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

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,