Sunday, December 27, 2009

Lost puppy?

I have lost my cute little cuddly Rocky. In his place is a handsome, obedient, lovable 9 month old dog who just so happens to answer to the name Rocky! Today Rocky turned 9 months old! I can’t believe how fast that he has grown up!

[Rocky at 9 weeks curled up on his bed asleep]

Rocky spent his 9 month birthday just like any other Sunday, but today he had some extra tests that he passed with flying colors. Rocky goes to kids church with me to teach 1st grade; I love how the kids tell new kids or those who forget that they can’t pet Rocky till after church is over. When one of my little first graders was getting picked up, his little sister who was about 1 ½ years old, started streaming in the highest pitch scream possible and came running at Rocky and gave him a big hug. Rocky stayed calm and accepted the hug while maintaining his sit stay. I was so proud of him! He then got to go to big church and sleep through the service. The rest of the afternoon he took a nap, played and went for a walk. He is now curled up on his bed beside the Christmas tree.

Every day I am reminded just how blessed I am to have such an awesome puppy to raise.

[Rocky at 9 months sitting in the yard looking to the left. He is wearing his blue puppy coat and blue collar. The sun is hitting his face, which adds a glow to his face]

9 things that I love about Rocky

1) He is a mama’s boy and loves for the whole family to be together

2) He fluffs all of his beds before he settles down.

3) Rocky is hilarious chewing his bones on the furniture. He takes his bone and carries it over to the sofa, chair, wall and anything else that will work, props his bone up and chews away.

4) Rocky is the softest male lab that I have met, especially his ears

5) He loves the hair dryer; he comes running when you turn it on. Rocky likes his ears and chest to be blow dried.

6) He is a very easy going puppy, which makes him super easy to take him anywhere.

7) Ice is better than food in Rocky’s book.

8) Rocky loves everyone he meets, he especially shows an extra liking to people in wheelchairs and special needs individuals.

9) I love that Rocky has a very precise potty schedule! I have never had a puppy that was as precise as Rocky.

[Rocky sitting in the yard at 9 months. Close up off his face with the sun hitting his face]

Rocky is so smart and is such a quick learner. He gets along great with everyone and is just so happy to be by your side on another adventure.

Happy 9 month birthday Rocky!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

'Twas the Night Before Christmas Guide Dog edition

I thought I would share with our fellow bloggers a story that I found several years ago that gets read to my puppies in training every Christmas Eve. It is the Night before Christmas Guide dog style. Rocky, Ely and I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas Eve!

Guide Dogs' Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas and the kennels were still,

with most dogs now asleep having eaten their fill.

The Labradors sprawled out, quite snug in their beds,

while visions of ANYTHING edible danced in their heads.

the Goldens and Shepherds curled up on the floor,

some twitched in their sleep and some even did snore.

The dog food was stacked in the feed room with care,

in hopes that a trainer soon would be there.

On the window ledge, one of the kennel cats lay,

surveying the lawn at the end of this day.

Something was different, that little cat knew.

Tonight something would happen, it had to be true.

For that day as the workers had left to go home,

They'd wished Merry Christmas! before starting to roam.

The dogs had noticed it to during this past week's walks,

the trainers seemed just that much happier and eager to talk.

In the mall where they worked through the maze of people and stores,

there were decoration and music and distractions galore!

Most dogs pranced along without worry or fear,

but some balked at the man on the sleigh and those fake looking deer.

The cat was almost asleep too when he first heard the sound,

a whoosh through the air and a jingle around.

It reminded him of a dog's collar when the animal shook,

but this sound kept on growing. He'd better go look.

From the ceiling there came a faint sort of thunk,

as the kennel cat climbed to the highest pile of junk.

Once before people had worked on the roof,

and come down through the trap door to a chorus of "Woooof!"

But the dogs still were quiet, all sleeping so sound,

as this man dressed in red made his way right on down.

He patted the cat as he climbed past his spot,

then made his way right to the trainers' coffee pot.

A shepherd sat up, not fully awake,

then a Golden followed her with a mighty loud shake.

That did it! All the dogs sprang to life with loud noise.

In spite of the din, the old man kept his poise.

He filled the pot full and it started to brew,

then he pulled up a chair and took in the view.

Dogs all around him, so carefully bred,

he knew well their jobs, the blind people they led.

Some had stopped barking and looked at him now,

while others delighted in their own deafening howl.

Laying a finger in front of his lips,

the jolly old man silenced the excitable yips.

"You all may not know me, but I'm Santa Claus,"

the old man smiled and took a short pause,

While he filled up his mug with hot liquid and cream,

"I've always wanted to stop here. It's been one of my dreams."

The cat had climbed down and was exploring Santa's sack.

"Yes, little kitty, that's an empty pack."

Santa smiled as he drank and looked at those eyes,

deep brown ones and gold ones held wide in surprise.

Some of these dogs, he'd seen just last year,

in their puppy homes, cute and full of holiday cheer.

He'd seen the effects of a pup on the tree,

but now they were here at the school, just waiting to be.

"I didn't bring you presents or bones just to chew.

I'll tell you something better, what you are going to do."

"You all will work hard and the trainers will share,

both praise and correction, gentle and fair."

"You'll go lots of places and face big scary things.

You'll ride buses and subways and hear fire sirens ring."

"Cars will drive at you but you will stand strong,

not moving into danger, not moving toward wrong."

"And then just when you think that this trainer's the best,

the kindest, and funniest person, toss away all the rest,"

"That trainer will begin to ignore you and give you away,

handing your leash over despite your dismay."

"Now the person who pets you and feeds you will be

a blind person. That's a person who can't see."

" This man or this woman may see just a tad,

but their view's missing parts or the focus is bad."

"So you, well trained dogs, will act as their eyes.

You will work as a team and discover the size"

"Of this great world we live in, because you will go

a million new places with this person, you know."

Santa sipped at his coffee and looked over the brood,

knowing what he had to say next might sound kind of rude.

"Not all of you will make it and become canine guides.

Your time here isn't wasted though. You won't be cast aside."

"Some of you will be drug dogs and some will find bombs.

Some will become pets in a home with a dad and a mom."

"All these things are important. People wait on long lists,

to receive such good dogs as you, the school folks insist."

The last drop of coffee had gone into his cup

as Santa turned, smiling at each wide eyed pup.

"The best gift of all is to give something back.

That's why there's nothing for you all inside of my pack."

Draining his mug, Santa went to each pen,

and petted and scratched each dog again and again.

"Now next year and many more years after that,

you all will give gifts wherever you're at."

"You might lick a hand that's had a bad day,

Or notice a car and step out of the way."

"You might help catch a crook or discover some loot,

Or just bring some joy to a tired old man in a funny red suit."

"Your master will love you and treat you with care.

In return, your training and trust will always be there."

After the last dog had been petted and soothed,

Santa put away the coffee pot and made ready to move.

Up the ladder he rose to the door high above,

with a smile and a wave as he slipped on his gloves.

And all the dog ears were pricked as he disappeared out of sight. "Merry

Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night!"

- (author unknown)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Yet another full day of shopping with an angel (literally)

On Wednesday we headed to the other side of town to go to lunch and some shopping with my sisters. Rocky got to go to IKEA for the first time. He did great! We went to lunch at a BBQ restaurant where Rocky slept while we ate and visited. We then headed to the mall; the mall that we went to is a mile long loop packed full of stories. It has great exposures with different floor surfaces, noises, and a ton of people.

We somehow picked the busiest entrance, Rocky was not 100% comfortable, so we set down and watched the people then went back outside and came back in. That worked and Rocky was comfortable the rest of our many hours of shopping.

We got home, Rocky ate dinner, then Rocky and I headed to church to help out with the children’s Christmas program. Rocky was going to be a sheep, but was way too tired, so he helped me put crowns on all the kids who wanted to be Wiseman. Rocky wanted to be an angel, so he got to wear a halo, I don’t think he even realized it was on his head. Rocky got lots of love by his fan club.

[Close up of Rocky in his blue puppy coat. He is sitting looking to the left with an angel halo sitting on his head]

The Rock star was one tired puppy by the time we got home where he promptly put himself to bed.