This past weekend I had the opportunity to go down to Southeastern while on a mission. My mission was to return my AC's dog to Southeastern for her IFT date. It was a very nice trip. The weather was nice, meaning, not too hot, but not humid either. What a nice break from the humidity up here in NC! No rain clouds in the sky all weekend long, could my birthday weekend get any better than this? I mean really, spending it in what I like to call paradise.
My husband and I made the 10 hr journey down on Friday and spent the evening trying to find public beach access close by. We were semi-successful on this adventure. It is amazingly hard to find a beach in certain regions of Florida. ? Anyways, we got up early the next morning since we had to be at the school by 9:00 so our Guide Dog U Freshman Orientation could start. There is a new program that Southeastern has started (Guide Dog U Freshman Orientation) which is a designated time for the IFT string of dogs to return and you can take a tour of the school, hug puppies, do a blindfold walk with some of the class-ready dogs, and you get to meet and talk with the trainers who will be working with your dogs. There was a pinning ceremony at the Freshman Orientation which consisted of several Puppy Raisers receiving Presidential awards for committing over 1,000 hrs of service in a specified amount of time. It was neat to see the raisers who received these awards with their big smiling faces. :)
We had run through everything on the agenda (even the blindfold walk which I had never done before), and a very friendly staff member was willing to go down to the Main Kennel and snag a picture of Cameron for me!!! I was so happy to get to "see" him after having let him go over 7 months ago. He looks great and I do believe he has muscled up since then. As of right now, there are 3 Vizsla males left- Cameron, Tommy, and Hurley. So glad my boy is still there and seeming to enjoy his work a lot!
After we left the school, my husband I took a road trip down to Lehigh to see our second dog, Hugh, and his blind handler. They are doing well. Hugh was so happy to see us! He even followed me around the house like he used to do in mine. I was touched. He was smiling and there was no denying that! Wouldn't you if you had all of your favorite people under one roof? I'm sure that's how he felt. I took Jesse (Hugh's handler) grocery shopping while my husband set up a new tv for him and Jesse taught me how to make a new dish for supper. He is a great cook for being mostly blind. He has a lot of great ideas and recipes for dishes that he has made over the years. We spent a good amout of time with Hugh and Jesse this past weekend and I think we all were very happy to see each other again. At least I know I was!
We left Lehigh early Sunday morning and went exploring for nice beach area yet again before the long journey back home. We found a really nice beach in Fort Myers. That is definently a place we will be visiting again!! We made our long journery home after swimming in the ocean for a good hour-and-a-half. So nice to relax in the sun for a little bit. We drove all night long taking turns as the other person got tired. It wasn't that bad really. It took about 12 hrs to make it home on this trip with a few more stops and being further south than we originally would have been.
Anyways here are some pictures of Cameron, Hugh and Jesse, and Guide Dog U Freshman Orientation:
My handsome boy!!
Sorry about it being sideways. You can see a sibling in the run to the left of him and the KA.
SNAP and her sign. 'Here's your sign...'
Me and SNAP together.
Jesse and Hugh
Jesse, me, and Hugh
What a great trip to Florida!!! Maybe next trip will be for Cameron. If you haven't looked at his newest training report, look at my previous post. I think it will make you smile. You can only imagine how I feel about it.