dogs in public places if they can't control them?), but I am even more angry now.  I don't think it has impacted Honeydew, but Guide Dogs is deciding if they want to see her for an evaluation to make sure she is OK emotionally (e.g. not skittish around other dogs).  She seems fine - just bummed about the whole cone thing.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Drama Queen

Ms. Honeydew.  She was in fine form yesterday -- working her magic on strangers!  We rode the bus home from downtown, as Glenn had to work late.  She looked so pathetic on the bus...head hanging low, sad, droopy eyes, lots of heavy sighs, so weak she could hardly hold her head up.  

Everyone on the bus felt the need to comment "poor little puppy", "she just wants to go home", "oh, look at those worried eyes"...please!  She was like a little kid - pouting because she didn't get the candy at the store.  If she could have stuck her bottom lip out she would have!  

So, to try to lift her spirits, we got off the bus early to go through the grocery store before walking home...same thing, standing in the check-out line being a drama queen.  Several checkers came over to comment on how pathetic she looked.  Geesh! 

It was the funniest thing I have ever seen!  Most dogs would be tickled to be out in public, going for a walk, riding the bus, going to the store...but Ms. Honeydew has been there and done that.  Old news to her - just a chore now.  I think she should be nominated for an Oscar for such a stellar performance as a poor little puppy.  I honestly think she was doing it on purpose.  Sort of like the Foster's limp (my brother's dog that knows how to get folks to feel sorry for him).  She was in fine form! 

Saturday, January 24, 2009

More Updates

Time again for another Honeydew update.  

She is doing very well - recovered from being spayed fairly quickly, which was helped by all of the snow and ice which made it impossible for us to go anywhere or do anything.  She thoroughly enjoyed the snow, to say the least -- although, going outside in the freezing cold to break up ice to create a place for her to "do her business" on a leash was annoying.  

We continue to work on training and good behavior.  She is riding the bus and Streetcar like a pro, which is something we do nearly every day at work.  She is continuing to become more mature and calm.  She is still very dog distracted, but at least now she keeps walking in a straight line, even if her head is swiveled 180-degrees in the opposite direction so she can watch the dog across the park.

Photo 1) Honeydew enjoying our big "Arctic Blast 08" (where do the news people come up with these names) right after Christmas.  The are predicting more snow tomorrow.  What a strange winter indeed.

Photo 2)  Puppy class -- where we had to run a "recall relay"...two teams, dogs across the gym on a "sit/stay", first person calls their dog but the other dogs have to stay put.  It was complete chaos, to say the least, because once one dog ran - they all ran!  We did it about 5 times, and finally the dogs understood.  So, they mixed it up and we all had to recall a dog that wasn't our own...of course, when another lady called for Honeydew - she came...but she came to me instead of her - and then proceeded to run from the other lady when she came to get her.  Geesh!

Photo 3 & 4) We have some new baby puppies!  I can't believe Honeydew was ever this little!  Look at those big paws and that puppy belly!  The blonde one's name is "Futura" -- not sure I like that name, but she is cute enough it doesn't matter what her name is.  :)  Not sure what the cute black puppy's name is.

Photo 5) Last night we had to go to a gathering/party with another puppy club.  They had a variety of games...this one was a "wag off" -- the dogs that had the best/most tail wags won.

Photo 6)  Honeydew tied with another dog in the "wag off" -- so here we are going head-to-head for the grand prize.  The other dog won - but she is being raised by a professional dog trainer, so Honeydew thinks the competition was rigged.  But, our little girl got second place for wiggling her butt!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Funny Dew

Some co-workers in my office were taking pictures for a new staff directory, so of course Honeydew got her staff picture taken too.  They did serious pictures, and funny ones.  This is her funny one - what a trooper!  

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Introducing Honeydew

To introduce Honeydew to our new co-workers (as my office was merged with another larger city office), we posted her bio on the employee blog (with this AMAZING photo of her, taken by a colleague - Betsy Ames).  This is what Honeydew had to say about herself....

I’m "Honeydew" and I am a Guide Dog for the Blind puppy in training I often come to work with my mom, Michele Crim. She currently works out of the Ecotrust building, but she is often at the 1900 Building too. I like to go to staff meetings and events with my mom because it helps me in my training – but I understand that sometimes folks might prefer I stay behind, so just let Michele or your manager know if you have any concerns whatsoever.


I am a yellow lab – almost 10 months old! I was born at the training campus in San Rafael, California – where all Guide Dog puppies are bred and born. I get to go a lot of places, including riding on transit, and visiting stores, banks, restaurants, and coffee shops – my mom loves those places! This helps me learn to be calm, focused and well mannered, which will be important when I am an older working dog.


Every week I go to training class with about 20 other Guide Dog puppies. There I have to pass tests and demonstrate that I am learning all of the things I am supposed to know when I grow up. I am a pretty good student, but sometimes I get really excited when other dogs come around. At home I live the life of a normal pet, including sharing my den with two other dogs and three cats (which I sometimes chase, but don’t tell my mom!).


I am not allowed to eat treats, play with balls, learn to fetch or jump on people (I am working on that one!) because all of those things can cause behavior problems for me when I am a working dog. But I get to go lots of fun places (like work!), so it is a fair trade. I love to play tug with people (my mom will gladly teach you how to play that with me), and to get my belly rubbed. My favorite pastimes include attacking plastic bottles (like empty orange juice jugs), chewing on my bones and running circles in my yard at home.


You are welcome to pet me when we bump into each other, but if I get too excited it helps if you step away so I learn that I get more attention when I am calm. My mom also encourages folks to wait until after the meeting, etc., so that getting attention is a reward for good behavior. Sometimes my mom has to correct me when I am not behaving properly – but, every moment is a teachable moment, right!


I will go back to Guide Dogs for the Blind when they call for me – which could be anytime between 6-months to a year from now. I will then go through about 6 more months of intensive training to learn to do Guide Dog work in a harness. My mom, and all of my friends and family, will be sad when I go back. But I am destined for great things….to help give the gifts of companionship and independence to my blind partner!


I am very excited to be a part of the new Bureau of Planning and Sustainability! Growing up in a work environment full of love and support will help me become a well-mannered and confident Guide Dog. I look forward to making friends with you all!