Saturday, July 25, 2009

I'm 5 Months Old Now!

Today is my birthday. I'm 5 months old now, and growing up fast. I am 39 pounds, and too heavy to be picked up anymore. I'm big enough to get in the truck all by myself, although I still need a little lift into the H2. I must be in my teenage years, because I have acne! Can you imagine that? Oh, I received a nail trim today. With the acne medication and nail trim, I felt like I was at the spa!

I got up bright and early this morning and went to Guide Dogs of America for our monthly obedience. My littermates, Westin, Wiki, and Wailea were there. It was so nice to see them. In exactly one month, we will all see each other again when we spend three days together in the kennel for the first time.

During obedience today, we practiced walking with a loose leash, sit, and stay. I have been practicing this everyday, but I get so excited and end up pulling on my leash. I think that the pulling is going to end today, because after class, I received a new accessory. It's shiny and has links, and is sort of like a necklace. They call it a "training collar". What a nice gift Yvonne gave me today at GDA. She said that I will get a new one in another month. Woohoo, I think :/

After obedience, I stopped off at my cousin's house Cheyenne, and Cinnamon. They have a super huge backyard with grass! This was my first time to run free in a yard and play. I ran and ran and ran, until I was exhausted. I had never stretched out my legs like that before, and oh boy did I have fun. They had a really nice tennis ball that I wanted to play with, but I'm not allowed, so I saw a bone and grabbed that instead. I was so proud of myself to ignore the tennis ball, and so was Cinnamon. Thanks Aunt Michelle and Uncle Brian! I was so tired after that, I took a 3 hour nap!

Today was a really fun and full day, and I'm ready for bed now. Off to my kennel I go. I need my sleep, so I can grow! Until next time!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Basic Obedience Begins!

I have been in Puppy Kindergarten since I was 7 weeks old. Now that I am 5 months old, I can join the big group at Basic Obedience. We meet for one hour each week with Ramona. She keeps us on our paws, and our Raisers on their toes. I acted up a bit and before my mom knew it, Ramona was in my face. I was talking back, and Ramona was not having any of that. I listened to Ramona, for sure. My mom just let her get in my face. She almost looked happy. I guess I have been giving my Raisers a hard time by barking back when I don't like something. My little eyes were like saucers. I guess I better listen really well because if I don't behave next time I see Ramona, she's gonna get me!

After that little episode, I decided I better follow along. That means no barking. The first thing I learned in class is that I am a big boy now and I should sit like a big boy, no lazy sits. If I sit lazy, then my mom takes a step forward, and makes me sit all over again. We practiced downs and sits, and downs and sits, and then stay! Stay, while they walk away. This was hard. Since I am little still, Ramona told my Raiser to move up a little with me. That way I would not have a tendency so much to break my "stay".

Our next task was something that all of the other dogs had done before, but I had not. There was a 50 foot lead that replaced our leash. Our job was to "stay" in a sit, while our Raiser walked away 50 feet (without looking back at us), turned around, called us, and we were supposed to run back, with vigor! Yes, it's a lot to ask, I think. But I paid attention and watched all of the others do it first. Garth, Palmer, Kip, Sidney, all did really well, except that Sidney was not quite vigorous enough, so he had to do it twice. Now it was my turn. I was put in a sit, and Tina walked away, never looking back, but Ramona was right beside me keeping me company. Tina got to the end, turned around, said "Winter come!", and I bolted. I bolted so fast, right to Tina's arms. She was so excited, and so was Ramona. Everyone was cheering for me. They made me do it again. Woohoo. This time I didn't stay, so Ramona had to correct me. But, believe me I listen to her! The command was given, I bolted, and everyone cheered. I can't wait to try this game at home. It was fun.

We all lined up and it was question and answer time. My dad decided to chime in, while my mom gave a slight grimace, and said that he was ratting me out. He asked, "What do you do when your dog is running around crazy and you can't catch him?" (hahaha) Ramona gave a big smile, and said "You mean the Labrador Shuffle?" That's when we tuck our behinds under and run run run. Laughter filled the lesson, because everyone knew what she was talking about. Ramona says that we have a bunch of energy, and we can't be exercised enough, so it's our way of letting loose all of that energy we have. It's amazing the precision turning ability that we have during the Labrador Shuffle.

I really enjoyed the Obedience class, and can't wait until next week. The park is really nice and had so many distractions, like birds, geese, skateboarders, bicycles, balls, walkers, runners, dogs, whew!

My First Group Outing

Last Saturday, I was finally able to join other Puppies in Training from our Orange County group. In attendance were Dexter, Darla, Kip, Luca, Palmer, and myself, along with our Raisers and Puppy Sitters (Barbara, Chuck, Pat, Arica, Mark, Tammy, Tina, Brian, and Colby. We all met at Downtown Disney in the 97 degree heat and made our way to the jungle, The Rainforest Cafe!

But before I tell you all about our outing, first I wanted to tell you that while waiting for the other pups to arrive, I saw Cinderella's Carriage. Her beautiful shiny carriage was horse driven. The horse was shimmering white and very tall. I got to stand just a few feet from him for a long time. He was so tall, and I was so intrigued by his stature that I never moved a muscle. Luca and Kip showed up with Raisers Barbara and Pat, and they tried to get closer but Cinderella's Carriage driver said that was close enough!




As we made our way through the sea of people to the Rainforest Cafe, we came upon a really adorable little girl. She loved us! We all received a tender touch from her. I actually gave her a kiss! Isn't she cute!

Here are some pictures of us making our way up to the second floor seating.

For those of you have have never heard of Rainforest Cafe, it's an animated themed restaurant, with thunder lightning, gorillas, elephants, giant butterflies and dragonflies, monkeys, and fish tanks, and so much more. Every few minutes, a lightning and thunderstorm appears and the animals come to life. All of the pups did really well. I was so tired, I just stayed on my side, and the only thing that moved were my eyeballs! The other pups, who are older were more curious and would sit up, look and listen, and then lay back down.

After we left the Rainforest Cafe, Luca, Darla, and Kip had to go, but Palmer, Dexter, and I stayed and walked on over to the theater. Our Raisers wanted a chance to listen to a movie that had listening devices for the blind. These are headsets that narrate great detail of the movie as it plays. Unfortunately, they did not get to experience this as the system was down. We saw the movie anyway! The movie we chose was "Public Enemy". We sat all the way at the top. The top seats seem to have more room for us to sit at our Raiser's feet.




This movie was really really loud and full of shoot em up, bang bang scenes. Perfect for trying to annoy us or get our attention. It didn't work. The only noise you heard from us was snoring, and an occasional jingle of our leash. Dexter snored a little louder than me. Palmer was exceptionally well behaved. He had not had dinner yet and it was 10 o'clock by now. He was a trooper!

This was such a great day. We incorporated what we learned at our last meeting about heat. Our Raisers always need to have water on hand to keep us hydrated. We walk in the shade as much as we can. Our Raisers touch the pavement with the backs of their hands to see if they can keep it there. If they move their hand, then it's too hot for our precious paws.

I think I did really well for my first outing with the group. and I can't wait until our next one!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Beach Day!

Yesterday, I had a full day and night at the beach in the Airstream. I'm really getting used to this Airstreaming hobby. It's a great chance for me to meet people. My Dad says I'm a "girl magnet". Just look at this cute face!

My Mom tried to get me to the water. She was so patient with me, but I actually never made it to the water's edge. Maybe next time. I was just so excited. All I wanted to do was get away and run! I tried so hard to back out of my collar and get free, but my Mom has super fast hands and reflexes and I just couldn't get away. I think that next time I will make it to the water, because I will have a "training collar" on! I start the next level of obedience on Monday, where I will be fitted with a second collar, the "training collar". Hmmmmm. I wonder what that's all about?

Here are a series of pics trying to get to the shoreline at Bolsa Chica State Beach yesterday:

Note to self: (2nd notice) Don't eat the sand!

July Jaunts

I's been way too long since I've given you an update on my life as a Guide Dog Puppy in Training. Well, let's see.....I've been really busy traveling around in the Airstream. Here are some pictures of me being patient while my puppy raisers load the Airstream. I'm not that patient if I'm in the house watching them load up, so they put me on a tie down in the Airstream, and I'm just fine with that!

We traveled north to Castaic, right by Guide Dogs of America, and stayed at Valencia Travel Center with our friends the Wilson's. Mom and Dad tried to name me Wilson, but that name was already taken by a previous litter. I like the name Winter, but wow it was hot in Castaic in the Summer. That was my first time dealing with heat over 75 degrees. It was 97 degrees during the day, so I had to learn to be in a confined space for long periods of time during the day so I didn't get too hot. It's a good thing I'm learning this, because in one month I have to go stay in the kennel at GDA. Oh my goodness, in the middle of August, it will really be hot. Don't worry,,,, the kennels are air conditioned, and my litter mates will be there too.

We had such a good time in Castaic. I went for walks in the morning and at night, and met all of the campers in the circle. I even met some people from Sylmar! They knew right where Guide Dogs of America was. They were really nice people.

Here are some pictures of the campground:

And here are some pictures of me cooling off at the campground. My mom noticed that I retrieved all of my toys from the pool and lined them up one by one on the grass. I learned that I had to blow bubbles when I sunk my nose in the water. I'm good at that now. It didn't take me long to learn that!

Here I am in front of Old Glory. I'm so proud. And, here is my friend Mr. Wilson.

Along one of my walks, we came upon the big red brick building, and I couldn't help but notice this funny looking thing on the wall. Apparently, this is becoming a thing of the past. It was a public telephone at one time that had a phonebook. I swear, I could still smell the faint odor of a phonebook!

All in all, my first bout with hot Summer weather was really a bunch of fun. I met so many new people and learned how to be more patient. My Mom and Dad really like to Airstream, and in my next post I will tell you about our next trip, where I spent the whole day at the beach with my friends, the Watson's. That's another name that my puppy raisers wanted to name me, but was taken. I was born to be a "W" =)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I Wonder why I'm being ignored?

BECAUSE I'M BARKING! That's why! I barked and barked and barked and barked and barked today. I don't know why I didn't stop, but I just kept barking. I did not get any attention, which made me bark longer. I just got ignored, until finally ,,,,, well I just let out a big sigh and decided to go to sleep. The barking made me tired.

When I woke up, I decided not to bark anymore. Instead I played fetch with a new toy for about an hour. It was much better than barking.