Thursday, July 16, 2009

Guide Dog Program

Today Rocky got to participate in his fourth guide dog program. This time it was at our local library for older elementary kids. His brother Spike and his sister Duchess came along to help along with Ely. Ely was extremely happy to be going for a ride, he has not been anywhere beside the vet in the last 9 weeks. He got so excited once we got to the library, he had been a reader dog there during the school year, but had to stop since he blew out his knee. All of the puppies were on their best behavior and were so good. I do a few programs at the library every year and it has become the fastest program to fill up. There are four girls who have been to every program I have done for the past three or four years. If I forget to tell something or if they want to hear about a story again they make sure to remind me. One of the girls even asked me to do a program for her birthday party and instead of getting gifts for herself she asked everyone to bring stuff for Southeastern. They gave two huge boxes for of treats, sheets, and all kind of stuff!
two girls coloring while blindfolded
Spike getting some love
The program went really well. I showed a DVD about Southeastern and during one part it shows a bunch of dogs playing out in the yard and then the puppy kennel with all the puppies. Rocky enjoyed watching the puppies. I think that all of my puppies have watched the movie during a presentation.
One of the things I tell the kids is that not everyone who is blind can’t see, some people can see a little bit. I then explain different types of blindness. I also make sure that they know never to pet a dog or puppy when they see them out in public and to always ask to pet any dog before you pet them, because not all dogs are friendly. I normally let the kids be blind folded and then try to put the puppy coat on the pups to see how hard it is to do stuff when you can’t see; it is also great for the puppy to get used to the coat going on not so smoothly, because the harness is not always going to go on smoothly. I thought that with three 16 week old puppies that might not be the best thing to do. Instead I let them get into groups of two and one of them was blindfolded and the other had to tell them how to color a picture of a puppy in harness coloring sheet. They found out that it was a lot harder than they had thought.
Some Service dog books
Two boys coloring while blindfolded
Overall it was a good day and I think everyone had a lot of fun. Afterwards Spike and Duchess came over for a little play time. They were so much fun to watch! Rocky slept the rest of the day.
Spike and Rocky playing Spike, Rocky and Duchess after the program
Two tired pups after a fun afternoon

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Rebecca and Joe