Sunday, June 28, 2009

Portland Walking Tour

Today our puppy club did a walking tour of downtown Portland (with a guide).  It was think that I have lived in Portland for so long, yet learned and saw so many new things.  I realized that I tend to walk past amazing old building and artwork without even noticing it!  

All of the puppies did a great job - it was a long and hot adventure.  We walked all over town, into some old hotels, down along the river, on the floating walk-way, etc.   We were quite the sight - especially with 14 dogs touring through several fancy-pants hotels in downtown Portland, like the new (and very cool) The Nines, which is in a restored 100 year old building.  The tour took over 3 hours - we were all exhausted by the time it was over.

In the photos: Walking through Pioneer Square (Portland's "Living Room"); Taking a break along the waterfront; Honeydew watching the geese float by in the river; Taking another break near some funky artwork that makes noise; Walking across the Steel Bridge - lots of bikes and runners, so we had to hug the rail. 

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday Parkways

We had a great outing today!  The City of Portland put on an event called "Sunday Parkways", where they close about 8 miles of Portland's roads to you can bike/walk/skate from neighborhood park to neighborhood park.  This event has been held in our neighborhood for two years now - lucky for us!  Glenn and I biked the entire route, then we went back and got Honeydew, and walked her around about 5 miles of the route.  Needless to say, she is pooped!  It was a great experience for her...lots of bikes wizzing past her from behind, strange sights and sounds...and LOTS of other dogs for Honeydew to work on being less distracted around.  I think we all need a nap now!

Off to College!

We haven't gotten the official letter yet, but it sounds like Honeydew will be recalled back to Guide Dogs for the Blind around July 10.  She will then enter the formal Guide Dog training program...10 levels/phases of training.  If she makes it through all 10, then she will get paired up with a blind partner.  Some days I think she will make it all the way through the program...other days I am not so sure (she is sooooo dog distracted).  But, ya never know.  We will get regular (about weekly) emails that will tell us what "phase" of training she is in (1 - 10), but that is about it.  I have a little description of each phase, so I will post that as she enters those phases.  In the meantime, we will relish our remaining weeks with her!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Murder and Earthquakes, Oh My!

Tonight may have been Honeydew's last puppy social outing - if she gets recalled in July.  It was sort of sad because of that, but we had a great time.  Our friend Chris is in town for a few days, so we made him go with us.  The outing included a trip to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), followed by a walk along the river. 

Photo 1:  Honeydew checking out the "Crime Scene Investigation" (CSI) exhibit, which included stories and characters from the TV show (CSI Las Vegas).  This was one of the crime scenes that you then had to process through the lab like they do on the show.  Glenn says that he and Chris solved the murder...but I have no proof.

Photo 2:  Chris, me and Honeydew in the "earthquake simulator"...Honeydew didn't seem to mind the shaking and noises it made.  I think we went for the 6.8 magnitude quake.  Chris certainly made the most of the experience.

Photo 3: Found a cartoon of Honeydew...although, she could have cared less about it.  "Just take the picture already mom, geesh."

Photo 4:  A group photo of our puppy club along the river walk.  Click on the photo to see a bigger image.

Photo 5: Honeydew and I practicing walking on the grated walkway along the river.  You could see through the grate to the ground about 10-15 feet below - she wasn't afraid at all.  There is a huge cruise ship docked in downtown - such a strange site!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Puppy-Sitting Adventures

This week was pretty crazy.  We had to travel to Texas on short notice for a funeral - which meant that Honeydew had to go and stay with a puppy-sitter.  Luckily - a very wonderful family that had been raising a guide dog puppy that was career changed offered to help us out.  We are very appreciative of their kindness!  And, Honeydew had a great time.  Here is an email they sent us while we were in Texas, along with a picture of Honeydew and Cole (their career change pup, who we have puppy-sat before, Cole is a very sweet and calm puppy).

"So far the hardest thing is calling each dog by their correct name....
Whats that Cole, yes I know Honeydew has messed up her side of the towel.
No Honeydew, Cole is not on your side, yes I see that she is touching you.
Cole just because you were here first doesn't mean you always get the first treat, Honeydew is your guest.
Ok you two stop it now, don't do that, nope, hey I said stop, Cole sit,  I mean Honeydew, aaaggh!!!

If it's not my own kids its now the two darn dogs.  
That's it!~, you two, go to your kennels......"

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Duck Poop! Yahoo!

Tonight we went to the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden for Honeydew's puppy class outing.  It was really hot today - so a walk through this beautiful park was great fun.  In addition to delightful walking paths and greenery (lots of Rhodies in bloom, to say the least), there was a huge lagoon with tons of ducks and geese.  The Dew loved the ducks -- but even more than that, she was absolutely giddy about the, well, duck poop!  Her nose would go down, I would pop it back up...her nose would go down, I would pop it back up.  It looked like I had a yo-yo in my hand or something.  Overall, she did really well on the outing, even when we came around other dogs (she got excited, but not embarrassingly so).  She is also much improved with walking on a loose leash (although, she occasionally forgets and starts to pull again).