Cameron at the beach (ignore the date on the photo)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas Party

Hello there,

Our group had our annual Christmas party today. This is where we all get together and have obedience training, all the puppy raisers bring food and they eat, play games, and us puppies have our pictures made with Santa Claus. It was a cold morning with a little mist here and there.

It was so much fun getting to see everyone since this is our only meeting this month, to get to play together, and to meet our newest arrival in our group, Spunky. He is a black lab and, boy, his name sure fits. He does have a lot of spunk!

We started the morning off with a little obedience training to get all of our wiggles out, then, one-by-one, we had our pictures made with Santa. I liked him and his big red suit. The baby even liked Santa too and she had a picture made with me and him. After the pictures, we all sat down at the tables which had red and green tablecloths and snowflake patterns with little Christmas trees that had dogs bones tied on them (my mom did this part) and had our coordinator and a helper handed out gift bags for all of the pups. The gift bags had treats and other odds and ends things in them. The raisers ate and played a game of Secret Santa where everyone brings a gift and exchanges them all by the use of numbers. It seemed really fun because you could either pick a present that hadn't been opened or you could steal someone else's if you wanted it. They all laughed and had a good time playing that. The party lasted for a good while and then everyone departed.

I will post some pictures soon.

Puppy hugs, kisses, and warm wishes this holiday season,

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Cameron here,

Dropped by to say that I hope everyone had a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. I know I did. This is my first Thanksgiving and, boy, what a treat it was. I got to go to a dinner with my raisers at their family's houses and they had a feast.... none of which I got to partake in. It smelt so good though. I had a great time just the same getting to see everyone together and laughing with each other.

Not sure if we are going shopping for Black Friday tomorrow or night. If you all are, be safe. My mom says everywhere is going to be busy. So.. BE SAFE.

Puppy love,

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Moon

My raisers and I went to Olive Garden last night and they ate a good meal while I laid under the table and slept. They were so proud of me for being so good. That's what they condition me to do when I am out with my handler and we are at a restaurant. I am supposed to lay under the table so I am not in the way of anyone trying to get by, especially with hot food on a big plate.

After their dinner, we went to see the new Twilight movie, New Moon. They liked it. I was asleep for the most part. The loud noises in the theater were not really my thing but I waited patiently anyway. I want to be a good guide dog one day so I will wait until it is my turn to get up. I had a great time anyway.

Well that is all for now. Puppy hugs and kisses,

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Best in Show

Cameron here,

Went to my first dog show today with my puppy raiser mom and dad. It was the first dog show they had ever been to too. We were going to observe everything that went on at a dog show. Mom loves to watch them on tv and had never gotten to go to one in person, so she decided we would go to the one they were having at the Cabarrus Arena and Events Center.

It was a lot of fun watching all the other dogs walk around and getting to make some new friends. There were dogs galore that were doing various things such as dogs in an agility contest, dogs in obedience competitions, dogs being groomed and prepped before they show, dogs in the conformation ring (show ring), and dogs just walking around. There were big dogs, little dogs, and all sizes in between. Some people even knew about my organization (Southeastern Guide Dogs) and stopped to say hello. They were people asking about what I am hopefully going to be doing as a career. It is always nice for my mom to get to explain the program for those who would like to know about it. Everyone was so impressed at how well-behaved I was. I'm a good boy and I know it so I show it.

Finally, when all the dogs were finished qualifying in their breed to see who was the best and would advance to the show, the real event began. Time for the group shows. First up was the Terrier Group. The Lakeland terrier took the win for this group. Second was the Hound Group and the Afghan Hound took the win for this group. Third was the Sporting Group and the English Setter took the win. They had a nice looking Vizsla in this group. Fourth was the Toy Group. The Pug took the win here. Fifth was the Herding Group and the German Shepherd Dog took home the win for this group. Sixth was the Working Group and the Bernese Mountain Dog got the win for the group and the most cheer out of the crowd. Lastly was the Non-Sporting Group and it was the Bichon Frise that got the win for this group.

So a recap: Terrier Group-Lakeland Terrier
Hound Group-Afghan Hound
Sporting Group-English Setter
Toy Group-Pug
Herding Group-German Shepherd Dog
Working Group-Bernese Mountain Dog
Non-Sporting Group-Bichon Frise

All seven of the dogs now get to advance to Best In Show which is the win for the dog that is the best fit for its breed that has shown during this time and is the one who has it's eyes on the prize, the big ribbon. They introduce one dog at a time until all seven are out and then they let the real competition begin. The judge carefully goes over each dog and evaluates it according to its breed standard then picks a winner for Best In Show. And the winner is......the Afghan Hound.

Not a bad day for us all. We had a great time. I hope to do this again when another shosw comes around. Until then, I will be writing about my other adventures.

Puppy love,

Monday, November 9, 2009

Pictures From Our Trip To Florida

Hugh and Dave together the night before our trip to Florida.

Hugh and Dave in the hotel room in Florida.

The boys got to go swimming in the ocean for a little bit before going back to the school.

Hugh swimming in the ocean. His favorite pastime.

Dave in front of the Southeastern Guide Dogs sign.

Hugh in front of the Southeastern Guide Dogs sign.

The last few minutes with Hugh.

Daniel's last few minutes with Hugh.

Hugh and Dave together in front of the Southeastern sign.

Me, Hugh, and Dave together one last time.

Daniel, Hugh, and Dave all together for the last time. Dave is being silly.

Hugh and Dave walking to the receiving kennel.

We got to play with the little puppies that were on the puppy cam on Southeastern's website (

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Hi, this is Cameron's raiser, Amanda and I would like to share with you the experience of In-For-Training day:

In-For-Training day is a very emotional day in the puppy raising experience that EVERYONE must go through. It is the time where the cute little bundle of energy that has grown into the magnificent dog you have leaves you to continue his/her journey on to becoming a guide dog. Whether or not you take to dog back yourself or someone does it for you, it is a bittersweet day and there are many tears that come to the eye.

My husband, the dogs, and I started off the day by going to the beach for one last time together so they could have some fun. They had a blast, especially Dave. He was bouncing around trying to get Hugh to run and play with him in the water. Hugh LOVES to swim and when he does, he looks like an otter swimming around. Man, those boys do love to swim!

The boys got to swim for a little bit and then we had to make our way to the school. We got there a few minutes before 1:00 p.m. to take some pictures of Hugh and Dave in front of the big Southeastern rock. This is the most famous place to take a picture on the campus. It is a beautiful rock (will post pictures of IFT day soon and you all can see it). Tears are already coming to our eyes as we know what is laying ahead of us in the next few minutes.

1:00 rolls around and we go inside the office where we meet up with the staff inside who welcome the boys back. The Trainer or Kennel Assistants come into the office and get the dogs ready to go to the receiving kennel. This is the time where you, as the puppy raiser, take your collar and leash off of the dog and officially hand the dog over to Southeastern. The Training or Kennel Assistants will put their own collars and leashes on the dog and give you one final opportunity to say goodbye.Right about now is when the tears start coming more frequently.

They took Hugh and Dave outside and led them down the sidewalk to the receiving kennel. Both Hugh and Dave looked back at my husband and I and this does not happen often. Most dogs are ready to go but I guess in their own way, they were saying goodbye one last time before college.

Yes it is very hard to give them up, but it is like having a child, they have to grow up sometime and leave the nest to start their own life. It is time for them to make a career out of what they were bred and taught to do. We will find out sometime within the next month how their medical evaluations go and we will go from there.


Hope you enjoyed to story,

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hugh and Dave are Going IFT

Hugh's brother, Dave, has come to stay at our house tonight. Dave lived in Virginia with his raiser. My raiser parents are taking Dave down to the school with them when they take Hugh back. Hugh is really excited to get to see his brother again. They didn't get to see each other often but now they are together again and they get to go IFT together also.

IFT means they are going In-For-Training. That is the time in their life when they have to go off to guide dog school where they learn to work as guide dogs for the blind. It is like K-9 college. They learn many things down at the school. They learn how to find things for their handlers, they learn how to live in kennels, or "runs", with one another, and they also learn something that is called intelligent disobedience. Intelligent disobedience is when a dog does not follow a command it was given because the command is unsafe. They do many more things at the school, like having puppy hugger/dog walking times. Puppy hugging is when there are puppies in the puppy kennel and people come to play with them to help socialize them. Dog walking is when volunteers come to the school to walk the dogs in the main kennel. The school sounds like lots of fun. Hugh will have a great time.

Hugh, our parents, and Hugh's brother Dave are all leaving for Florida in the morning. I will not be going. I will be staying with my area coordinator and I will get to play with her puppy, Sandy. This is the last night that Hugh will get to sleep in our house (at least until he is discharged from the program for a medical issue or he retires from a long career of guide dog work). I will always remember him and I will miss him greatly.

I love you Hugh and wish you the best of luck! Make us all proud!


Saturday, October 24, 2009

More pictures from the last meeting

Duchess and Laura to the left and Hugh and I on the right.

me and Hugh

Raisers and dogs left to right:
Sam and Duchess, Anita and Dexter, and Amanda and Hugh

Duchess, Hugh, and Dexter taking one last picture together before they go to college.

Laura, the new baby in my group (Duchess' sister)

Riley-Jack with her graduation cap on for completion of puppy obedience.

Legion with his cap on.

Mom had to hold my cap because I wouldn't stay still long enough for someone to take a picture.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hugh's last meeting

We just got home not long ago from our monthly obedience training meeting which was also Hugh's last meeting before he goes in-for-training. We practiced some obedience to start off with like we normally do except with a couple of guests today who were observing us for their senior projects in school. To be honest, I think they picked the best project to do. What could be better than learning about guide dogs? We practiced walking up and down metal stairs, which I was scared of to start off with. My mom worked with me a little more on this and I am starting to become more comfortable with the sound and the movement that they make. She gave me lots of praise when I didn't seem so afraid.

We had a small celebration honoring Hugh, Duchess, Dexter, and Dave. Actually, it was Hugh's Duchess', Dexter's, and Dave's last meeting. They are getting ready to go to K-9 College with their major being guide dog work. They had pictures taken with a graduation cap and gown. They all looked very good in it. Then they had pictures taken with each other.

There was also a celebration us (the smaller children) for completing puppy kindergarten. We got certificates and had our pictures taken with a cap and tassel on our head. We little children were not sure what to think of having something on our head AND having something dangling from it. Of course I had to bite at it, I am a puppy, what do you expect? Mom had to hold it on my head so I would stay still long enough for someone to take my picture.

We had a good time at the meeting. I only have a week and a half left with my brother so I am going to make the most of it. I will miss him and I know that he will miss me too.

Here are some pictures from our meeting tonight:

This is Duchess in her cap and gown.

This is Dexter in his cap and gown.

Hugh in his cap and gown.

We are so tired. I will post more pictures very soon. I can barley hold my eyes open. I have been a busy puppy. Need to get some rest now.

Puppy love,

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Meeting a Southeastern Guide Dog Trainer

On October 17th, we had a very special guest coming to the Charlotte area. Her name is Karen Mersereau. She came up to our region to give us some training tips and boy they were good. She provided a Q & A session where we could ask her any question we wanted in which she gave great answers to. Helpful advice always comes in handy. We all had lots of laughs during the meeting and, of course, and enjoyed seeing each other again.

I got to make a few new friends that day, too. I'll show you who they are:

Top is Rebecca and her puppy, Rocky. Bottom is Kukla, Hugh's sister, in her harness.

Top is Cassidy. Bottom is Duchess (a different Duchess).

Top is Me, of course. Bottom is Brother Hugh.

Top is Toby. Bottom is Duchess (Hugh's sister).

Top is trainer, Karen and new baby to my group, Laura. Bottom: Hugh, Kukla, and Duchess all together.

Rocky, Cassidy, Duchess, and Toby are all siblings. This is the last meeting where Hugh and Duchess will see Kukla until they all return to the guide dog school for their formal harness training.

Hope you enjoy.

Puppy love,

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Out to Eat

We just got home from my first adventure to a restaurant. We were having a puppy meeting at Ryan's in Albemarle. It was very interesting. There were all kinds of smells. We got lots of attention as we walked through.

While we are not a large crowd, we do attract a large amount of people no matter where we are who are interested in learning about our programs and how they can become involved. It is always nice to have people ask about our programs for public awareness and maybe, just maybe, get some more people interested in raising a guide dog puppy.

Back to the subject, our puppy raisers ate and had conversations with each other while we little ones sat under the table. That is where we are taught to be while in places like this. It is for a couple of reasons: 1- so we are not in anyone's way if they are trying to get by, 2- so our handlers know where we are (comes in handy when we are working guides), and most importantly 3- we are taught NOT TO BEG.

We all did very well and we make our puppy raisers proud. I know my mom is proud of me.

All for now.

Puppy hugs and kisses,

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Odds and Ends

I had a puppy meeting the other night. It was a good one. We practiced sit-stays and down-stays. We practiced with stairs and greeting one another. We all had a great time. It is always nice to see everyone.

It is getting closer to time for my big brother to go the college. Everyone please wish him well. We will be making the trip down to Florida in a little over two weeks. I think he will do great. i will certainly miss having someone to curl up with. He is my buddy.

Hopefully going to church in the morning with my mom. I like church.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

River Walk in Danville, VA

Yesterday my mother, Hugh, and I all traveled to Danville, Virginia for a guide dog meeting. It was all of our's first trip to Virginia. One of the puppy raisers in the group lives in that area and we all decided to have a meeting up there. It was a long trip for a pup (about 2 1/2 hours) but I handled it very well and so did Hugh. He is used to riding though.

When we arrived, it was time to relieve and get our coats on and be ready to work. There was a farmer's market that we got to go in and see what all kinds of goodies the people have brought in to sell that day. There were a lot of people who were asking about us and admiring our cute little puppy faces. They were all amazed at how well we all behaved.

After the farmer's market closed at noon, we decided to do a little obedience training before we went on a walk. On the walk, we went over a wooden bridge, saw some traffic below when we got to the end of the bridge, then we walked down a wooden ramp and a concrete sidewalk to get to a lake where there were geese and ducks swimming. They were making lots of noises. I have never seen geese and ducks before so this was something new for me. After we alked back up the sidewalk and bridge, we went back to our cars where we drove to a bagel shop and we all ate lunch together.

The bagel shop had a few people in there who loved to see all of us. They asked questions about the program and were very happy to have us there. Our puppy raisers ate lunch on the patio outside while we little ones took a little nap. After everyone had finished their meals, we all departed home.

The trip home didn't seem to take as long. I slept almost the whole way. I was a tired puppy and I think Hugh was too! We had an exciting day. We all had a great day.

Puppy Licks,

Friday, October 2, 2009

Vet Trip

I went to the vet today to get a Distemper/Parvo shot and a Rabies shot. I did really good. I now weigh 22.1 pounds. Wow! I am getting big fast. Everyone at the vet's office loved my cute face. I heard lots of noises while I was waiting in my room for the vet to come in. I could hear people talking, doors opening and closing, and I could hear other dogs barking. It was an interesting visit and I look forward to seeing them again in three weeks for another Parvo shot.

Puppy hugs and kisses,

Puppy Kindergarten

Last night was my second class of puppy kindergarten. I was there with Rudy, Legion, Riley-Jack, and Sandy.

We practiced walking on different surfaces like: wood, a blanket, a water tor (Slip'N'Slide), and a grill grate. We all did great. Next we practiced "Right Right' and "Left Left", and after that, we practiced the "Come" command on a long lead. There was no trouble in that area for me. It was an exciting meeting and we have another tomorrow morning in Danville, VA.

Pictures to come.

Puppy kisses,

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I got to go to church this morning for the very first time. It was interesting and I really enjoyed it. My puppy raiser family goes to Bethlehem Baptist Church in Norwood, North Carolina. It is not a really big church but there are a good amount of people who attend it.

There were a couple of wheelchairs there, lots of children and adults, piano sounds, and a Baptism ceremony. I liked to see the people pass by our pew while everyone was greeting and shaking hands with each other and some of the children came over to greet me too! It was a new adventure for me and I hope to be back soon. I stayed at my mom's feet the whole ceremony and she said I did very good for my first time. I always like to hear her tell me what a good job I have done. I really like it here with my puppy raiser family.

Puppy hugs and kisses,

Friday, September 25, 2009

First Puppy Meeting

I got to go to my very first puppy obedience meeting last night in New London, North Carolina. We meet at a church and this is where our obedience meetings are conducted.

I got to practice walking up and down the sidewalk while traffic was going by and I wasn't even scared. Then, my puppy raiser and I practiced going up and down stairs and ramps. She is teaching me to sit each time when I come to stairs and when I get to the top/bottom of the stairs. It wasn't hard to do. I also got to be the distraction while the big dogs practiced down-stays and walked around food bowls with food in them.

I had fun and really enjoyed getting to see the puppies I had already met and meeting new ones. There are a lot of puppies in our group. There is Hugh, Duchess, Dexter, Dave, Riley-Jack, Legion, Sandy, Rudy, and of course,me, Cameron.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

IFT news

We all just found out that my brother Hugh is going IFT in November 2nd-5th. I know he will do great. I will miss him, though. I wish him well, though. Until then, I will spend as much time with him as I can and curl up next to him as often as I can. He is my favorite dog to curl up with.



Tuesday, September 22, 2009

11 weeks old

I am now 11 weeks old! My mom says I am growing so fast. I already look a little taller.

I have learned a lot so far. My first obedience meeting is this Thursday night. I will be attending with my big brother, Hugh. He will show me the ropes. I get to be a distraction that night along with the other babies in the group. Can't wait to go and see my new friends again.I might even make more new friends.

Puppy kisses,

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Photos of Hugh, Mom, and I

Here are some photos of my mom, brother, and me. I love it when my mom holds me so I can give her puppy kisses. She really likes that. I love to sleep with my big brother, Hugh. He keeps me warm. He lets me play with him but lets me know when I am too rough. I have fun in my house, though.

Puppy hugs and kisses,

Practicing Obedience

This is my mom and I practicing some obedience training. This is my down-stay in the left picture and my mom trying to get me to go down in the right picture.

My brother, Hugh, was trying to practice his obedience with us. He followed moms every word and showed me what to do. Boy, he is good at this. Maybe I can be as good as he is one day. Mom says I will be.

We practiced my recall ('come'). I did really good.

Here is a photo of Hugh working in his harness. I
am sitting behind mom observing. Hmmm...